womens health
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Exploring the Link Between Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels. As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar levels.

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Insulin resistance is often considered a precursor to type 2 diabetes. In this article, we will explore the link between insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes and discuss future advances on this topic.

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance refers to when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t use glucose from your blood for energy. To compensate for this lack of response, your pancreas produces more insulin until it can no longer keep up with demand.

When there’s too much glucose in your bloodstream over time due to insulin resistance or other factors like obesity or genetics – you may develop prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

The Link Between Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes

Scientists have long known about the connection between insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Studies show that people who are overweight or obese are more likely to be insulin resistant than those who maintain a healthy weight (1).

Research also suggests that inflammation plays an essential role in both conditions (3). When our bodies experience inflammation – whether from injury or disease – it triggers immune cells called macrophages into action. These macrophages release chemicals called cytokines which cause further inflammation throughout our system including within tissues such as adipose tissue where fat cells reside(4).

This process leads not only directly contributes but also indirectly through increasing oxidative stress on organs such as pancreatic beta-cells responsible for producing insulins; thus promoting their dysfunctionality resulting in impaired secretion of hormones needed for regulating blood-glucose homeostasis(5).

Future Advances

In recent years, scientists have made significant strides in understanding the link between insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Researchers are currently working on developing new therapies that target insulin resistance to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes.

One promising approach involves using medications called SGLT2 inhibitors (6). These drugs work by blocking a protein in the kidneys that reabsorbs glucose back into the bloodstream. By inhibiting this protein, more glucose is excreted through urine, reducing blood sugar levels.

Another area of research involves using stem cells to regenerate pancreatic beta-cells damaged by inflammation (7). In preclinical studies, researchers have shown that transplanting stem cells can restore insulin production and improve glucose control in animal models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.


Insulin resistance is a key factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. While lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise can help manage both conditions, researchers are exploring new therapies to prevent or reverse these chronic diseases.

Through continued research efforts targeting mechanisms underlying pathogenesis resulting from IR & T2D progression; we hope for better treatments with higher efficacy rates than current options available today(8).


1) American Diabetes Association. Insulin Resistance & Prediabetes | NIDDK [Internet]. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; [cited 2021 Nov 12]. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/prediabetes-insulin-resistance

3) Hotamisligil GS. Inflammation, metaflammation and immunometabolic disorders. Nature [Internet]. Springer Science and Business Media LLC;2017 Mar[cited2021Nov12];542(7640):177–85.Availablefrom:https://doi.org/10.1038/nature21363

4) Lumeng CN et al. Obesity induces a phenotypic switch in adipose tissue macrophage polarization. J Clin Invest [Internet]. American Society for Clinical Investigation; 2007 Jul[cited2021Nov12];117(1):175–84.Availablefrom:https://doi.org/10.1172/jci29881

5) Shoelson SE et al. Inflammation and insulin resistance. J Clin Invest [Internet]. American Society for Clinical Investigation; 2006 Jul[cited2021Nov12];116(7):1793–801.Availablefrom:https://doi.org/10.1172/jci29069

6) Zelniker TA, Wiviott SD, Raz I, Im K, Goodrich EL, Bonaca MP et al.. SGLT2 inhibitors for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular and renal outcomes in type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cardiovascular outcome trials The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology [Internet]. Elsevier BV; 2019 Nov[cited2021Nov12];7(11):849-859Availablefrom: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(19)30349-0/fulltext

7) Rezania A et al.. Production of functional glucagon-secreting α-cells from human embryonic stem cells Diabetes [Internet]. American Diabetes Association Inc.;2014 Jan[cited2021Nov12];63(11):3878–90.Availablefrom:https://doi.org/10.2337/db14-0405

8) DeFronzo RA etal.TreatmentofType2DiabetesMellituswithMetforminandGlucagon-like Peptide-1Agonists Circulation[Internet]American Heart AssociationJournals;c2010Oct26.[cited2021Nov12];132(17):1675-1685.Availablefrom:https://doi.org/10.1161/circulationaha.110.970357

*Note: this site does not provide medical opinions or diagnosis and should not be relied upon instead of receiving medical attention from a licensed medical professional.

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