Blood Sugar 101: The Types of Insulin Resistance

Did you know that the human pancreas is home to one to two million groups of cells called pancreatic islets? Most of those cells are beta cells, responsible for secreting the hormone insulin.

Insulin, in turn, plays many functions, primarily glucose (sugar) regulation and storage.

Unfortunately, there are cases wherein the body doesn’t respond well to insulin. Health experts refer to such conditions as insulin resistance.

There are several types of insulin resistance, and knowing which one you might have is key to treating it. We’ll explain them below, so be sure to read on.

Acquired Insulin Resistance

In the United States, an estimated one in four people over 20 years old have insulin resistance. Most of these individuals have acquired insulin resistance.

The term “acquired” refers to how a person can get insulin resistance due to external factors.

For instance, many people with acquired insulin resistance have excess body fat. Some also have high sodium diets and nutritional imbalances. At the same, they lack physical activity or are sedentary.

Fortunately, most risk factors for acquired insulin resistance are modifiable, apart from age. Still, that means you can reduce your odds of developing the condition. For example, you can shed excess weight, eat more healthily, and exercise more often.

It’s imperative to avoid acquired insulin resistance as it can cause type 2 diabetes (T2D). If you develop T2D, there’s no going back, and you’d need to take oral drugs, such as Fortamet or Glucophage. Your doctor may also prescribe injectable treatments like Ozempic 1mg or Bydureon 2mg.

Having T2D can also give rise to symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). These include fatigue, blurry vision, frequent urination, and constant hunger.

Type A Insulin Resistance Syndrome (TAIRS)

TAIRS is a condition in which the body has severe insulin resistance. It’s rare, occurring in about one in every 100,000 people. However, it has hereditary factors, so you may be at a higher risk of developing it if it runs in your family.

It’s vital to address TAIRS as soon as possible, as it can also heighten your odds of getting T2D. Since it’s genetic, its primary treatment takes the form of lifestyle modifications. That includes healthier eating, increased physical activity, and losing excess weight.

Type B Insulin Resistance Syndrome (TBIRS)

TBIRS, like TAIRS, is also a rare insulin-related condition. However, TBIRS is a component of an autoimmune disorder that blocks insulin effects. As a result, insulin can’t do its job of getting glucose into the cells, so sugar builds up in the blood instead.

Since TBIRS is different from TAIRS, its treatment also varies. For example, it requires addressing the underlying autoimmune disease. That may include taking medications like rituximab, dexamethasone, or cyclophosphamide.

Type C Insulin Resistance Syndrome

According to experts, type C insulin resistance syndrome is a variant of TAIRS. Much is still unknown about it, but it appears to share a link with hyperandrogenism and obesity. In addition, it may occur with or without insulin receptor defects.

As with TAIRS, type C insulin resistance treatment involves weight loss. However, it may also require hyperandrogenism treatment with anti-androgens.

Get Tested for These Types of Insulin Resistance ASAP

While there are many different types of insulin resistance, all can lead to diabetes. They may also make you predisposed to heart attacks, strokes, or even cancer.

Those are good enough reasons to get your blood sugar levels screened. That way, your doctor can check if you have insulin-related problems. If you do, then you can undergo treatment as soon as possible.

Did you find this article informative? If so, feel free to check out our other health and wellness guides!

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