Insulin resistance is a step away from type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is defined by a HGBA1C between 5.7-6.0 Type 2 diabetes is over 6.0 HGBA1C. With Insulin Resistance, the pancreas makes more and more Insulin trying to overcome the cellular resistance which can be seen by a rising C-peptide over 4.0
In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is getting tired making less insulin, so C-peptide levels start to fall which is why if lifestyle management doesn’t work than drugs to induce insulin production are prescribed. Both are reversible with diet, exercise, and supplementation.
INSULIN RESISTANCE – THE PATH TO OBESITY AND DIABETES
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 Diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disease that damages the pancreas so it cannot produce insulin. Type 1 Diabetics are insulin dependent. They must take insulin to survive. Type 2 Diabetes occurs when your cells no longer allow insulin in. Your pancreas makes more than enough insulin, in fact too much, but insulin doesn’t work properly. We call this Insulin Resistance.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that escorts glucose (sugar) into your cells for energy production. Hormones need receptor sites in the cell membrane to work. Every cell on your body has insulin receptors.
My daughter created this graphic for me to teach you about hormones. Kyra was taking pre-nursing courses at the time and said that after creating my Hormone in Harmony®, she could understand cell biology much better.
You can see in the above graphic that the cell membrane is made up of glycoprotein and phospholipids with receptor sites that allow hormones to interact with the cell. Glycoproteins are sugars bonded to protein that make up the inner and outer cell membrane. Phospholipids are fats that act as an insulating layer between the glycoprotein layers and provide space for cell receptor sites.
Receptor sites are very specific. Estrogen receptor sites only allow estrogen into the cell. Cortisol receptor sites only allow cortisol into the cell. Unlike steroid receptor sites, insulin receptors act like a lock and key. The insulin receptor is the lock and insulin is the key.
Insulin escorts glucose to your cells. When insulin docks onto the cell receptor, it opens a gateway for glucose to get into the cell. But it does so much more. Insulin also opens an amino acid gateway so the cell has protein building blocks to make more of what it needs, a free fatty acid gateway to help the cell make fats like triglycerides or fats to repair the cell membrane and create healthy receptor sites for hormones, and a water gate that hydrates the cell.
When the insulin receptors are functioning, your cells do not have to break down their own fats and protein for energy (gluconeogenesis). Instead your cells package the incoming glucose into glycogen. Then when the cell needs energy, it breaks down the stored glycogen back into glucose (glycolysis). If you’re insulin resistant, you’re not just missing glucose, you’re malnourished. Your cells are not getting protein, fats, or water!
When you consume more energy in calories than you expend in activity, your body stores the extra blood sugar as glycogen in your liver and muscles. But you can only store 400 calories of glycogen (the amount of calories in a small sandwich). The rest of the extra sugar is repackaged by the liver into triglycerides which are three sugar molecules on a fat molecule.
Your body then stores all the triglycerides in the only cells that can receive the extra sugar – your fat cells. The fat cells most receptive to storage are the ones around your middle. The fat around your middle is called your “insulin meter”.