You asked, we answered: What is insulin resistance?

Published August 30, 2022

Published

picture of notes about insulin resistance

Question: 

What is insulin resistance? If I produce insulin then why do I have to take diabetes medication? 

Answer by endocrinologist Sydney Blount, MD

Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas. It enables your body to break down sugar and carry it from your bloodstream into your cells. This allows your body to use sugar, also known as glucose, for energy. 

Insulin resistance occurs when the cells in your body don't respond well to insulin. They become resistant and require more insulin to maintain normal glucose levels. 

When this happens, it upsets the normal balance of glucose and can eventually lead to Type 2 diabetes if not treated. Regular exercise and a low-sugar, low-carbohydrate diet can help your body better manage sugar levels. 

However, if glucose levels are still too high, you may require medications that increase your body's sensitivity to insulin to keep glucose at normal levels.