What is Insulin Resistance?

What is Insulin Resistance?

30 October 2023

Sadly, many South African’s are completely unaware that they have insulin resistance until it develops into type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes has become as South African as rugby or sunshine. In fact, take a look at the person to your left and then to your right on your next zoom call; one of the three of you have prediabetes. Over 3 million people in South Africa suffer from diabetes and according to Stats SA this is the second most common cause of death in our country. In addition to this, 5 million people are estimated to have prediabetes.

Invisible changes in the body begin long before a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. One of the most important unseen changes? Insulin resistance.

Insulin is a vital hormone you can’t survive without. It regulates blood sugar in the body through a complicated process so it can be used for energy. But when this finely tuned system gets out of whack, a lot of blood sugar enters the bloodstream. The pancreas pumps out more insulin to get blood sugar into the cells. For a while this will work and your blood sugar levels will stay normal. Over time, though, your pancreas won’t be able to keep up. And if you don’t make changes, your blood sugar levels will rise and the stage is set for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

It isn’t clear exactly what causes insulin resistance, but a family history of type 2 diabetes, being overweight (especially around the waist), and being inactive can raise the risk. However, you do not have to be overweight to have insulin resistance. In fact, you can’t tell if someone has insulin resistance by looking at them.

The symptoms? The scary thing is the fact that insulin resistance typically does not trigger any noticeable symptoms. You could actually be insulin resistant for years without knowing it, so it’s important to have your blood glucose levels checked regularly by a healthcare professional.

The good news is that you can take steps to prevent and reverse insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Lose weight if you need to.

Fat build up around the abdomen raises the risk of insulin resistance.

Change your diet.

Eating the right kind of food – and the right amount – can have a huge impact on your blood sugar levels. Eat more low fat, high fibre foods such as nuts, avocado, whole wheat bread, eggs and beans. Cut out sugary foods, junk food and refined carbs.

Stop Smoking

People who smoke have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Drink more water.

Avoid sugary drinks and juices. Water assists in controlling blood sugar levels.

Maximize Vitamin D intake to improve insulin Response.

Eat more tuna, cheese, eggs, cod liver oil, etc.

Move your body every day.

Even a 30 minute walk around the block can make a huge difference.

Reduce Stress.

The hormones cortisol and adrenaline circulate during times of stress and can impact your blood sugar.

Insulin resistance increases your risk of developing diabetes.

November 14 marks World Diabetes Day to raise awareness and to educate people about the devastating complications caused by this disease.

Don’t become another statistic. Make a healthy change in your life today.

Source: meritushealth.com, news24.com, sweetlife.org.za, friendsdiaper.in, lukecountinho.com, sybridmd.com, blog.myfitnesspal.com, blog.healthians.com, blogschihealth.com, noviquehealth.com, live.fundza.mobi, healthline.com, cdc.gov, webmd.com, everydayhealth.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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