Your Health in Mind: Insulin Resistance

By Dee Griffin

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Its job is to regulate the amount of glucose in the body. Insulin resistance happens when the cells in the body are not able to respond efficiently to insulin. When this happens, the blood sugar level will increase. Over time, this increase can lead to health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

There are several things that can contribute to this condition such as obesity (especially increased belly fat), an inactive lifestyle, and a high carbohydrate diet. Genetics and family history can also contribute.

Becoming more insulin sensitive is important to decrease your chances of becoming diabetic later in life and avoiding the health issues that come with diabetes. Insulin sensitivity can be improved by maintain a healthy weight, participating in regular physical activity, eating a low carb balanced diet that avoids unhealthy fats, and limiting sugar intake. Stress reduction and sleep improvement is also critical in managing insulin resistance.

If your heath care provider discovers you are insulin resistant, medication may be prescribed to help with the insulin resistance. One commonly prescribed medication to assist with insulin resistance is metformin. Others include Pioglitazone, rosiglitazone, and tirzepitide. These all work in a slightly different way so be sure to seek out the advice of your health care provider if you feel that you need more than just diet and lifestyle changes to help with insulin sensitivity.

Dee Anne Griffin owns Dynamic Health Solutions, LLC and is a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has worked in the medical field for more than 20 years. She listens and recommends different options to create a unique plan that fits each individual. When not practicing medicine Griffin spends time on her family farm tending to her animals and is very active in her church. Contact her at 803-454-1661. Her offices are located at 169 A Medical Circle, West Columbia.