What Is Insulin Resistance? A Comprehensive Breakdown

What Is Insulin Resistance? A Comprehensive Breakdown

Physiological Changes

Physiological changes occur in the body before the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. This has both positive and negative aspects. It is positive because once the issue is identified, you can take steps earlier to prevent or delay the condition. However, it is also negative because the absence of symptoms means you may not be aware of the problem.


Insulin, an essential hormone for survival, plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels in the body.

When you consume food, it is broken down into sugar, which enters the bloodstream. This triggers the pancreas to produce and release insulin.

Insulin facilitates the movement of sugar from the blood into muscle and liver cells. In the muscles, sugar is used as an energy source, while in the liver, it is stored for later use.

This process helps lower blood sugar levels, signaling the body to decrease insulin release.

When insulin levels are lower than normal, the body is prompted to release stored blood sugar, ensuring a constant energy supply even if you haven't eaten for a while.

When the body functions properly, it is a remarkable thing.

Chronic Overconsumption of Sugar

What happens when chronic overconsumption of sugar disrupts this balance?

The pancreas starts producing more insulin to move more blood sugar into the appropriate cells.

However, over time, your cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, meaning they no longer respond to its calls.

In response, the pancreas increases insulin production, hoping that more insulin will elicit a response from your cells. Unfortunately, this approach is ineffective because the pancreas eventually becomes unable to keep up, leading to continued elevation of blood sugar levels.

If left untreated, this condition can lead to pre-diabetes and eventually type 2 diabetes.

  1. CDC- Insulin Resistance and Diabetes 
  2. Image credit: Unsplash