Insulin resistance is a condition where your body stops properly responding to insulin.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that facilitates glucose (sugar) uptake into the body’s cells. That sugar is then converted into immediate energy or stored for later use (as fat or glycogen).
Insulin helps your body function in the following cycle:
- The food you eat is broken down into glucose.
- Glucose enters your bloodstream, which signals the pancreas to produce insulin.
- Insulin helps glucose enter your body’s cells for energy and the liver for later use. Insulin resistance happens when your cells don’t respond efficiently to insulin. As a result, they can no longer easily take glucose from the blood. Since blood glucose levels remain high, your pancreas makes more and more insulin to help your cells absorb glucose. When the pancreas can no longer make enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels at a manageable level, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes set in.