In fact, there is no sign-signespecially if someone has insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition when the body's cells cannot use blood sugar properly due to the disruption of the body's cell response to insulin. SA person can develop insulin resistance for years without ever realizedhis.
The body digests carbohydrates in food into glucose and then releases them into the blood. The body's cells will absorb glucose assisted by the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas gland. Furthermore, the absorbed glucose will be converted into energy in the cells.
When a person has insulin resistance, the pancreas continues to produce insulin, but the body's cells do not absorb glucose properly. This condition causes a buildup of glucose in the blood, thereby making the body's glucose levels higher than normal. At a more severe level, this condition can cause type 2 diabetes. When glucose levels are more than normal but do not meet the criteria for type 2 diabetes, this condition is called prediabetes.
Risk Factors Triggering Insulin Resistance
The cause of insulin resistance is not known for certain, but there are several things that are related or are factors that make a person more at risk of developing insulin resistance, including:
- Overweight or obesity.
- Unhealthy living habits, such as smoking and infrequent physical activity or sports (sedentary lifestyle).
- Have a family member who has diabetes.
- The habit of eating foods high in sugar and carbohydrates.
- Have gestational diabetes.
- Prolonged stress.
- Are taking corticosteroid drugs.
- A man with a waist circumference of more than 90 cm and a woman with a waist circumference of more than 80 cm.
- More than 45 years old.
- Have a history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglyceride levels, and heart disease.
- Suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome.
In addition to being more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, people with insulin resistance can have or are more at risk of experiencing the following health problems:
- Fatty liverFatty liver is the accumulation of fat in the liver caused by uncontrolled fat. One of the causes is insulin resistance.
- AtherosclerosisAtherosclerosis is the thickening and hardening of the walls of large or medium arteries. Atherosclerosis is at risk of causing stroke, coronary heart disease, and peripheral vascular disease.
- Lopen to skin, acantosis nigricans, and skin tagsHigh blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance can interfere with the wound healing process. Some people with insulin resistance can develop a condition called acanthosis nigricans, which is characterized by dark patches on the neck, armpits, or groin. Meanwhile, skin tags is a protruding or hanging surface of the skin.
- polycystic ovary syndrome/polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects a woman's menstrual cycle. This condition can also have an impact on female fertility.
- Growth disordersInsulin in high levels can have an impact on body growth because insulin itself is a hormone that supports growth.
How to Reduce the Risk of Insulin Resistance
Although it is not known exactly what causes it, but the good news is that there are ways that can be done to reduce the risk of developing insulin resistance and prevent diabetes, including:
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day of moderate activity, such as brisk walking. Do this activity at least 5 times a week.
- Get in the habit of eating healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, protein, and whole grains. Stay away from high cholesterol foods.
- Keep your weight to stay ideal. If you are overweight, consult your doctor for a healthy weight loss program.
- Limit the consumption of carbohydrates with a high glycemic index that can increase blood sugar levels quickly, such as white bread, sugar, corn, and soft drinks, including diet soda. Also stop consuming processed products from potatoes such as potato chips or french fries, as well as high cholesterol foods.
- Eat foods with a low glycemic index, such as fiber-rich foods (brown rice, whole wheat bread) and starch-free vegetables (asparagus, carrots, broccoli).
In addition to the various ways above, some supplements or herbal products, such as beluntas leaves, are also claimed to help prevent insulin resistance. However, this still needs to be investigated further.
Since insulin resistance usually does not cause any specific symptoms, the best way to find out is to have regular health checks and blood tests to determine blood sugar levels and an HbA1C test. The HbA1C test is a blood test to evaluate blood sugar levels in the last 3 months. As a preventive measure, you should check your blood sugar levels regularly by consulting your doctor first.