Insulin Resistance: The Root Cause of Lifestyle
Or 5 Essential Things You Need To Know About
When you think about the deadliest diseases in
the world, you tend to think about the
fast-acting, lethal pandemics that hit the
headlines. But you may be surprised to know that
74% of deaths worldwide are caused due to
long-lasting chronic medical conditions. Many of
these conditions can be prevented with healthy
lifestyles. The root cause of lifestyle
is insulin resistance.
What’s a migraine?
Insulin is a chemical or hormone produced and
released from the pancreas, an organ in our
abdomen. The food we eat is broken down and
digested in our stomach, and the sugar from the
food is absorbed into our blood, increasing
With this rise in blood sugar, the pancreas
releases insulin, which works like a key opening
a door. Insulin helps each cell of the body to
absorb sugar from the blood. That way, the cells
take in glucose for energy, and the blood sugar
levels start to decrease.
How Does Insulin Resistance Develop?
When the cells in your body do not respond well
to the insulin hormone, then glucose cannot
enter your cells easily. As a result, they
cannot use glucose for energy, so you tend to
feel tired and hungry and eat more. To make up
for it, your pancreas makes more insulin, but
the cells are still resistant, causing your
blood sugar to stay elevated.
Factors that may increase your risk of
insulin resistance include:
● Central obesity with
an increase in belly fat
● Inactive or sedentary lifestyle
● Diet high in carbohydrates and unhealthy fats
● Gestational diabetes, or increased blood sugar
levels during pregnancy
● A family history of diabetes
● Age more than 45 years
● Hormonal disorders
● Medications like steroids or antipsychotics
● Sleep problems like sleep apnea
What Are The Other Health Conditions Related To
This resistance to insulin hormone causes your
blood sugar levels to increase over time,
leading to prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes occurs when glucose in the
bloodstream is high but not yet high enough to
be classified as diabetes. The extra sugar in
your blood gets stored as fat, which causes
weight gain, obesity, and an increase in
Insulin resistance is also related to several
other health conditions, including:
● Cardiovascular disease, with heart attacks and
● Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
● Metabolic syndrome.
● Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Insulin
The signs and symptoms of insulin resistance may
not be very obvious initially. However, it could
start with a feeling of tiredness and lethargy.
You may also notice some weight gain. A
waistline over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in
women may cause concern.
Some people also notice skin tags around their
face, neck, or upper body. Others notice patches
of dark, velvety skin called acanthosis
nigricans. They are found on the back of your
neck, elbows, knees, knuckles, or armpits.
Your doctor may ask you to do specific blood
tests for insulin resistance with these
symptoms. In addition, you may be diagnosed with
insulin resistance if you have:
6. What is an aura?
● Blood pressure 130/80 or higher
● A fasting glucose level over 100 mg/dL. This
test measures your blood sugar after you haven’t
eaten for at least 8 hours.
● High fasting insulin levels
● Elevated Hemoglobin A1c levels. This blood
test shows your average blood sugar level for
the past 2 to 3 months. Levels between 5.7 and
6.4 percent indicate insulin resistance, which
may progress to prediabetes.
● A fasting triglyceride level over 150 mg/dL
● A HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) level
lower than 40 mg/dL in men and 50 mg/dL in women
● Oral glucose tolerance test: First, you'll
take the fasting glucose test. Then you'll drink
a sugary solution. After that, you'll take
another blood test. The values are compared to
see how well your body responds to the glucose.
There are other parameters that are calculated
using your fasting glucose and fasting insulin
1. HOMA-IR (Homeostatic Model Assessment for
According to studies, a HOMA-
IR value less than 1.0 means you are
insulin-sensitive, which is normal. Above 1.9
indicates early insulin resistance, while above
2.9 indicates significant insulin resistance.
2. QUICKI (Quantitative Insulin sensitivity
According to calculations, the QUICKI score can
be interpreted as follows:
● QUICKI index =0.45 - you are probably healthy;
● QUICKI index between 0.30 - 0.45 - you might
be insulin resistant;
● QUICKI index =0.30 - you might have diabetes.
How Can Insulin Resistance Be Treated And
Scientific studies have shown that insulin
resistance, prediabetes, and Type 2 diabetes can
be managed by the right lifestyle changes and,
in many cases, reversed. So, how can you reverse
● Moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes,
like brisk walking, swimming, and jogging, five
or more days a week, reduces insulin resistance.
An excellent way to stay consistent with your
exercise program is to choose a physical
activity you enjoy doing. Try working out with a
group class or an exercise partner to make your
sessions fun. Combine cardio exercise with
strength training or weight-bearing exercises to
burn calories and build muscle strength.
Try and improve your activity levels during your
day as well. Simple steps like taking the
stairs, walking for errands, or taking walking
and stretching breaks when working can help burn
● Eat a healthy diet with wholesome foods and regular meal times for the best results.
Vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are great for reversing insulin resistance. Complex carbohydrates have enough sugar for your body to build energy levels. As a result, their sugar absorption slows, keeping you fuller for longer periods of time and controlling your blood sugar levels.
Avoid simple sugars like high fructose corn syrup, which are present in candies, cakes, and soft drinks. Increase your fiber Intake. Research shows that eating insoluble fiber with each meal reduces the risk of prediabetes and diabetes. Fresh fruits like pears, apples, prunes, dried figs, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes are rich in fiber.
● Keep your sleep cycles regular.
Studies reveal that 62% of people with glucose levels in the pre-diabetes range are likely to have poor sleep. This shows that sleep is as essential to your health as a healthy diet and exercise in reversing insulin resistance.
● Keep your stress levels under control.
When you feel stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, making it harder for insulin to work properly. So keeping your stress levels under control with yoga, meditation, counseling, or breathing exercises can help reverse insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance can lead to many severe health conditions if you don’t manage its symptoms on time because it is the root cause of lifestyle diseases. The good news is that changing your eating and sleeping habits and boosting your activity levels can help reverse insulin resistance to live your best life!