Insulin resistance occurs when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood. As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin to help glucose enter your cells. As long as your pancreas can make enough insulin to overcome your cells’ weak response to insulin, your blood glucose levels will stay in the healthy range.
Insulin resistance is a hallmark of two very common conditions — metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other problems. Its symptoms include high blood triglycerides, blood pressure, belly fat, and blood sugar, as well as low HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Two variables - genetic risk factors and poor lifestyle habits - lead to insulin resistance. While we have no control over our genetic risk factors, improving lifestyle habits by avoiding an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle go a long way towards reversing the negative effects of metabolic syndrome.