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Overweight Black woman wearing a glucose sensor on her upper arm.

Insulin Resistance: The Hidden Culprit Behind Diabetes

Insulin resistance is a pivotal factor in the development and management of Type 2 diabetes. It directly impacts blood sugar regulation and is closely linked to various health complications associated with diabetes.

Overweight Black woman wearing a glucose sensor on her upper arm.Insulin resistance is a condition in which cells in the muscles, liver, and fat do not respond properly to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. This can lead to high blood sugar levels and eventually type 2 diabetes if left untreated. Insulin resistance can be caused by several factors, including genetics, obesity, physical inactivity, and aging.

When insulin resistance occurs, the pancreas produces more insulin to compensate for the body’s inability to use it effectively. Over time, the pancreas may not be able to keep up with the increased demand for insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels and eventually type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of insulin resistance may include fatigue, hunger, and difficulty losing weight.

Treatment for insulin resistance typically involves lifestyle changes such as weight loss, exercise, and a healthy diet. In some cases, medication may also be prescribed. If insulin resistance has already led to complications, such as cardiovascular issues or lipid abnormalities, endocrinologists can address these problems and provide appropriate management strategies.

Endocrinologists are skilled in diagnosing insulin resistance. They use various tests, including fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, and oral glucose tolerance tests, to evaluate the extent of insulin resistance and determine whether a patient has prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Endocrinologists provide guidance on lifestyle modifications, which are often a cornerstone of managing insulin resistance. They can offer advice on dietary changes, exercise routines, and weight management to help improve insulin sensitivity. If necessary, they can prescribe and manage medications to help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.

Endocrinologists create personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s specific needs and circumstances. They consider factors like age, overall health, and the severity of insulin resistance.

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