Thursday, September 18, 2008

Insulin resistance leads to diabetes‏

The overwhelming majority of patients who have insulin resistance will eventually develop diabetes. When a patient becomes insulin resistant, the body compensates for this situation by making more and more insulin. As blood insulin levels rise, the patient literally “tips over” into this abnormal metabolic state called the metabolic syndrome. As long as the patient continues to make enough insulin to compensate for the fact that they just aren’t as sensitive to their insulin as they once were, the blood sugar remains normal. However, over time the body just can’t keep making that much insulin and insulin levels will eventually begin to drop. When this happens, blood sugars will begin to rise. Initially they will have elevated fasting blood sugars that indicate prediabetes (blood sugar levels from 100 mg/dl [5.5 mmol/L] to 125 mg/dl [6.9 mmol/L]. Then over time most of these individuals will develop full-blown diabetes mellitus (fasting blood sugar greater than 125 mg/dl [6.9 mmol/L].

This is the pattern seen in over 90% of the diabetic patients today. Patients will show signs of insulin resistance 10 to 15 years before they actually become diabetic. The problem is the fact that as soon as a patient develops insulin resistance their arteries begin to age much faster than they should. This is understandable when you begin to realize all of the metabolic changes that accompany this abnormal metabolic state. Most physicians do not treat early insulin resistance because there is no drug approved by the FDA in this situation. Physicians are trained to wait until the patient develops one or more of the consequences of insulin resistance like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, or heart disease before they begin to treat the patient with drugs.

Source: Dr. Strand Health Nuggets (