Insulin resistance - Number 4 of the Deadly Quartet

The main problem of type 2 diabetes is not the insulin deficiency - on the contrary, the body initially forms more insulin, but the insulin resistance. It is - besides a disturbed insulin secretion - the motor that drives the disease further and further. This finding has been researched in recent years. Since the type 2 diabetes rarely causes discomfort at the beginning, the disease is usually usually random, z. In a routine examination. The precursor of this metabolic disease is insulin resistance. It is the true key problem of type 2 diabetes and may be congenital or acquired.

What happens in the body?

In order for the glucose (glucose) to get into the cells it always needs insulin, it includes the cell for the glucose, so to speak. Insulin is produced in the pancreatic B cells. If insulin resistance is present, insulin can no longer develop its effect on muscle, fat and liver cells properly - glucose can no longer reach the cells sufficiently. The pancreas is now trying to compensate insulin resistance by over-dispensing insulin. At first, this is also possible, so the blood sugar level remains normal.

The second stage of the disease is still characterized by fasting blood glucose in the normal range. However, the B cells produce on the edge of their capacity. Daytime blood sugar levels, such as after meals, can no longer be absorbed with the amount of insulin produced. One speaks then of a "disturbed glucose tolerance".

In the third stage, after several years of insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes is easy to diagnose. Now, the fasting blood sugar levels are consistently above the norm. The reason for this is either a further increase in insulin resistance or a decrease in insulin production due to depletion of the pancreatic B cells.

Insulin resistance means so

  • Limited sensitivity of body cells to insulin
  • Insulin can no longer work properly on the cells
  • Insulin resistance is usually years ahead of diagnosed diabetes.

Danger to the vessels

Already in the presence of insulin resistance, the development of atherosclerotic vascular changes begins, the further course to serious diseases such. As heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or blindness. In about half of all newly diagnosed diabetics, organ damage is already detectable. Conversely, this means that insulin resistance usually already exists many years before the onset of type 2 diabetes!

The "Deadly Quartet"

Insulin resistance occurs when there is genetic predisposition and / or external factors. Obesity (obesity) clearly plays the main role here - no other disease is so closely associated with diabetes type 2!

If insulin resistance, obesity and physical inactivity are other risk factors, the chances of developing diabetes in the course of life increase. High blood pressure or a lipid metabolism disorder lead to an additional increase in the risk. In order to recognize diabetes mellitus as early as possible, everyone from the age of 40 should have their blood sugar measured every two years. By the way: If a family member is already suffering from diabetes, there is a significantly higher risk of contracting it as well.

Early recognized - better under control

Diabetes mellitus is a real common disease. After all, one assumes 5 million sufferers - the unreported number is still much higher. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of the type 2 diabetic often comes only late (on average after 5 years) and more random. Consequential damages are thus inevitable and are not treated consistently enough. However, an early diagnosis is of crucial importance for the prevention of possible sequelae since the quality of life of those affected can be significantly reduced as a result of the dangerous consequential damage. It is therefore all the more important to recognize the diabetes mellitus and its precursor early on the insulin resistance and to meet their target-oriented.

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