Insulin is a hormone which is produced in the pancreas. It enables our bodies to use glucose (sugar) from the carbs we eat to give us energy or store the glucose for later use.
Insulin resistance is what occurs when the cells in our bodies resist or ignore the signals sent out by insulin, allowing sugars to remain in our bloodstream, causing high blood sugar levels. As insulin resistance develops, so the pancreas produces more insulin to try and counteract the problem. Put simply, the pancreas is put under ever increasing pressure to keep up the supply of insulin and this is when serious medical problems begin.
Figure from the U.S state that 1 in 3 people suffer from insulin resistance and, for people over the age of 60, this figure increases to 1 in 2. As insulin resistance shows no symptoms in the early stages, it often goes undiagnosed until we feel unwell.
Insulin resistance is liked to many diseases including:-
Type 2 diabetes
Cancer of the pancreas, bladder, breast, cervix, colon, prostate and uterus
Decline of memory function, increasing the possibility of Alzheimer’s
Overweight or obese
High calorie, high sugar/diet
Little or no exercise
Long time usage of high dosage steroids
Prolonged exposure to chronic stress
Polycystic ovary disease.
Ways to improve insulin sensitivity
If you are overweight or obese, your first step is to lose weight. Do this by eating a balanced low calorie/low carb diet. Going plant-based can reverse this health problem.