Insulin Resistance? What the heck is that?

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance was something neither my husband or I had ever heard of until about a year ago. Our youngest daughter had been experiencing a lot of stomach/abdomen pain for several years. We had seen a few doctors and the problem seemed to sub-side, at least temporarily. Eventually, enough time passed and her pediatrician and Pediatric Internal Specialist decided a 3rd opinion was necessary. So off to a second Pediatric Internal Specialist we went.

The visit to the 2nd Pediatric Internal Specialist turned out to be a bigger blessing then we could of ever hoped for. Though this specialist was a waste of time for our daughter’s IBS problems, they did confirm she has IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). But the blessing came from the fact that the Fellow that examined our daughter noticed her dark, thickening skin around her neck and mentioned it. I told her that our daughter had been tested for Diabetes at least 3 times and all tests came back negative so the other doctors were puzzled. She┬áreplied, in a matter of fact way, “of course her test came back negative. That’s because your daughter doesn’t have diabetes. She has Insulin Resistance”…..(pause for dramatic effect!)

With confused looks on our faces, my husband and I looked at each other and then at the Fellow and replied, “never heard of Insulin Resistance. What is that?”

So started our journey on learning a new medical condition.

In easy terms, our daughter’s pancreas makes insulin but the receptors on her cells are broken and don’t receive the insulin correctly. In turn, her body does not burn sugar, our main source of energy, correctly. Her pancreas detects this and makes more insulin to compensate. Cells still don’t receive well and so goes the vicious cycle which raises the insulin level in our daughter’s blood stream dangerously high, puts her at high risk for heart disease and diabetes and possibly is the reason she has IBS.

Of course there is more to it but that is the short, easy version. (The longer, medical type definition is below if you want to read it.)

Diet and exercise are key to reversing this, which is possible. But a lot goes in to that plan, especially because the diet that is good for IR is quite opposite of the diet that is good for IBS. That is no joke either! Especially because I am NOT a nutritionist. Lots of research and talking to doctors and a licensed nutritionist helps, but it really is the day to day work that comes in to play on reversing IR for my kid. Something I am trying desperately to do, before it’s too late. It looks like some special cooking classes may be in my near future!

Rebecca & The Gang
Finding Our New Normal

 

P.S. As promised, below is the fancy definition of Insulin Resistance.

Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. That is, the normal response to a given amount of insulin is reduced. As a result, higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to have its proper effects, and the pancreas compensates by trying to produce more insulin. This resistance occurs in response to the body’s own insulin (endogenous) or when insulin is administered by injection (exogenous).

With insulin resistance, the pancreas produces more and more insulin until the pancreas can no longer produce sufficient insulin for the body’s demands, and then blood sugar rises. Insulin resistance is a risk factor for development of diabetes and heart disease.

Till Next Time,
Rebecca & The Gang
Finding Our New Normal

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About Rebecca 30 Articles

Hi! I am a hard working, home schooling mom and wife. Our family loves each other, God and our friends. This is the story of our journey through fighting Depression, High Anxiety, Trichotillomania, Irritable Bowl Syndrome, Insulin Resistance and Parenting. Please join on our crazy ride – we’d love to have you!

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