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Signs of Insulin Resistance Syndrome

Insulin is a highly important hormone in our bodies that is responsible for allowing us to remove glucose from the blood stream and thereby use it for energy. In insulin resistance syndrome, the body produces insulin in normal and healthy amounts, but is unfortunately unable to use that insulin normally thus resulting in elevated insulin levels and various symptoms associated with low energy and high blood sugar.

If this condition sounds familiar, then that’s because of the obvious parallels between insulin resistance syndrome and diabetes. In diabetes blood sugar is also high and this is similarly due to either a lack of insulin, an insulin resistance, or a combination of the two factors. While insulin resistance is one factor in Type 2 diabetes, there must also be low levels of insulin secretion for the condition to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of insulin resistance syndrome are highly similar to those associated with diabetes. These include:

Low Energy

As the body is unable to utilize the glucose in the blood stream, the patient will likely feel lethargic, slow and generally tired. This might also cause low mood and shakiness.

Kidney Damage

Kidney damage occurs as the kidneys work over time in removing the sugar from the blood.

Cholesterol, Heart Rate and Heart Disease

Not all of the mechanisms are fully understood, but largely insulin resistance syndrome is associated abnormal cholesterol levels – to the degree that higher blood pressure can indicate worse cases of insulin resistance. One way that insulin resistance affects the circulatory system is by causing the hardening of the arteries.

High Blood Glucose

If you notice the signs and symptoms of insulin resistance syndrome, then you might wish for a doctor to diagnose the condition. Here they will test your blood glucose levels, particularly your ‘fasting levels’ – here, if your blood glucose is still high after a period of fasting, this suggests that you aren’t adequately removing the sugar from your blood.

Obesity

Obesity is not a symptom of insulin resistance, but rather a common cause. Thus it will be an informative factor when diagnosing the condition.





Theodoros Manfredi

Article reviewed by Theodoros Manfredi, PhD. A licensed physician who has worked with children and families for over seven years.


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  • Comment #1 (Posted by Marg)
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    I agree with the whole article except the last paragraph. My endocrinologist explained to me that often, obesity is caused by insulin resistance. Here's how he explained it. If we are stressed out we tend to eat 'comfort food', like sweets, potatoes, and breads. This starts a process of our bodies producing too much insulin to try to take care of the excess carbs.

    The excess insulin is not secreted by our body and is, instead stored as fat in our bodies. This excess fat then caused our pancreas to produce even more insulin, which is again stored as fat. This cycle continues to repeat itself. Then we also begin to crave carbs because we are not getting enough glucose into our cells to produce the energy our body needs to survive. That adds to the vicious cycle and it continues to escalate.

    So to say that obesity is the cause of insulin resistance is, in my opinion, a very narrow view of the situation. Additionally, scientists have shown that there are gene defects that contribute to insulin resistance as well. Something to think about.
     


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