April 6 Lecture

Here are a few interesting questions that came up in class:

1. What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it properly. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps the body use glucose for energy. Glucose is a form of sugar that is the body’s main source of energy.

The body’s digestive system breaks food down into glucose, which then travels in the bloodstream to cells throughout the body. Glucose in the blood is called blood glucose, also known as blood sugar. As the blood glucose level rises after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin to help cells take in and use the glucose.

When people are insulin resistant, their muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin. As a result, their bodies need more insulin to help glucose enter cells. The pancreas tries to keep up with this increased demand for insulin by producing more. Eventually, the pancreas fails to keep up with the body’s need for insulin. Excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, setting the stage for diabetes. Many people with insulin resistance have high levels of both glucose and insulin circulating in their blood at the same time.

Insulin resistance increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Learning about insulin resistance is the first step toward making lifestyle changes that can help prevent diabetes and other health problems.

“Insulin Resistance and Pre-diabetes.” National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Oct. 2008. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/insulinresistance/#what.
2. What is an insulin resistant diet?
– no potatoes
– no simple sugars/carbohydrates (fructose, sweets, cookies, ice cream)
– almost no grain products (bread, pasta, popcorn)
– only whole grains in small amounts
– small amounts of fruit (mostly berries)
– eggs
– nuts
– lean meat, seafood, and fish
3. Why do elephants have a lower BMR?
– larger species have a lower mass specific BMR
– since elephants weigh more and they are much larger,they do not have to eat as often as a rat
Camille
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6 Comments

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6 responses to “April 6 Lecture

  1. psteven

    I’m glad those with insulin deficiencies are still capable of eating complex sugars such as fruits.

  2. camilletan

    I remember one of my friends from elementary/middle/high school had Type 2 diabetes, and he always had to give himself shots during school. His diet was like the one Camille mentioned above. I thought this was cool because I’ve seen it in real life. – Jennifer Manfredo

  3. Jennifer Manfredo

    I find it really interesting that an insulin-resistant diet requires no simple sugars, but that they can still eat complex sugars. It’s a good thing that complex sugars are more healthy!

  4. mgranzella

    I have a question about the build up of glucose in a person who is insulin resistant. If there is a build up of glucose in the blood stream, then can this cause the blood stream (veins, arteries, etc.) to become blocked? Will the build up of glucose in the blood result in a build up of plaque in the blood stream as well?

  5. cgalimanis

    I have been really curious about insulin resistance ever since I shadowed a doctor who saw a patient who was resistant. I am a little unclear about the diagnosis however. Obviously the person does not need more insulin in their system so insulin shots would not be necessary but would the person be considered “diabetic”? Is there a medication that the person would take to mimic the action of isulin that their cells might respond to?

  6. diseaseecology

    Hello,
    You guys are posing some interesting questions. There is a medication called glucophage or metformin that people with pre-diabetes or Type II diabetes can take. This website talks about how the drug works. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000974/
    Dr. Hartley

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