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- Patient Comments: Insulin Resistance - Describe Your Experience
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- Patient Comments: Insulin Resistance - Causes
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- Insulin resistance definition and facts
- What is insulin resistance?
- What are the signs and symptoms of insulin resistance?
- What causes insulin resistance?
- What is the relationship between insulin resistance and diabetes?
- What are normal insulin levels?
- What medical conditions are associated with insulin resistance?
- Who is at risk for insulin resistance?
- Which specialties of doctors treat insulin resistance?
- Is there a test for insulin resistance?
- Can insulin resistance be cured?
- Is there a special diet plan for treating insulin resistance?
- What foods help prevent type 2 diabetes?
- What about exercise to treat insulin resistance?
- What medications treat insulin resistance?
- Can insulin resistance be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for a person with insulin resistance?
- What's new in insulin resistance?
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What are the signs and symptoms of insulin resistance?
There are no specific signs and symptoms of insulin resistance.
What causes insulin resistance?
There are several causes for insulin resistance, and genetic factors (inherited component) are usually significant. Some medications can contribute to insulin resistance. In addition, insulin resistance is often seen with the following conditions:
- The metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions involving excess weight (particularly around the waist), high blood pressure, and elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
- Infection or severe illness
- Inactivity and excess weight
- During steroid use
Other causes of or factors that may worsen insulin resistance can include:
What is the relationship between insulin resistance and diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) is the type of diabetes that occurs later in life or with obesity at any age. Insulin resistance precedes the development of type 2 diabetes, sometimes by years. In individuals who will ultimately develop type 2 diabetes, it has been shown that blood glucose and insulin levels are normal for many years, until at some point in time, insulin resistance develops.
High insulin levels are often associated with central obesity, cholesterol abnormalities, and/or high blood pressure (hypertension). When these disease processes occur together, it is called the metabolic syndrome.
One action of insulin is to cause the body's cells (particularly the muscle and fat cells) to remove and use glucose from the blood. This is one way by which insulin controls the level of glucose in blood. Insulin has this effect on the cells by binding to insulin receptors on the surface of the cells. You can think of it as insulin "knocking on the doors" of muscle and fat cells. The cells hear the knock, open up, and let glucose in to be used. With insulin resistance, the muscles don't hear the knock (they are resistant). So, the pancreas is notified it needs to make more insulin, which increases the level of insulin in the blood and causes a louder knock.
The resistance of the cells continues to increase over time. As long as the pancreas is able to produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance, blood glucose levels remain normal. When the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin, blood glucose levels begin to rise. Initially, this happens after meals - when glucose levels are at their highest and more insulin is needed - but eventually while fasting too (for example, upon waking in the morning). When blood sugar rises abnormally above certain levels, type 2 diabetes is present.