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What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance, also known as impaired insulin sensitivity, happens when cells in your muscles, fat and liver don’t respond as they should to insulin, a hormone your pancreas makes that’s essential for life and regulating blood glucose (sugar) levels. Insulin resistance can be temporary or chronic and is treatable in some cases.

Under normal circumstances, insulin functions in the following steps:

The food we eat is mostly gets converted into Proteins, carbohydrates , fats …
Mainly is gets converted into sugar. Glucose enters your bloodstream, which signals your pancreas to release insulin.
Insulin helps glucose in your blood enter your muscle, fat and liver cells so they can use it for energy or store it for later use.
When glucose enters your cells and the levels in your bloodstream decrease, it signals your pancreas to stop producing insulin.
For several reasons, your muscle, fat and liver cells can respond inappropriately to insulin, which means they can’t efficiently take up glucose from your blood or store it. This is insulin resistance. As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin to try to overcome your increasing blood glucose levels. This is called hyperinsulinemia.

As long as your pancreas can make enough insulin to overcome your cells’ weak response to insulin, your blood sugar levels will stay in a healthy range. If your cells become too resistant to insulin, it leads to elevated blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia), which, over time, leads to prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

In addition to Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance is associated with several other conditions, including:

  • Obesity.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

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