Insulin resistance is not a disease or specific diagnosis, but has been associated with conditions such type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and hypertension as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and helps cells to use glucose (sugar) for energy. Due to modern diets and lifestyles, nearly everybody produces more insulin in their pancreas than they should.
This causes a problem because if insulin levels have been high in the blood for long, the cells of your body start to ignore it. Thus insulin becomes less and less effective at its important job in your body, which is getting glucose inside your cells, so you can burn it for energy.
This makes the pancreas produce even more insulin, creating a vicious cycle that can lead to type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. It has also been associated with higher risk of developing heart disease. Here are some signs and symptoms of chronically elevated insulin.
1. Abdominal obesity
As the waist grows larger, insulin becomes increasingly ineffective in your body, therefore levels of this hormone rise. Insulin resistance also leads to increased fat storage in the body, most of which is stored around your middle.
2. Hunger and cravings for sugar or carbohydrate rich foods
Insulin-resistant people cannot handle common levels of carbohydrate in their diet. They over secrete insulin in response to eating high-carbohydrate foods, making them want even more and are less likely to feel satisfied after a meal, which leads to over-eating.
3. Trouble losing weight
Insulin resistance is the inability of your body to properly convert the food that you eat into energy to fuel your cells.
People with this factor have difficulty regulating their blood sugar, making their bodies unable to pull glucose into the cells, which means excess levels of glucose build-up in the blood. With nowhere else to go, the body turns this extra energy into fat and stores it for later.
4. Elevated blood sugar
Insulin resistance increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes. Prediabetes usually occurs in people who already have insulin resistance.
In pre-diabetes, the beta cells can no longer produce enough insulin to overcome insulin resistance, causing blood glucose levels to rise above the normal range.
Blood sugar levels under 100 mg/dL are considered normal. Levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL are diagnostic for pre-diabetes
5. Acne and large pores on the face
Insulin causes acne by generating too much insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). IGF-1 stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, clogging your pores and giving you acne. It also promotes higher levels of the male hormone testosterone and increases the sensitivity of the skin on your face.
6.Scalp hair loss in women
People with high insulin-resistance levels tend to lose hair in a pattern, which is at the front and sides. Over time, elevated blood sugar levels result in higher cortisol levels, inflammation and free radicals, shown to be elevated in hair cells of those with Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA).
7. Skin tags
Skin tags are common small, soft skin growths that are strongly associated with pre-diabetes, which is also known as insulin resistance, and Type-2 diabetes.
They are also more common with obese people. 8. High blood pressure High levels of insulin creates an imbalance in sodium and potassium, which increases blood volume, and calcium and magnesium which causes arterial constriction, driving up blood pressure and increasing the risk of heart disease.
9. Swollen ankles
Insulin tells the kidneys to hang on to sodium and water, making you look more puffy. You can experience fluid retention anywhere on your body, such as your fingers, face and abdomen.
10. Fatty liver disease
Insulin resistance increases fatty acid levels in the blood, making fat accumulate in liver cells. A healthy liver is important for blood sugar and weight control. Additionally, fat in liver cells causes inflammation and damage to liver tissue.