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Pre-Diabetes and Insulin Resistance

Photo © Sanja GjeneroInsulin resistance is also known as the metabolic syndrome

Pre-diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. You can think of it as "early diabetes". Usually a person with pre-diabetes has some degree of insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is a problem related to pre-diabetes, diabetes and other conditions and happens when our fat, muscle and liver tissues cannot respond adequately to insulin because they are less sensitive to its action. They resist the action of insulin.

It is believed that people with pre-diabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Pre-diabetes also raises the risk of heart disease. But the good news is that by losing just 10% of your body weight and exercising for at least 45 minutes every day you can help prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes.

What is the relationship between obesity and insulin resistance?

There is another important factor related to insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome: abdominal obesity.

It seems that when a person has a lot of fat in the abdominal area, this fat releases a great amount of fatty acids (the smallest units of fat) to the portal circulation, which leads directly to the liver.

When the liver receives all those fatty acids from the abdominal area, it tries to get rid of them by making more lipoproteins, the vehicles that transport fat and cholesterol to the arteries and other tissues.

All this causes good cholesterol (HDL) to decrease, bad cholesterol (LDL) to increase and higher levels of tryglycerides. The consequence is cholesterol plaque in the arteries. This also seems to be related with the development of hypertension.

However, remember that following a healthy and active lifestyle can reduce insulin resistance and even pre-diabetes. Below there are some links to articles that might be of help.

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