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Getting To Know Insulin Resistance Symptoms and More

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Nov 30, 2022

    Getting To Know Insulin Resistance Symptoms and More

    You may tend to overlook early insulin resistance symptoms that don’t change your quality of life. However, it does not mean that all is well. Being resistant to a hormone as important as insulin can negatively impact your life as time goes on and can lead to diabetes. This article gives you all you need to know about commonly overlooked insulin resistance symptoms. 

    What Is Insulin?

    Insulin is a hormone generated by the pancreas that aids in blood sugar regulation, metabolic control, and cellular growth regulation. All these functions make it integral in maintaining basic body processes.

    insulin resistance symptoms 

    • Blood sugar is formed as a result of the food you intake.
    • When blood sugar reaches the bloodstream, it prompts the pancreas to do its job to release insulin
    • Insulin aids the entry of blood sugar into the body’s cells, allowing it to be consumed for energy.
    • It is also the insulin that directs the liver to put blood sugar into storage for later use.
    • When blood sugar reaches the cells, its concentration in the bloodstream drops, which prompts the insulin to drop as well.
    • Lower insulin levels indicate the release of blood sugar stored in the liver. This ensures that energy is constantly available, even if you haven’t eaten in a long time.

    When there are problems with how the body deals with insulin, it goes the other way around:

  • Blood glucose levels tend to stay high, but your cells become “hungry.”
  • The pancreas then makes the necessary adjustments by creating more insulin to be able to transfer more glucose into cells.
  • In most situations, your pancreas can keep up with the demand for additional insulin for many years. This implies that insulin resistance does not always lead to diabetes. But in some cases, the pancreas may not be able to meet demand, and blood glucose levels rise, resulting in type 2 diabetes.
  • What Is Insulin Resistance?

    Insulin resistance, or impaired insulin sensitivity, takes place when the body is incapable of responding well to insulin. As a result, it builds up a tolerance to the vital hormone. 

    When the body develops insulin resistance, it adjusts by generating more insulin. This causes people to produce far more insulin than healthy people (hyperinsulinemia).

    What Are Insulin Resistance Symptoms?

    Some people may show insulin resistance symptoms such as:

    • Increased hunger (polyphagia)
    • High blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia)
    • Increased thirstiness (polydipsia)
    • Increased urination (polyuria)
    • Lethargy and fatigue
    • Concentration difficulty and poor mental stamina (brain fog)
    • Sleepiness
    • High body mass index or BMI (overweight or obese)
    • Dark patches on neck and armpits (acanthosis nigricans)

    What Causes Insulin Resistance?

    This condition is more prevalent to people with any of the following:

    • Family background of diabetes 
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
    • History of stroke or heart disease
    • Inactivity and sedentary lifestyle
    • Intake of high doses of certain medications (such as steroids)
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Chronic stress
    • Smoking
    • Sleep problems (sleep apnea)

    Key Takeaway

    It’s important to keep an eye out for insulin resistance symptoms as this can increase your chances of developing diabetes and other health conditions.

    Changing your lifestyle may help reverse the effects of insulin resistance. You may start by adding some physical activity to your daily routine. Not only will it help you to be more sensitive to insulin, but it will also be helpful in weight loss management. Furthermore, incorporating a healthy, balanced diet and getting an adequate amount of sleep can provide a better quality of life.

    Learn more about Diabetes here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jezreel Esguerra, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Nov 30, 2022

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