When reading about obesity, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, prediabetes and Type
2 diabetes, you may find these conditions are linked to insulin resistance.
What exactly is insulin resistance??
Normally, the beta cells of the pancreas produce insulin in response to a rise in blood glucose (sugar) levels. The insulin acts as a key to help glucose go from the blood into cells. If cells do not allow enough glucose to enter, insulin and glucose levels in the bloodstream go higher than normal. This lack of response by the cells to insulin is called insulin resistance. The pancreas responds by making more insulin, so it can take the extra glucose to the liver and muscle cells. In addition, the extra glucose is stored in fat cells (as fat, often around the abdominal area), and may contribute to higher than normal fat levels in the blood.
If we were to check insulin and glucose levels, we might see a normal glucose and higher than normal insulin level. This is insulin resistance. Over time, we may find higher than normal glucose levels in addition to higher than normal insulin levels. If fasting glucose is between 100-125 mg/dL, prediabetes exists. If untreated, eventually glucose may rise to greater than 126mg/dL, and the diagnosis is diabetes. Insulin resistance and lack of sensitivity to insulin occurs in all three of the above scenarios.
What are the symptoms? What causes insulin resistance? What are some good prevention & treatments?
Download our Insulin Resistance PDF to learn more
The DaVita Corporation
Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 years of experience working with people with diabetes and kidney
disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook “Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis
Cookbook”. Sara is currently the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and
creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time
with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen
Head RDN for Balanced HabitsTM