FAQs about prediabetes?FAQs About Insulin Resistance and Pre-Diabetes: What is insulin resistance?

About Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a metabolic condition that increases the chances of developing pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, and is often associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

The term insulin resistance is used when a person makes insulin but resists the effects of insulin. That is, the normal action of insulin (carbohydrate metabolism) in the body is impaired.

Fact: People with Insulin Resistance Usually Overproduce Insulin

When a person is insulin resistant, their cells do not respond to a normal secretion of insulin from the pancreas. The pancreas has to work harder and make more insulin than normal than normal to move blood glucose (sugar) out of the blood stream and into cells and tissues.

Fact: People with Insulin Resistance May Have Normal or Abnormal Blood Sugar Levels

A person that is insulin resistant often has elevated fasting blood glucose (blood sugar) levels, but some patients with insulin resistance may have normal blood glucose (fasting and after meals), and might even “pass” an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).  But in order to maintain normal glucose levels, a person that is insulin resistant will over produce insulin. When insulin levels are elevated it is called hyperinsulinemia.

Excess (over produced) insulin is not excreted – it is stored as fat in the body. This is one reason why people with insulin resistance gain weight more easily than those who are not insulin resistant.

Fact: Insulin Resistance is a Risk Factor for Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia are indicators of the risk of developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, or may indicate the presence of some other medical disorder like Addison’s disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Cushing’s Syndrome, or thyroid problems like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Many people with insulin resistance have high blood glucose (hyperglycemia), carry excess weight around the waist, have high LDL (bad) blood cholesterol levels, low HDL (good) cholesterol levels, high levels of triglycerides (a form fat in the blood), and/or high blood pressure; These are all conditions that increase the risk of developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes and put the heart at risk.

A combination of three of more problems associated with insulin resistance is called insulin resistance syndrome (formerly called Metabolic Syndrome, or Syndrome X)

A sedentary lifestyle and eating the wrong foods can lead to insulin resistance and prediabetes.

A sedentary lifestyle, eating the wrong foods, and certain diseases can lead to insulin resistance and pre-diabetes.

Each Time You Eat Your Body Makes More Insulin – One of the Body’s Fat Storing Hormones

The body needs insulin to move blood glucose (sugar) out of the blood stream and into cells and tissues.

Every time you eat the body produces insulin to process (metabolize) the food into energy. Food is converted to blood sugar that is transported into the blood stream.

Insulin is needed to move the energy from the blood stream into the body’s cells and tissues.

If your body cannot respond properly to insulin your blood sugars will be too high (hyperglycemia), or your body may need to overproduce insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Mildly elevated blood sugars are a sign of pre-diabetes and insulin resistance often either comes before pre-diabetes or hand-in-hand.

Pre-diabetes is diagnosed when blood glucose levels are slightly elevated and not based on insulin levels.