Diabetes Mellitus: What is Insulin Resistance?
Diabetes mellitus means a change in diet, taking regular insulin injections and exercising regularly, as these preventive measures can help fight diabetes. In spite of making these changes, some diabetics can experience insulin resistance. Dr. B.M. Makkar, Director at Diabetes & Obesity Centre and Honorary Treasurer of RSSDI-2013, explains what insulin resistance is, its causes, symptoms and how to prevent insulin resistance.
Understanding this problem can help prevent it. He elaborates, “Insulin resistance is defined as an inadequate response or suboptimal response of various body tissues to insulin. In other words, insulin is not able to be fully utilised in the body, and therefore there is an increase in glucose levels above normal values in the blood.”
The doctor adds, “Insulin resistance is also associated with other metabolic abnormalities like abnormal lipid levels, increase in blood pressure, and development of atherosclerosis (term for cholesterol deposition in blood vessels).”
Causes of insulin resistance:
Dr. B.M. Makkar informs us that insulin resistance is based on heredity, “Part of it is genetically determined. Other important factors which contribute to the development of insulin resistance are physical inactivity and being overweight or obesity.”
Symptoms of insulin resistance:
“There are no specific symptoms of insulin resistance,” says the doctor. But there are some skin ailments that are synonymous with insulin resistance. Dr. B.M. Makkar explains it, “We may find some surrogate markers of insulin resistance on clinical examination like an increase in pigmentation and skin thickening on skin folds, a hump on the nape of the neck and the presence of high blood pressure.”
Prevention of insulin resistance:
“Prevention involves maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes good physical activity and maintaining a body weight as close to normal as possible.” Weight management seems to help prevent insulin resistance.
Diet for insulin resistance:
Foods high in fibre, a colourful diet, vegetables, antioxidant foods, beans, nuts, olive oil and soy based products are essential for fighting insulin resistance.
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