What is insulin resistance ?


Insulin is a hormone produced by an internal organ called pancreas in our body. It lowers blood sugar by facilitating the entry of blood sugar (glucose) into body tissues. If your insulin production is below normal, you will be diabetic. In a normal healthy individual, the production of insulin is sufficient to keep blood sugar in the normal range.

Insulin resistance is a metabolic disorder in which there is a lower than normal insulin effectiveness. This means the response of body tissues to the action of insulin is less than normal. Insulin resistance is state, which left untreated, can precipitate into glucose intolerance and then into diabetes. (Visit the Diabetes page)

Actually insulin resistance is a part of a group of disorders called the “Metabolic Syndrome” OR “Syndrome X”. In this group there are several disorders listed below:


[Go to Obesity]

Glucose intolerance

[Go to Diabetes]


[Go to Diabetes]

Syndrome X

[Go to Syndrome X]

Insulin resistance

[This page]

High cholesterol 

[Go to Cholesterol]


[Go to Hypertension]

Insulin resistance occurs when the normal amount of insulin secreted by pancreas is not able to facilitate blood glucose into body cells. This raises level of glucose in the blood. The rise in blood glucose signals the pancreas to secrete even more insulin. This means that in a person with insulin resistance, the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas is more than that in a healthy person.

What are the symptoms of insulin resistance?

There are no explicit physical symptoms of insulin resistance. Measurement of C-peptide combined with oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) can reveal insulin resistance. Because there are no outward symptoms of insulin resistance, many people who have it are not simply aware of it. Many people are unaware of having even diabetes let alone insulin resistance.

Who are at risk for insulin resistance?

Checking for C-peptide and OGTT may be far off things for most people. But you may very well undergo these tests if you meet any of the following conditions:

You are obese (BMI >25) [What is BMI?]

Any close relative had diabetes or heart disease

You have hypertension

Your lifestyle is sedentary

What will happen if insulin Resistance is untreated?

If you are genetically predisposed to developing type-2 diabetes, and this state of insulin resistance continues for some time (several years), the beta cells in pancreas  which produce insulin will be doing overwork and eventually burnout. The result is lower number of beta cells in pancreas Þ lower production of insulinÞ higherlevels of glucose in the bloodÞ Glucose intoleranceÞ Diabetes!

So it is clear from the above discussion that the end result of insulin resistance is diabetes for some people. Diabetes in itself is not an end in itself! If diabetes remains untreated there will be complications of diabetes some of which are life-threatening.

How is insulin resistance treated?

Lifestyle modification is the best treatment for insulin resistance. Low calorie nutritous balanced diet (visit the page Nutrition) combined with physical activity/exercise is the best option to prevent/delay the onset of type-2 diabetes.

For more information: go here:(external links)