Need to know
- Insulin resistance is a central feature of poor metabolic health.
- Insulin resistance means cells are not "listening" to insulin's message.
- Because of insulin resistance the pancreas has to release more insulin.
Insulin resistance is core feature of poor metabolic health. Put simply, insulin resistance means the cells in body are not "listening" or responding to insulin's message. They are resisting it.
Cells become insulin resistant when they don't want to take glucose in. This is usually because they are already filled with enough fuel. The cells are trying to protect themselves from becoming overstuffed.
Insulin resistance is a significant problem for blood glucose homeostasis. The body has to fight harder to maintain just 1 teaspoon of glucose in all the five litres of blood. The pancreas has to release large amounts of insulin whenever sugar or starch are eaten. This large amount of insulin attempts to force the cells to take glucose out of the blood.
Insulin resistance combined with high insulin means the body is at war with itself. Cells are resisting and fighting for their own survival, whilst the body is desperately trying to maintain a normal blood glucose.
The high blood insulin level also drives the body into fat storage mode. This happens via three mechanisms.
- Insulin instructs the body not to burn fat.
- Insulin instructs the liver and fat tissues to turn glucose in to fat.
- Insulin instructs the fat stores to hold on to fat and for the stores to get bigger.
Insulin resistance together with high blood insulin are responsible for many aspects of poor metabolic health. They create low-energy levels, difficulty losing weight, and all the conditions and diseases of poor metabolic health.
Fortunately, it is possible to measure and improve insulin resistance and metabolic health.