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Body response to Insulin

Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in your bloodstream at any given moment.

When pancreas secretes insulin, it governs the muscles and fat cells to take in glucose. Cells obtain this energy from glucose molecules (collectively called glycogen) or converts it into fat for long-term storage. This is the natural response of body cells to insulin.

Insulin helps keep the glucose in your blood to be within an ideal normal range. It does this by taking glucose out of your bloodstream and passing it into rest of the cells in the body. The cells in turn use the glucose for energy and store the excess glucose in your liver, muscles, and fat tissue.

When insulin is not produced or insufficiently produced, this leads to a condition called diabetes mellitus. In some, there is an impaired response of the body to insulin, called insulin resistance. This undesirable response results in elevated levels of glucose in the blood and could potentially lead to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.


Insulin resistance and prediabetes occur when your body doesn’t use insulin well. Prediabetes means when your blood glucose levels are high but not enough to be diagnosed as a diabetic.

Risk factors & Causes

Risk factors for prediabetes or insulin resistance include:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Age 45 or older
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Personal history of diabetes (gestational diabetes)
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Personal history of heart disease or stroke
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Sleep problems (especially sleep apnea)

The cause of insulin resistance and prediabetes is not fully known; however, excess weight and physical inactivity are suspected to be major leading factors.


The risk factors and causes are similar to the insulin resistance and prediabetes. Diabetes is majorly of 3 types – Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, Gestational diabetes.

Symptoms of Insulin imbalance

Insulin resistance and prediabetes usually have no symptoms. Some people with prediabetes have darkened skin under their armpits, back and sides of the neck or small skin growths called skin tags that appear under these same areas.

General symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased hunger and thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Tingling sensation in hands or feet
  • Frequent bacterial infections


Diagnosis is done with the help of blood tests such as HbA1c, random blood glucose & fasting blood glucose tests.

Treatment consists of a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. For the type 1 diabetes, insulin is given in the form of injections (needle administration). If needle is not preferred, then other modes of insulin administration include insulin pumps & pens, jet injection, inhaled insulin.

Dizziness or lightheadedness, or unsteadiness




FAQ's :

Is insulin resistance hereditary or genetic?
Studies show that insulin resistance is heritable, and occurs in individuals with the risk of type 2 diabetes before they experience insulin imbalance/glucose intolerance in their body (prediabetes & diabetes).
Is Genetic testing useful to predict type 2 diabetes?
Genetic testing can diagnose most forms of diabetes. Recent genome advancements enable to predict the risk for type 2 diabetes. The early identification of individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes enables better treatment options and prevention.
What are the genes responsible for type 1 diabetes?
Although the exact cause of type1 diabetes is still unknown, several other risk factors have been identified. The risk of developing type 1 diabetes is increased by variants of HLA-DQA1, HLA-DQB1, and HLA-DRB1 genes. These genes play a crucial role in the immune system.
What factors contribute to insulin resistance or prediabetes?
Genetic, environmental factors, overnutrition, inactivity can equally contribute to insulin resistance in individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes.


  1. Insulin Resistance & Prediabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed on 28-06-2022
  1. Insulin Resistance and Diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed on 28-06-2022
  1. Insulin, Medicines, & Other Diabetes Treatments. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed on 28-06-2022
  1. Insulin Resistance. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed on 28-06-2022
  1. You and Your Hormones. Accessed on 28-06-2022

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