The Ultimate Guide to Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a very common health problem. Even in developed countries, like the US, more than 32% of the population may have this condition. There comes a big question: what is causing it to occur on such a large scale? The answer is that there are many reasons for it.

Nowadays, an inactive and sedentary lifestyle has given rise to this issue. Some healthy changes in lifestyle definitely help to reduce the risk of developing insulin resistance.

What Is Insulin?

The hormone produced by the organ pancreas is Insulin. Its major function is to regulate the sugar level in the blood. For instance, after a meal that contains more carbs, the sugar level in the blood rises up. In response to this increased blood sugar level, insulin is produced and released into the blood.

Insulin signals cells to take up excess sugar from the blood and store it. In this way, the sugar level in the blood is brought to a normal level. It is essential to manage and maintain normal blood sugar levels in the blood. Increased sugar level has toxic effects, and it can be life-threatening.

What Is Insulin Resistance?

The inability of cells to respond to insulin is known as insulin resistance. The sugar level is obvious to stay at an increased level in the blood, but in addition, it also results in high insulin levels in the blood. Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise beyond the threshold and result in diabetes.

What Causes Insulin Resistance?

There are many factors that collectively become the cause of insulin resistance. Based upon the fact that a very high population worldwide is getting affected by insulin resistance, it is important to increase awareness about the most common causes of it.

There are many habits in a routine that contribute to insulin resistance. It would not be wrong to say that lifestyle, in addition to other factors, results in insulin resistance. Let us review some of these causes.

1.      Alcohol

The findings of a study suggest that binge drinking is also the cause of insulin resistance. Excessive amounts of alcohol in the body results in inflammation that also affects the hypothalamus. This tends to damage the insulin receptors. Identifying alcoholism as a major threat to health is from where the journey to recovery begins.

If the alcohol addict does not identify the habit as the major threat, then certainly the partner or spouse can play a major role. It is necessary for a spouse to read out the warning signs of alcohol abuse in order to get help.

2.      Physical Inactivity

Many studies suggest that physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles also result in major health issues, including insulin resistance and high blood pressure. More physical activity allows the body to utilize glycogen stored in the cells.

The muscles then regain the capacity to store more glucose from the blood. In this way, insulin sensitivity is improved, and consequently, insulin resistance is reduced. Managing a routine to exercise can help to overcome a sedentary lifestyle.

3.      Body Weight

Excess body weight also causes insulin resistance—excess body weight results in the accumulation of fat stores in the body. Visceral fat or stubborn belly fat is hard to get rid of. Furthermore, it surrounds the organs around it. All these factors contribute to insulin resistance.

Secretions released from fat cells present in fat stores interfere with the regular functioning of insulin. This inhibits insulin from working properly and leads to insulin resistance.

4.      Fructose

Excessive intake of fructose also results in the development of insulin resistance. Fructose is fruit sugar, and it has a relatively low GI as compared to table sugar. However, fructose disturbs the lipid composition in blood, and it leads to fat accumulation around organs. In this, fructose impacts the functioning of insulin, and the major outcome is insulin resistance.

5.      Inflammation

Studies show that a high degree of oxidative stress and inflammation in the body also results in insulin resistance. Researchers have found that inflammation in the body promotes the expression of several proteins. This directly influences insulin signal pathways making it collapse, and as a result, its body becomes resistant to insulin.

6.      Gut Microbiota

Studies show that disturbance and imbalance in gut microbes results in inflammation. This inflammation also results in insulin resistance. In order to avoid this, it is essential to take good care of diet. Eat more prebiotics and probiotics, which are nourishing for the gut biome.

Some Other Factors

There are some other factors in lifestyle which may also contribute to insulin resistance

7.      Smoking

Smoking brings harmful chemicals, Nicotine, into the body. This chemical is responsible for changes in a chemical reaction in cells and making these cells unresponsive to insulin. It is crucial to quit the habit of smoking as it might eventually result in insulin resistance.

8.      Age

This is beyond control, but if someone manages to adopt a healthy lifestyle throughout, then for sure, the risk is reduced to a minimum level. Normally after the age of 45-50, the risk factor for insulin resistance is drastically increased.

9.      Steroids

Regular and excessive intake of steroids over a period of time gradually increases the risk of insulin resistance. It is better to avoid such drugs as it has many hazards and it also increases the risk of insulin resistance.

10.   Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is also the cause of insulin resistance. People who generally manage the sleep of 1-3 hours can get insulin resistance later in life. A sound sleep is essential for a healthy being, and it can help to avoid insulin resistance.

Take Away

It would not be wrong to call insulin resistance pre-diabetes. If not handled or treated carefully can result in Type II diabetes. There are numerous causes of it. Taking care of these factors is as important as the awareness about these contributing factors. If you observe more of these factors in your routine life, then start taking care of them in order to avoid the risk for insulin resistance.