Insulin resistance Syndrome is a pathological condition in which the natural hormone “insulin” becomes less effective at lowering blood glucose levels. The resulting increase in blood glucose may raise levels outside the normal range and cause adverse health effects. Insulin is used by the human body as a ligand (key) that allows the body to unlock the door for glucose to enter specific cells, such as muscles in order to produce energy. Without insulin, certain cells will not allow glucose to enter.
Certain cell types such as fat and muscle cells require insulin to absorb glucose. When these cells fail to respond adequately to circulating insulin, blood glucose levels rise. The liver helps regulate glucose levels by reducing its secretion of glucose in the presence of insulin. This normal reduction in the liver’s glucose production may not occur in people with insulin resistance
Insulin Resistance Syndrome
Insulin resistance in muscle and fat cells reduces glucose uptake (and so local storage of glucose as glycogen and triglycerides, respectively), whereas insulin resistance in liver cells results in reduced glycogen synthesis and storage and a failure to suppress glucose production and release into the blood.
Insulin resistance normally refers to reduced glucose-lowering effects of insulin. However, other functions of insulin can also be affected. For example, insulin resistance in fat cells reduces the normal effects of insulin on lipids and results in reduced uptake of circulating lipids and increased hydrolysis of stored triglycerides. Increased mobilization of stored lipids in these cells elevates free fatty acids in the blood plasma. Elevated blood fatty-acid concentrations (associated with insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus Type 2), reduced muscle glucose uptake, and increased liver glucose production all contribute to elevated blood glucose levels. High plasma levels of insulin and glucose due to insulin resistance are a major component of the metabolic syndrome. If insulin resistance exists, more insulin needs to be secreted by the pancreas. If this compensatory increase does not occur, blood glucose concentrations increase and type 2 diabetes occurs.
Causes of Insulin Resistance Syndrome
Although the likelihood that you will develop insulin resistance syndrome is most commonly related to your genetic and family history, the following are considered risk factors that tend to increase your risk of developing the medical condition:
– Being physically inactive
– Having a close relative who has diabetes
– Have an indigenous background, due to the fact that your family history has not had thousands of years to grow accustomed to European food and the excessive intake of suggars.
– Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds or being diagnosed with gestational diabetes-diabetes first found during pregnancy
– Co-existing medical conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, polycystic overies, or unusually low High Density Lipid counts in your blood all have been associated with contributing to diabetes and insulin resistance syndrome.
– Having other conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as severe obesity or acanthosis nigricans.
Sources: National Diabetes Diabetes Clearinghouse (2011): Insulin Resistance and Pre-diabetes. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/insulinresistance/