Insulin resistance refers to a state that occurs when people have pre-diabetes or diabetes type 2. The brain triggers the pancreas to release insulin after eating foods containing carbohydrates. The carbohydrates are broken down into sugar and due to insulin resistance they are unable to enter the cells of the muscle, fat, brain or liver. The insulin can not perform its usual function.
Because it can not enter the cells, the insulin and sugar remain in the blood stream. Now you have high insulin levels in your blood, a condition called hyper-insulinemia coupled with high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), both of which are detrimental to your health.
High blood insulin levels contribute to artery disease, inflammation, weight gain and high triglycerides. High blood sugar levels cause the same thing. They also damage your small arteries, nervous system, lowers your immunity and ability to fight off infections.
Here are the 2 main causes of insulin resistance:
- Obesity or excess weight especially around the belly area: An insulin sensitizing hormone called Adiponectin that helps the body be more sensitive to insulin becomes less available with the rise of belly fat. The greater the belly fat, the less Adiponectin and the higher insulin resistance.
- Physical inactivity: Sitting for prolonged periods causes a change to the insulin receptors making them unable to bind to insulin and forces the sugar to go to the fat and muscle cells.
An initial small weight loss of 5 to 7 pounds and an increase in regular physical activity has shown to be of great benefit to correct insulin resistance. The more you do the better things get. Here’s how to start:
Small Action of the Week
Raise your regular daily physical activity by taking the steps instead of the elevator or escalator. Stop empty calories from beverages including fruit juices, milk shakes, fancy coffee and tea beverages. Consume 5 to 6 glasses of water and add 1 – 2 zero calorie beverages.
Pharmacist George Tohme author of “Lifestyle Makeover for Diabetics and Pre-Diabetics” (www.LifestyleMakeoverEbook.com).