Insulin resistance, also known as metabolic syndrome, is a name for a series of different risks that happen simultaneously and make them more likely to have strokes, artery disease, and type 2 diabetes. The condition is becoming more common within the United States. All of the risks that are related to this syndrome are based on obesity, although doctors are not certain if insulin resistance has a specific cause that can be blamed for every case. Risks can include aging, lack of exercise, hormonal changes, genes, blood clotting, increased blood level substances, and extra weight around the middle and top half of the body.
Insulin resistance is best defined as a condition where the cells are not able to respond to the actions of the insulin hormone. None of the cells are able to use glucose, amino acids, or even fatty acids. The result is that these elements are leaking out of the cells and causing problems for the individual health-wise. People with insulin resistance are unable to have their liver reduce the glucose levels when they rise in this manner. In most cases, the treatment for insulin resistance is weight loss and exercise. Some doctors also recommend a change in diet, depending on if there are any other conditions that the individual is experiencing.
There are medications which can be used to help improve insulin resistance, however, they are usually only approved for type 2 diabetes usage. Often times, people who are dealing with insulin resistance already have type 2 diabetes, but others are simply at risk for it. The goal that doctors are trying to work on is preventing individuals with insulin resistance from developing type 2 diabetes, ultimately. Some treatment options, such as the controversial growth hormone therapy, have been proven to have positive results for those who are dealing with insulin resistance.
In terms of taking medication, it has been proven that individuals who are actively participating in exercise and changing their diet positively are having results that are twice as effective when compared to those who are being treated with medications like metformin. For this reason, most doctors opt to treat insulin resistance with changes to the overall lifestyle of the individual first before they treat it medicinally. The doctor may create a specific eating plan for the individual or may advise them to remove riskier and fatty foods out of their diet in the long run.