Diabetes Type II (Part IX): Complications of Insulin Resistance

By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
Salesian Cooperator

Abstracted by Sheila Kun RN from Renewed Vitality

Insulin Resistance can lead to Metabolic Syndrome, also called Syndrome X. This occurs when a person has the following four conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated glucose levels (blood sugar)
  • Abnormal cholesterol/triglyceride levels
  • Excess abdominal fat (waist size greater than 35 inches in women or 40 inches in men)

Metabolic Syndrome significantly increases the risk for Cardiovascular Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes.

Insulin resistance often leads to Pre-Diabetes and/or Diabetes. The reason for this is because over time, the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin decreases. When this occurs, blood sugar can no longer be managed naturally by the body and require medication to regulate it. Blood sugar levels are considered Pre-Diabetic if measured between 100 and 124. If they exceed 125, a person is considered to be a Diabetic.

Diabetes carries serious health risks including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Increased risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
  • Nerve damage
  • Impaired circulation
  • Weakened immune system
  • Added inflammation
  • Death

Chronically elevated levels of Insulin also trigger increased cell and tissue growth. Not only does this contribute to more weight gain, but it also poses an increased risk of cancer.

How Is Insulin Resistance Treated?

There’s no magic pill to treat Insulin Resistance, but the good news is that it’s completely reversible. Treatment consists of a multi-faceted approach which includes:

  • Lose weight
  • Exercise – Not only will exercise help you to lose weight, but it also causes muscles to be more insulin sensitive which also decreases Insulin Resistance
  • Avoid sugary foods including alcohol
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Increase consumption of good fats and proteins
  • Increase consumption of whole foods to include plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds
  • Adopt healthier sleeping habits
  • Incorporate practices into your life that bring balance to mind, body, and spirit

Your homework from the Care Ministry this week: review the complications from insulin resistance.

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