Insulin Resistance – the root cause of diabetes

December 10th, 2021

Modern lifestyle puts us at risk of developing a condition called Insulin Resistance – considered as one of the root causes of lifestyle conditions like Type 2 Diabetes.

Insulin Resistance (IR) is the root cause of lifestyle conditions like diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, etc. So how does IR set in? What are unseen changes in the body that gets affected due to IR? A major part of our food comprises carbs, proteins, and fats. When food travels down to the stomach, the digestive enzymes act by breaking them down to glucose. Our cells use glucose to generate energy, but for that to happen, first, the circulating glucose must enter the cells through a locked door. The pancreas, as a response, releases’ insulin’, a master hormone, that acts as a key to unlock the door and help glucose enter and produce energy and thus maintaining normal blood sugar levels in the body.

 

Our modern diet includes bread, buns, pizzas, pasta, wheat products, rice, and rice products, and processed foods, and is rich in carbohydrates. Unchecked consumption of these foods, which are high in carbs produces a considerable amount of glucose generated during digestion. The pancreas, as a result, produces more insulin to be able to push the excess glucose into the cells effectively.

 

Repeated overexposure to insulin, the cells become resistant to insulin’s call to accommodate more glucose. As a result, insulin efficiency reduces, and as compensation, the pancreas continues to release more and more insulin. This vicious cycle results in high levels of insulin, high levels of blood glucose, and ultimately worn-out pancreas, a condition known as ‘Insulin Resistance’.

 

A combination of factors, along with an unhealthy diet, contributes to Insulin Resistance. Obesity, aging, genetics, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, the burden of everyday stress, and even missing out on sleep are a few to mention. Insulin Resistance cannot happen overnight. It takes a while and even a couple of decades to show its impacts.

 

However, there is hope! Be cognizant of your actions and make the right choice to improve and maintain your health. With the right lifestyle interventions like a diet balanced in macro and micronutrients, improved physical activity, sleep management, and circadian rhythm alignment, it is never too late to reverse health conditions caused by Insulin Resistance.

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