Insulin is a hormone that aids in the regulation of your body's blood sugar levels and metabolism (the process through which food is converted into energy). Insulin is produced by your pancreas and released into your blood. It allows your body to consume sugar for energy and then store the rest.
Insulin resistance occurs when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver fail to respond to insulin and are unable to utilize glucose from your blood for energy. To compensate, your pancreas produces extra insulin and your blood sugar levels rise over time.
Resistance to insulin can lead to problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. According to WebMD.com, “you can't tell that you have insulin resistance by how you feel. You'll need to get a blood test that checks your blood sugar levels.”
There are also three main types of insulin. Fast-acting insulin is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream from fat beneath your skin and is used to manage blood sugar levels during meals and snacks as well as to treat high blood glucose. Intermediate-acting insulin is absorbed more slowly and has a longer duration of action. It is used to regulate blood sugar levels overnight, during fasting, and in between eating. Long-acting insulin is slowly absorbed, has a low peak impact, and has a sustained plateau effect that lasts the majority of the day. It's also used to keep blood sugar levels stable overnight, during fasting, and in between meals.
Small efforts, such as eating healthier foods and increasing physical activity, can help reverse insulin resistance and prevent or postpone type 2 diabetes in patients with prediabetes.