Five Signs Insulin Resistance Might Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts

Insulin Resistance Can Even Trigger Some Cancers

Five Signs Insulin Resistance Might Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts

Five Signs Insulin Resistance Might Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts

Insulin resistance is a complex condition in which the body does not respond appropriately to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels. Various genetic and lifestyle factors can cause insulin resistance. Individuals who often say, "I gain weight even when I drink water," "I eat less than everyone else and exercise, but I still can’t lose weight," or "I regain the weight I lost very quickly" likely have high insulin resistance. Therefore, it is crucial for those struggling with weight and fat accumulation to check their insulin resistance levels. Dr. Gökhan Yazıcıoğlu from the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases at Memorial Antalya Hospital provides insights into insulin resistance, which promotes fat storage in the body, and its treatment.

Increased Insulin Secretion Leads to Fat Storage

Insulin resistance occurs when muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond well to insulin and cannot easily absorb glucose from the blood. As a result, the pancreas produces more insulin to help glucose enter the cells. The excess insulin, which is secreted to control sugar levels, commands the body to store fat, leading to weight gain and fat accumulation in the body.

As long as the pancreas can produce enough insulin to overcome the cells' weak response to it, blood sugar levels will remain within a healthy range. However, if the cells become too resistant to insulin, it causes blood sugar levels to rise (hyperglycemia), which over time can lead to prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

In addition to Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance is associated with other conditions, including:

  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Insulin Resistance Can Even Trigger Some Cancers

Fat storage typically occurs in the abdominal area. Since the liver and blood vessels also accumulate fat, insulin resistance can lead to serious diseases. Insulin resistance is always present at the onset of Type 2 diabetes, which constitutes 90% of diabetes cases. As insulin resistance increases over time, the pancreas becomes exhausted and insufficient due to the need to secrete more insulin. The inability of the pancreas to control sugar levels results in diabetes. Insulin resistance also accelerates the process of atherosclerosis, increases the risk of heart attack, and can even trigger certain cancers.

Watch Out for These Signs of Insulin Resistance!

  1. An excessive feeling of heaviness and drowsiness after a large meal or consuming sugary foods
  2. Shaky hands due to uncontrolled drops in blood sugar after meals
  3. Sweating
  4. Hunger pangs
  5. Uncontrollable weight gain and increased appetite

People with high insulin resistance find it especially difficult to lose weight. The body constantly signals to store fat, making fat burning impossible. As disproportionate insulin secretion causes drops in blood sugar levels, it creates an uncontrollable craving for sugary foods, similar to the way a person craves water when dehydrated. Therefore, patients with insulin resistance struggle to adhere to prescribed diets and cannot lose weight.

Rapid Weight Loss Once Insulin Levels Normalize

In treating insulin resistance, blood tests measure the resistance level. For individuals with high resistance, the first step is to plan the right diet and exercise regimen. If there is no improvement, the resistance level can be normalized with treatments lasting 2-3 months, or at most six months. Once the insulin resistance level normalizes, the barrier to weight loss is removed, and patients lose weight rapidly, with their appetite diminishing immediately. Most importantly, the risk of heart disease, susceptibility to certain cancers, and diabetes will also be prevented.