Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, an organ in the upper belly. Your child’s body breaks down some of the foods your child eats into glucose (sugar). Then, it uses insulin to help move glucose from the blood into the cells for energy.
Insulin resistance means your child’s body makes enough insulin, but the cells are not able to use it properly. Glucose can’t get into the cells, and stays in the blood. This causes higher than normal levels of blood glucose and is not good for your child’s health. Over time, if insulin resistance is not treated and gets worse, it may lead to diabetes. It may also increase your child’s risk for heart disease.
The exact cause of insulin resistance is not known. Your child may have an increased risk for insulin resistance if he:
Most of the time, there are no symptoms. In some cases, insulin resistance may cause dark patches on the skin of the back of the neck, armpits, elbows, knuckles, or knees.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history and examine your child. Your child will have blood tests.
Treatment includes lifestyle changes to help lower blood glucose levels:
Follow the full course of treatment prescribed by your child’s healthcare provider. In addition:
Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.