Insulin resistance, also called pre-diabetes, syndrome X, or metabolic syndrome, is a syndrome in which the body is unable to utilize insulin effectively. Insulin, produced by the pancreas in response to sugar, regulates energy metabolism by directing the use of carbohydrates (sugars and starches). If the body produces insulin but does not respond to it, sugar levels rise and the excess is stored as fat. Over time, with repeated high consumption of carbohydrates and sugar, the pancreas makes more and more insulin to keep up. This builds a resistance and leads to increased hunger, weight gain, slowed metabolism, and increased risk of serious medical problems such as heart disease, dementia, and cancer.
Insulin resistance is a hereditary condition; it cannot be cured but it can be controlled to the point of cure. The most effective therapies are lifestyle changes in exercise and diet. Medication can also help but should be taken in conjunction with diet and exercise to minimize necessary doses and maximize benefits. Why take a pill if you don’t need to?