Insulin resistance is a disorder in which the body develops resistance to normal levels of insulin, thus, triggering its excessive generation in the body. Here we discuss this medical condition as it is a growing concern.
Children are more susceptible to develop a disease and disorder than adults. This is primarily because of low immunity as compared to adults. One such disorder that is gaining concern worldwide is Insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone which is produced by the beta cells of Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. It is directly poured into the blood stream. Insulin is responsible for metabolizing the carbohydrate and fat content of the body.
In this way, it helps in regulating the blood sugar level in the body. Insulin resistance develops when the body is unable to metabolize the fats and carbohydrates with normal insulin levels. This triggers the pancreas to produce increased level of insulin in the body. Insulin Resistance Syndrome (IRS) is a combination of obesity, high blood pressure, low HDL levels, high triglyceride level in the blood, and insulin resistance. This medical condition is prevalent among obese children. Here is some relevant information pertaining to this problem.
IRS starts with the body developing resistance to insulin produced by the body. Inability to metabolize the carbohydrate and fat content results in increased production of insulin in the body. This results in a condition known as Hyperinsulinemia. If the child is suffering from this problem for a long time, he/she may progress towards developing Type 2 diabetes in the future. Other associated complications like atherosclerosis (cardiovascular disease), hypertension, obesity, and dyslipidemia can also appear. A female child may have the risk of developing polycystic ovarian syndrome in later years of life.
Children are required to be taken care of. They can develop resistance to insulin due to diet containing excess carbohydrates and fats, and/or lack of exercise regimen in daily life. Sometimes, resistance can be developed due to the genetic make up of the body as this trait can be transferred genetically to the offspring.
Children developing resistance to insulin show signs of increased appetite, undetermined weight gain, and acanthosis nigricans, i.e., darkening of skin in patches specially around the neck and armpit region. Children showing visible signs of darkened skin should be immediately taken to the doctor for consultation.
There is no established method for the diagnosis of this problem in children. Doctors check the patient history as well as the family history. They also check the presence of several other complications associated with this problem like hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Tests used for diagnosis include blood test to check the fasting blood sugar level and fasting blood insulin level.
Doctors initially try to rectify this problem in children by suggesting lifestyle changes like proper exercise regimen, and a diet with controlled levels of carbohydrates and fats. Certain studies have associated magnesium deficiency with insulin resistance. Hence, increased intake of diet rich in magnesium may also be suggested by the doctor. Cases which are not controlled by lifestyle changes are prescribed medications for treatment.
Diet is a major key to improve the condition in children. Foods rich in carbohydrates like potato, sweet potato, white bread, corn, banana, and dates should be avoided. Oily food containing high fat content and butter, etc., should also be avoided. An insulin resistance diet plan must be followed. Food rich in fiber content like cereals, pulses, vegetables, and nuts must be consumed to improve the condition.
A doctor’s advice should be taken immediately if a child is showing signs and symptoms related to the development of insulin resistance. It is evident that with proper monitoring and diet control this condition can be improved, thus, escaping the development of serious complications that follow it.