Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body's cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. When we eat food, our body breaks it down into glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. Insulin is then released by the pancreas to help transport the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body, where it can be used for energy.
In people with insulin resistance, the body's cells become less responsive to insulin, which means that the glucose cannot enter the cells as effectively. This leads to a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream with more insulin then being produced, which can cause a range of health problems over time.
Insulin resistance is a common feature of many conditions, including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and PCOS. Most women, if not all, with PCOS are insulin resistant, which is when the body's cells become less sensitive to insulin. This means that more insulin is needed to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range. This can lead to high levels of insulin in the blood, a condition known as hyperinsulinemia.
One of the main symptoms of insulin resistance in women with PCOS is difficulty in losing weight, especially around the abdomen. Insulin resistance can also lead to increased levels of androgens (male hormones) in the body, which can cause symptoms such as acne, excess facial and body hair, and hair loss from the scalp.
Insulin resistance is also associated with other health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Women with PCOS have a higher risk of developing these conditions due to the insulin resistance that is commonly associated with the syndrome.
To manage insulin resistance in PCOS, it is important to make lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight. This can help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other health problems. Supplements can also help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. It is important for women with PCOS to work with their doctor to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their individual needs and concerns.
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