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Insulin resistance

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Insulin resistance syndrome is a metabolic syndrome which is part of a group of diseases that tend to occur together. Insulin resistance calls for fast action and aggressive lifestyle alterations to lower the chances of becoming chronically and significantly ill. Insulin resistance has been at the crux of many physician’s debates for years. Some physicians consider it a syndrome while others don’t. However, with mounting evidence to the impact of insulin resistance, more and more physicians are siding with those who believe insulin resistance is serious syndrome.

INSULIN RESISTANCE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Insulin resistance may occur with other metabolic disorders, although insulin resistance is typically at the heart of the group of disorders. Symptoms may include obesity, especially obesity around the mid-section, high blood pressure, an elevated level of triglycerides (a fatty substance in the blood) as well as a high level of the good cholesterol known as lipoprotein, and the body’s natural resistant acceptance of insulin changes.

Insulin is a natural hormone made by the pancreas which helps to turn food into energy. It controls the amount of sugar in the bloodstream, which regulates the way a person feels. Glucose enters the cells in order to give the body energy. Without insulin, the cells can not receive the glucose necessary to provide the body with energy. The body keeps producing insulin to force glucose into the cells. Of course the cells do not accept the glucose, creating a cycle.
Insulin resistance
Image: Insulin resistance

INSULIN RESISTANCE RISK FACTOR

Risk factors for insulin resistance include age (nearly 40% of patients with insulin resistance are over 60), obesity, history of diabetes, additional diseases, and being either Asian or Hispanic. Patients with diabetes often do not realize they are suffering from insulin resistance and often administer too much insulin in the developing stages of insulin resistance.

INSULIN RESISTANCE SIDE EFFECTS

Insulin resistance can lead to serious health complications such as stroke, heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and premature death. Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance should be treated with the respect given to these possible complications.

INSULIN RESISTANCE DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosing insulin resistance begins with a physical examination. Patients with a high waist circumference (above 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men), high blood pressure, a high fasting blood sugar, high levels of triglycerides, and a low HDL (women below 40 mg/dL, men below 50 mg/dL) can be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome with insulin resistance. This may or may not mean that there are accompanying metabolic syndromes as well.

INSULIN RESISTANCE TREATMENT

The first line of defense against insulin resistance is usually lifestyle changes. Some lifestyle habits contribute greatly to metabolic syndromes and insulin resistance that making changes to the daily lifestyle may reduce or eliminate the need for medication. Patients should be encouraged to quit smoking, lose weight, and exercise daily. Often these three changes in daily lifestyle are enough to correct metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. While these may not be easy changes to make, the difference between living with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance and living without these health hazards is well worth the difficulty in changing these lifestyle habits.


The overseeing physician should continually monitor the patient’s weight and blood pressure along with triglyceride levels, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels. If lifestyle changes do not make significant health improvements, or only make health improvements to two or three health risks, the prescribing physician may prescribe medications to work with the remaining health risks such as blood pressure medications, cholesterol lowering medications, or even prescribe counseling with a nutritionist to assist with further weight loss.

Fiber can also help to lower the level of insulin in the body. Fiber is also a good food to eat for weight loss. Adding fiber to the patient’s diet can facilitate a lot of the changes necessary for a healthier lifestyle. Avoiding tobacco and exercising daily is usually enough to alter the course of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.
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