Symptoms, conditions and causes

How does insulin resistance turn into diabetes?

Insulin resistance is a precursor to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Understanding the progression from insulin resistance to these conditions can help you take proactive steps to prevent or manage them.

The Downgrading of Insulin Receptors

In insulin resistance, the insulin receptors on your cells become less sensitive to insulin, making it harder for glucose to enter the cells. To compensate, your pancreas produces more insulin to overcome the resistance and maintain normal blood sugar levels.

However, the increased demand for insulin can gradually downgrade the insulin receptors over time, further exacerbating insulin resistance.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that chronic hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels) can reduce insulin receptor expression and function.

The Transition from Prediabetes to Diabetes

Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than usual but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

In prediabetes, the pancreas's compensatory mechanisms begin to fail, and insulin production may not be sufficient to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

If left unmanaged, prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes, where the pancreas's beta cells become exhausted and can no longer produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels effectively.

According to the American Diabetes Association, up to 70% of individuals with prediabetes will eventually develop type 2 diabetes if lifestyle changes are not implemented.

Last updated: Apr 29, 2024 15:25 PM