What Role Does Insulin Resistance Play?
Insulin is a hormone that is produced naturally in the pancreas. The body uses it to help regulate blood sugar levels, preventing them from going to high or dropping to low. Insulin also acts as the catalyst that allows blood glucose to be used as an energy source. When a person eats, the foods they consume are broken down and converted into blood sugar or glucose. Some of the glucose is stored in cells and tissues while a percentage of it is used immediately to fuel certain functions in the body.
Skyrocketing Blood Sugar Levels
Insulin resistance occurs when the body produces sufficient amounts of the hormone, but the body's receptors don't recognize it. This allows blood sugar levels to skyrocket and can cause a variety of health problems. The body's inability to use insulin properly can result in what is known as metabolic syndrome. As different chemical reactions within the body begin to be affected, the levels of blood sugar continue to fluctuate. This can lead to heart disease, obesity and high cholesterol. Because insulin determines how blood glucose is used, the body's resistance to it can cause major damage to vital organs, including the heart and kidneys.
27 Million Americans Have Diabetes
It is estimated that over 27 million people in the United States have diabetes. Another 8 million may have it and have not been diagnosed yet. Doctors and other health professionals believe that making positive lifestyle changes early on will help to prevent diabetes from becoming a major health threat. Although making these changes may not prevent the disease altogether, living a healthier lifestyle may reduce the severity of the condition and lower a person's risk of contracting other major health problems that are associated with it.
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