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What is insulin resistance?

In order to understand what the insulin resistance is, it isnecessary to know that insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the cells in pancreasand that is important for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Besidesthese functions, insulin performs several others that are also important, andone of them is related to the growth of the body cells. So, if a person is diagnosed with insulin resistance, it meansthat the cells of the body have become resistant to the insulin and its effect,and they do not respond as they should. This means that, in order to perform allthe important functions that are related to insulin, our body needs increasedlevels of this hormone.

Insulin resistance may refer to the insulin that ourbody produces, but it may also refer to the injected form of insulin. As forthe causes of this condition, so far several have been identified and among themost frequent are certain medications, obesity, pregnancy, some severeinfections and illnesses, the use of steroids, and even stress.

What are the main symptoms of insulin resistance?

Many symptoms may indicate insulin resistance, but in orderto diagnose it, it is necessary to go through physical examination and severallaboratory tests. Also, besides checking the patient’s medical history, thedoctor will ask about the symptoms, since their presence will help in settingthe diagnosis. So, if a person complains about feeling tired, fatigued, or wornout, either in the morning, or throughout all the day, it may be the firstsign.

Problems with memory and concentration may also indicate insulinresistance, as well as low blood sugar levels that are not only typical duringthe day but are present for a longer period of time, increased weight, bloodpressure and levels of triglycerides, sleepiness and even depression and moodchanges.

People who are a bit more at risk of developing insulin resistance arethose who are overweight and have BMI over 25, those who are over 40 years old,those who suffer from high blood pressure, high level of triglycerides and lowlever of HDL cholesterol or arteriosclerosis. Still, if a person hasgestational diabetes, polycystic ovarian disease, or if type 2 diabetes runs inthe family, he or she is also much more likely to develop this condition, whichis why it is necessary to be even more attentive about the symptoms.

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