You know some of the symptoms of insulin resistance. but what happens if nothing is done and the trend continues? One of the most troubling results is that you begin to lack energy. because your cells are so resistant to receiving new glucose. When your body is exhausted it craves more high-energy carbohydrates. This is a vicious cycle. which quickly worsens insulin resistance already present.
Another contributing factor is the accumulation of body fat. Too much body fat lessens the impact of the hormone leptin. which causes any feelings of fullness to be fleeting. further increasing your hunger. The less sugar that is able to get to your cells. the quicker your body will turn to breaking down your own muscles for fuel which means you will have less muscle mass to burn off sugars and you will become weaker and even less likely to exercise. As a double whammy. insulin also opens muscle cells to absorb amino acids for muscle growth; insulin resistance means that those building blocks can’t gain access either; so your muscles break down while being denied the materials to build them back up again. making it extremely difficult to build and maintain muscle mass.
Insulin resistance can severely damage your organs as well. We talked about scarring of the liver and kidney stones but those are just precursors to more serious problems. The kidneys and liver filter out the toxins from the blood and the liver also creates. converts and stores energy and hormones.
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Damage to the kidney causes swelling as fluid builds up throughout the body. and continued damage can lead to painful or bloody urination. The kidneys release hormones related to red blood cell creation and kidney damage can create decreased red blood cells causing anemia.
Liver damage can cause similar symptoms and can cause a chronic dull pain in the abdomen. itchy skin and nausea. The liver also creates hormones which interact with your thyroid and a damaged liver can send too much or too little of the necessary hormones throwing the thyroid out of balance. Thyroid problems vary greatly. but can include symptoms such as muscle weakness. heart palpitations and lethargy.
Lastly. the extreme conclusion is that chronic insulin resistance can lead to diabetes. We have talked about how damaging high blood sugar can be. but we haven’t mentioned the damage that’s done to the organ trying to regulate the blood sugar; the pancreas. The pancreas produces insulin in its beta cells. A fully functioning pancreas can produce a huge amount of insulin. but the problem is that glucose actually damages these beta cells as they are working to produce more insulin. As mentioned before. insulin resistance causes more and more insulin to be produced. but progressive insulin resistance means progressive damage to the beta cells. It’s like a factory getting more and more orders while simultaneously getting downsized. After a while. it is too damaged to keep up and instead of producing far more insulin than normal for a comparative amount of glucose. it produces much less. Once this happens it’s classified as type 2 diabetes and blood sugar can no longer be effectively managed by the body. Now even if your cells are ready to accept sugar. your body cannot produce enough insulin on its own to get glucose to all the cells that need it.