Insulin Resistance / Prediabetes

The hormone insulin (a precursor to prediabetes) helps to keep blood sugar levels steady. When insulin levels are high over a prolonged period of time, your body may not respond well to insulin causing glucose to build up in your blood and raise your blood sugar level. Women who are insulin resistant have a much greater risk of obesity, developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, high cholesterol, breast cancer, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

People with insulin resistance are often diagnosed with prediabetes. Prediabetes is a “pre-diagnosis” of diabetes and means blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. About 84 million American adults have prediabetes and most of these people do not know they have it.

You are more likely to develop insulin resistance or prediabetes if you have the following risk factors:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Age 45 or older
  • A parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
  • African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander American ethnicity
  • Physically inactive
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • History of heart disease or stroke
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

While you can’t change some of these risk factors like age and ethnicity, you can change lifestyle risk factors that can lower your chances of developing insulin resistance or prediabetes. By improving your diet, incorporating regular exercise, and losing weight can help your blood glucose levels considerably and help to reverse insulin resistance.

The following resources are provided to you as you pursue and progress through treatment:

Prediabetes

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