When most people hear the word ‘insulin,’ they immediately associate it with diabetes, but people do not have to have diabetes for insulin to cause issues with our health. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps glucose in the blood to move into cells. Glucose is the main sugar found in our blood and comes from food that is consumed. Glucose is used by the body for energy. After food is consumed and the blood sugar level rises, our pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood so that it can move the glucose from our blood and into the cells.
Insulin resistance is when the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver do not respond to insulin as well as they should, and is otherwise known as impaired insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance doesn’t have a specific cause, but is associated with a family history of type 2 diabetes, being overweight, PCOS, and being inactive. Insulin resistance causes increased levels of glucose and insulin in the blood, which causes increased weight gain, especially around the waist. This weight gain tends to worsen the degree of insulin resistance over time.
The way to reverse insulin resistance is by making the cells more sensitive to insulin. This can be achieved by increasing physical activity, weight loss, reducing stress, and getting quality sleep.
Joshua White PA-C