What is diabetes?

Diabetes refers to a condition where the body does not make enough amounts of insulin, doesn’t produce enough insulin, or both. Diabetes does not have a cure although it is a treatable condition.

What is insulin resistance (IR)?

Insulin resistance occurs when the liver, muscle, and fat cells do not respond properly to the effects of insulin. Insulin is a natural hormone that is made by the beta cells to help the body cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Glucose refers to a form of sugar, which is one of the greatest sources of energy. When you eat food, the level of blood sugar will rise. Because of this, the body will require higher amount of insulin to help glucose enter the muscle cell for fuel. The pancreas will try to keep up with the body’s increased demand for insulin. This will lead to high levels of blood glucose that causes symptoms of diabetes.

Difference between diabetes vs. insulin resistance

There might be some similarities in the diagnosis of diabetes and insulin resistance, but they are different medical conditions. In case of IR, the beta cells will keep producing insulin. Even after the muscle and fat cells become resistant to insulin, the pancreas will keep producing more insulin to help the body cells absorb the glucose that has accumulated in the bloodstream. On the other hand, diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or the body becomes resistant to insulin. However, in the long run, IR can lead to prediabetes, which, if not treated, can progress to diabetes. There is no evidence to show why some people develop insulin resistance while others develop a sensitivity to insulin.



Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.