I found a fairly non-technical article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Insulin_resistance&oldid=341767739 “Any eating or drinking will cause a person's blood glucose level to increase. In a person with normal metabolism, the elevated blood glucose level will cause the beta (β) cells of the Islets of Langerhans located in the pancreas to release insulin ("postprandial"). The insulin in turn causes insulin-sensitive tissues in the body (e.g., muscle, adipose) to absorb glucose and thereby to lower the blood glucose level. The beta cells reduce insulin output as the blood glucose level fall, with the result that blood glucose is maintained at approximately 5 mmol/L (mM) (90 mg/dL). In an insulin-resistant person, normal levels of insulin do not have the same effect on muscle and adipose cells, with the result that glucose levels stay higher than normal. To compensate for this, the pancreas in an insulin-resistant individual is stimulated to release more insulin. The elevated insulin levels have additional effects (see insulin) which cause further biological effects throughout the body……. Insulin resistance is often found in people with visceral adiposity (i.e., a high degree of fatty tissue underneath the abdominal muscle wall – as distinct from subcutaneous adiposity or fat between the skin and the muscle wall, especially elsewhere on the body, such as hips or thighs), hypertension, hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia involving elevated triglycerides, small dense low-density lipoprotein (sdLDL) particles, and decreased HDL cholesterol levels.”
Normal Blood Sugar Level
Things start getting a little more difficult to follow with insulin resistance now part of the equation in achieving normal blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance is probably the main culprit in most of the difficulty in keeping your blood tests looking good and what causes insulin resistance? Visceral adiposity, says the article, a fancy way of saying a fat gut, part of the equation in creating insulin resistance and causing the body to need to release more insulin to get the same glucose absorption that happened before the resistance started. So if insulin resistance is a problem, it seems that what a person would really want is to be insulin sensitive, or have a body that responded quickly to the smallest amount of insulin necessary to let the body’s tissues absorb glucose and stay in normal glucose levels. It’s fairly obvious how a person gets to be insulin resistant. Overweight, poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle. Wow, that describes a lot of us.