Insulin Resistance

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Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a condition where the body produces insulin but cannot effectively utilize it. When an individual has glucose resistance, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed in the cells leading to pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes because the beta cells fail to keep up with the increased need of insulin in the body. The major causes of insulin resistance are excess weight and physical inactivity (Rickman, 2015). Pre-diabetes occurs in individuals who are already insulin resistant. In type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance is not the only cause but it sets the disease stage by placing high insulin demand on beta cells.

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of cardiometabolism risk factors that include hypertension, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and obesity. Insulin resistance leads to a range of serious disorders in the metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance syndrome or metabolic syndrome are medical conditions and a group of traits which are linked to obesity and overweight that put people at risk of type 2 diabetes and CVD (Byrne & Wild, 2011). Obesity predominantly abdominal obesity is associated with insulin resistance effects on fatty acid and peripheral glucose utilization leading to diabetes mellitus. Insulin resistance plays a major role in metabolic syndrome pathophysiology, insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by beta cells. Insulin plays an important role during fats and carbohydrates metabolism (Hansen & Shafrir, 2002).

According to Hansen and Shafrir (2002), when carbohydrates and sugars are ingested, insulin promotes glucose uptake from the blood to the skeletal muscle cells and fat tissue thereby unlocking the cells to allow glucose to be used as energy. Insulin resistance leads to diminished response to a given insulin concentration where at the initial stage the pancreas produces more insulin. Individuals with this condition have high insulin levels in their blood as diabetes progresses, pancreas beta cells stop to generate more insulin making the level in the blood to drop. The individuals with insulin resistance are at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and certain forms of cancer. 


Byrne, C. & Wild, S. (2011). The metabolic syndrome. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Hansen, B. & Shafrir, E. (2002). Insulin resistance and insulin resistance syndrome. London: Taylor and Francis.

Rickman, C. (2015). Insulin resistance. [Place of publication not identified]: Foster Academics.

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