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What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance happens when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver fail to respond to insulin and cannot utilize glucose from your blood and convert it to energy. As a result, to make up for it, your pancreas makes excessive insulin.  With that, your blood sugar levels rise over time.

Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes are all indicators of insulin resistance syndrome, sometimes referred to as metabolic syndrome. Statistics show that one in three Americans is prone to this condition in the United States. Indicators of insulin resistance syndrome, sometimes called metabolic syndrome, may include the following:

  • Obesity
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • type 2 diabetes
  • depression

Insulin Resistance Symptoms

You can’t determine if you are insulin resistant by relying on how you feel. Only a blood glucose test confirms the condition.

Similarly, unless you consult a doctor, you can’t be sure if you have most of the other diseases associated with insulin resistance syndrome. Examples are high blood pressure, low “good” cholesterol levels, and high triglycerides. Other signs may also include the following:

  • A waistline of more than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women
  • 130/80 or higher blood pressure readings
  • A fasting glucose level of more than 100 mg/dL
  • A fasting triglyceride level of more than 150 mg/dL
  • An HDL cholesterol level of less than 40 mg/dL in men and less than 50 mg/dL in women
  • Skin tags
  • Patches of black, velvety skin (Acanthosis nigricans)


Risk Factors for Insulin Resistance

Testing for diabetes should begin at about age 40, with the other tests for cholesterol and other health markers. Your doctor should ideally request testing during your annual physical check-up or preventive screening. Your doctor may also advise you to undergo testing at a younger age if you are positive for these risk factors for insulin resistance:

  • have a passive or inactive lifestyle
  • have a low HDL level
  • Have a high triglyceride level
  • have a parent or sibling with diabetes
  • have high blood pressure (140/90 mm Hg or higher)
  • have prediabetes symptoms
  • were diagnosed with gestational diabetes
  • had a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • have had a stroke
  • Have hormonal disorders like Cushing’s syndrome and acromegaly
  • Have gone for Medications like steroids, antipsychotics, and HIV medications
  • Have Sleep problems like sleep apnea


Insulin Resistance Supplements

Thankfully, there are some supplements available to improve insulin sensitivity. Here is a list of the supplements you can consider:

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10, a potent antioxidant, contributes to better heart health by reducing LDL cholesterol oxidation and re-energizing the mitochondria in heart cells, which is where energy metabolism happens.

Dosage: 90-120 mg daily; take with a fat-containing meal for optimum absorption.

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). This antioxidant vitamin increases cell responsiveness to insulin and can help in blood sugar stabilization.

Dosage range: 100-400 mg per day.

Magnesium. People with low plasma magnesium levels frequently have higher insulin and blood sugar levels. Magnesium supplementation supplements have been found in animal trials to improve insulin resistance.

Dosage: 100 mg – 400 mg daily, using half the quantity of magnesium as calcium.

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