People having diabetes should know what ‘Insulin Resistance and Sensitivity means?-by Harold Gunatillake

Harold Gunatillake

Transcript: It is important for people having diabetes and those with a family history of diabetes, to understand what Insulin resistance and sensitivity mean, for better management and control of the disease.

The carbs you eat are digested in your gut and absorbed as glucose. Glucose enters the blood stream, through the portal system which is a thick vein that carries nutrients in the blood primarily to the liver to provide energy and for further metabolic processes and distribution. Excess carbs you eat are stored in fat cells as triglycerides.

Insulin secreted by the islet cells referred to as Islets of Langerhans, also called beta cells in the pancreas takes the leading role to help to move blood glucose from the dietary carbs you have eaten, to be used as energy and for storage..

It also helps to courier sugar to your body store in your muscles, fat cells in addition to the liver to use when required.

Insulin is like a key that opens every cell in your body, cells in the muscles, fat, and liver for glucose to get in. The glucose serves as energy to these cells, or it can be converted into fat when needed.

Insulin also affects the breakdown of fat or protein.

If the blood has low glucose levels, say due to starvation when lost in the jungle, insulin signals the liver to release glucose into the body through breakdown of stored sugar in the liver as glycogen.

So, you will realize that insulin is a hormone which plays a key role in the regulation of blood glucose levels. A lack of insulin or when insulin becomes more resistant, can lead to the development of the symptoms of diabetes.

After you eat within about one hour your blood sugar level rise, and when it reaches a summit up to 140mm/ml. in 2 hours, the level gradually declines due to the action of insulin. This is what takes place in a non-diabetic situation.

In diabetic situation at the end of two hours the glucose seems to rise and not decline. This is well shown in the glucose tolerance test done to diagnose diabetes.

How diabetes is acquired

If you eat excessive amounts of food containing carbohydrates with high sugar content, meaning high glycemic index, they are digested and absorbed into the blood stream.

Excess sugar in your blood is stored in fat cells as triglycerides and insulin plays a big role in this storage.,

The pancreas needs to produce more and more insulin in proportion to the high sugar carbs intake.

This increase production of insulin helps to store more and more sugar as fat in the fat cells.

Fat cells seems to grow bigger and bigger.

There is a limit to getting bigger and at that saturation point the fat cells are in trouble. They are almost about to burst.

This creates a process of insulin resistance, because the pancreas keeps on producing larger amounts of insulin to handle the situation.

In other words, insulin resistance is the name given to when cells of the body do not respond properly to the hormone insulin.

There comes a situation where the pancreas cannot produce any more insulin needed to store the sugar in the fat cells. Pancreas starts to fail, meaning the insulin production fails.

In this situation the insulin becomes resistant and cannot do its job of controlling the glucose level in your blood.

Insulin resistance is the driving factor that leads to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

It is strongly associated with obesity, but you could have insulin resistance without being overweight or obese.

Can we reverse this process, the answer is ‘Yes’, if you lose weight by cutting down on your carbs, and shrinking the fat cells?

Then the resistant insulin reverses into a sensitive form that can handle the carb intake.

Effective methods include: Low carb and ketogenic diets, Very low-calorie diets, Lot of exercise

Insulin resistance may be genetic. In some people there are genes to cause this.

Insulin resistance precedes the development of type 2 diabetes. The causes include both genetic inheritance and lifestyle factors.

In other words, insulin resistance is a condition linked to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

There are no early signs or symptoms in insulin resistance, until a blood test shows increased levels of blood glucose. When the sugar level is high you may notice you are thirstier, urinate more, more tired, and have blurry vision, and tingling on the bottom of your feet.

Other signs that often appear in people with insulin resistance include:

Weight gain around the middle referred to as belly fat.

High blood pressure

High cholesterol levels.

This is the prediabetic phase.

There is a syndrome called type A insulin resistance syndrome. This results from a mutation in the INSR gene. The gene provides instructions for making a protein called an insulin receptor, found in many types of cells in your body.

These receptors are embedded in the outer membrane surrounding the cell, where they attach or bind to the hormone insulin circulating in the bloodstream.

What is the main cause of insulin resistance?

Obesity and inactive lifestyle, and a diet in high carbohydrates are the main causes of insulin resistance.

Certain diseases like heart disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and polycystic ovary syndrome are associated with insulin resistance.

Reversing diabetes is really is long term improvement in insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.

Giving more and more insulin or similar drugs is not the answer to reverse diabetes.

Most people are complacent just going to the doctor and getting their medication adjusted to control blood sugar levels.

This may control the blood sugar levels but you still could get complications such as chronic kidney disease and others.

The intelligent treatment of diabetes is trying to reduce the insulin resistance which caused the disease in the first place.

If you got this message from me and is convinced that is the way to go, I have achieved my mission.

I have already mentioned the ways you could make insulin more sensitive in your body.

Hope this video talk was useful.

Goodbye for now.

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