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  • Writer's pictureSujata Kale-Banerjea

Metabolic Syndromes: Insulin Resistance

Insulin is necessary for transporting glucose from the blood stream into the cells, and from there into the mitochondria. When the cell has a surplus of glucose, the insulin receptors in its membrane as well as the transport proteins for glucose in the cell itself, degenerate. However the blood sugar is still high, and the body tries to deal with it by stimulating pancreas to produce yet more insulin.

Eventually this leads to a chronically raised level of insulin, because the cells sensitivity to insulin degenerates. A chronic insulin resistance results, with its consequences for the other hormones. While temporary increase in the level of insulin leads to hunger, a sustained increase in insulin satiates. With existing insulin resistance, though, insulin loses its role as a satiation signal

Here are those traits to watch out for:

  • Abdominal obesity- abdominal apron of fat, larger waist measurement of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women

  • Hunger and cravings for sugar or carbohydrate rich foods

  • Elevated blood sugar

  • Scalp hair loss in women, in the male pattern (front and sides).

  • Skin tags

  • Acanthosis nigricans: involving dark spots on the skin that can indicate insulin resistance

  • Increased level of triglycerides

  • Decreased level of HDL

  • High blood pressure

  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances

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