According to an article by Dr. Ruchi Mathur on www.medicinenet.com, insulin is a hormone in the body that is essential in controlling metabolism and regulating the growth of cells. Dr. Mathur explains that if a person becomes insulin resistant, the cells in their body are not processing the insulin normally; therefore higher levels of insulin are needed in order for the hormone to be effective.
Dr. Mathur states that the causes of insulin resistance can include heredity, obesity, pregnancy, and stress. It is further explained by Dr. Mathur, that there may be an association between insulin resistance and diabetes. According to Dr. Mathur, insulin resistance usually precedes the development of Type 2 Diabetes. She states that it is possible for an individual to have normal insulin levels for many years, but can ultimately develop insulin resistance which in turn can develop into type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Mathur says certain individuals may be more prone to the development of insulin resistance than others. Those at greater risk include:
Overweight individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of over 25.
Individuals over the age of 40
Latino, African Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans
Individuals with high blood pressure
Dr. Mathur recommends a consultation with your personal physician who can help determine through a series of tests and examinations whether you are at risk or have developed insulin resistance. Typically, insulin resistance can be managed by lifestyle changes to your diet and with medication.