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Insulin resistance

Insulin resistance is a term that can mean :
  • decreased sensitivity of target cells (muscle, fat cells) to insulin
  • production of insulin antibodies that causes lower than expected falls of glycemia (blood glucose) after a given dose of insulin

In a normal person, a small amount of insulin is produced after eating, and it signals the body to absorb the sugars from the food at a steady rate. In an insulin resistant person the message does not get to the cells so the sugar remains in the blood for long periods of time while ever more insulin is released in an attempt to trigger the sugar-uptake. The sugar circulates in the blood for several hours and then is taken into the cells very rapidly, leading to a steep drop in bloodsugar and a hypoglycaemic reaction.

Insulin resistance is believed to lead to diabetes by literally 'wearing out' the cells of the pancreas responsible for insulin production. Insulin resistance is a common component of Syndrome X and Polycystic ovarian syndrome.



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