As a young person, the first time I heard about diabetes I wondered what the big deal was. If someone has diabetes, they just take some medicine and they will be fine. Everyone has the right to decide if they want to eat right or exercise.
As a doctor who specializes in working with people with diabetes, I know it's not that simple. While the symptoms of diabetes are often mild, the complications can be devastating and life-altering.
Diabetic complications put you at higher risk for heart disease, blindness, obesity, amputations, kidney disease and now, bone fractures.
A study presented at the 95th meeting of the Endocrine society revealed that insulin resistance causes weakening of the bones, increasing the risk of bone fractures. It was found that bone strength decreased by up to 14 percent each time insulin resistance doubled.
So the more insulin resistant you are, the more it will affect your bone strength. If you are overweight and insulin resistant, then you are at a higher risk of bone fracture because obesity also increases your risk.
A third risk factor for bone fractures in women is menopause, which also increases your risk for weakened bone strength because the protection from estrogen is gone, too.
How is insulin resistance related to diabetes?
Insulin resistance is one of the major reasons for the high blood sugars that cause diabetes. Under normal circumstances insulin binds to our cells and opens the channels to allow glucose to leave the blood stream and come into the cells.
When you are insulin resistant the cells do not recognize insulin and they do not open their channels to glucose. The glucose has nowhere to go so it stays in the bloodstream and you have high blood sugars.
People who are insulin resistant often do not have symptoms, so they don't know that their bodies are not operating normally. Over time their blood glucose (blood sugar) levels begin to rise and they are diagnosed with diabetes. Insulin resistance has also been shown to be one of the causes of metabolic syndrome.