Insulin resistance is the primary mechanism leading to overweight, obesity, pre-diabetes, or type 2 diabetes, obesity, overweight. More and more people, especially young people, are receiving a diagnosis of insulin resistance. It is very important to treat this metabolic disorder, as untreated insulin resistance can lead to serious health consequences.

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance refers to a decrease in tissue sensitivity to insulin. It is a disorder that, if not treated properly or not treated at all, leads to the development of many diseases. Insulin resistance through the development of visceral fat can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and hypertension, and leads to obesity and type 2 diabetes. It also increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

How does insulin resistance develop?

Eating too much food causes much higher blood glucose concentrations and reduces the sensitivity of cells to insulin. Reduced sensitivity causes our body to start producing too much insulin. In response to the amounts of insulin, our tissues “close” the door to insulin, that is, they become resistant to its effects. Because of this, insulin begins to be produced in too high concentrations in order to break the resistance of the tissues.

After a few to several years, too high a level of insulin being produced means that the pancreas may begin to fail and no longer maintains such high insulin production, causing insulin levels to drop. The declining secretion (of insulin) is unable to maintain normal glucose levels – which in subsequent years leads to the development of pre-diabetes and then type 2 diabetes.

Although insulin resistance results from overweight and obesity, it also leads to an increase in these conditions. It often coexists with other diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome or Cushing’s syndrome.

Diagnosis of insulin resistance

There is no ideal test for laboratory diagnosis of insulin resistance. Currently, the most common one is the HOMA-IR index, for its calculation, fasting glucose and inulin concentrations are needed. Then, on this basis, with the help of an appropriate formula, the so-called insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) is calculated.

The Homeostatic Model Assessment (HOMA) index currently raises many objections, but we have not yet invented a better diagnostic method.

After the diagnosis of insulin resistance, in correlation with the clinical examination (assessment of BMI, comorbidities ), the doctor implements appropriate treatment. Always the basis of therapy is to change eating habits, physical activity adequate length of sleep. In addition, if there are such medical indications, pharmacological treatment is implemented.

Symptoms and treatment of insulin resistance

The most common and first symptom of insulin resistance is weight gain that is not due to a change in lifestyle or diet. The most characteristic is fat gain in the abdominal region, i.e. abdominal obesity. Only later does the whole body obesity develop.

Other symptoms of insulin resistance can be:
– Drowsiness, especially after a carbohydrate meal,
– Fatigue,
– Hyperhidrosis,
– Depressive states,
– Concentration problems,
– Problems with losing weight,
– Elevated glucose and triglyceride levels
– Skin problems (dark keratosis of the skin).
– Excessive appetite (appearance of wolf hunger, especially after carbohydrate meals).

Treatment of insulin resistance

In overweight patients, weight reduction will be necessary for insulin lowering. A patient diagnosed with insulin resistance should do any physical activity each day, optimally 60-90min per day. It is also very important to change eating habits: meals should be regular and consist of products with a low glycemic index. In addition, care should be taken to get an adequate amount of sleep: 7-9 hours, depending on age.

If the medications taken exacerbate insulin resistance in the patient, the doctor then modifies the patient’s treatment, if possible, after taking a history. One group of drugs that cause weight gain are some psychotropic drugs. Therefore, when choosing this group of drugs, care should be taken to ensure that the drug is metabolically inert or causes weight loss. Of course, such a situation is not always possible.

In addition, if there are such medical indications (the patient is obese, or overweight with complications) drug treatment is implemented.