By Katie Caldesi
What is insulin resistance
Constant grazing on sweet and starchy foods can lead to insulin resistance, where the cells don’t respond as they should and resist taking in glucose to make energy. You react by producing more and more insulin to force sugar out of the blood stream. Once the cells are truly overloaded, despite having high insulin levels, glucose will remain there – it has nowhere else to go. Your body has become insulin resistant and can no longer handle carbohydrates well. Once blood glucose levels cannot be maintained in the normal range, you are diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetic.
You are in good metabolic health when your body finds the correct balance between storing fat and burning it for energy. Metabolic syndrome is when the balance is disturbed by a condition such as obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure. It is thought to affect 1 in 3 adults over 50 in the UK. Metabolic syndrome is measured by the following markers and may be diagnosed if you have more than 3 of them:
- An inability to control blood glucose levels (insulin resistance)
- High blood pressure
- A waist circumference of more than 88cm (31.5”) for a woman and 102cm (35”) for a man. For South Asian men it is 90cm (35”).
- High triglyceride levels (fat in the blood)
- A tendency to develop blood clots
- Low levels of HDL (the good cholesterol)
- Inflammation – a tendency to develop irritation and swelling of the body
Metabolic syndrome is when the balance is disturbed by a condition such as obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure. It is thought to affect 1 in 3 adults over 50 in the UK. See the NHS website for more details.
If a person is diagnosed they are pre-diabetic their blood sugar levels are showing as higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.