Insulin Resistance

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Robert Ferry Jr., MD

    Robert Ferry Jr., MD

    Robert Ferry Jr., MD, is a U.S. board-certified Pediatric Endocrinologist. After taking his baccalaureate degree from Yale College, receiving his doctoral degree and residency training in pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), he completed fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

  • Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

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Can insulin resistance be prevented?

Insulin resistance cannot always be prevented, but there are ways to modify risk factors, such as keeping a healthy weight and getting regular exercise.

What is the prognosis for a person with insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes unless measures are taken to reverse the insulin resistance. Weight loss, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and exercise, as described previously, can all help reverse insulin resistance.

What's new in insulin resistance?

Over the past decade, insulin resistance has gained significance, in its own right, as a contributor to the metabolic syndrome. Timely intervention can delay the onset of overt type 2 diabetes. Future studies must assess longer intervals than research to date in order to determine the duration for treatment to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and related complications.

Lifestyle changes (in nutrition and physical activity) are clearly important to delay the development of type 2 diabetes in individuals with insulin resistance and are the primary recommendation for prevention of diabetes in high-risk individuals. Metformin is the only drug recommended by guidelines, for those patients at highest risk. Education about these changes must be directed to all groups at risk for type 2 diabetes. Childhood obesity is epidemic and on the rise in the developed countries. Changes must be made in homes and school cafeterias to ensure healthier nutrition.

REFERENCES:

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC). "Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)."
<https://www.niddk.nih.gov/about-niddk/research-areas/diabetes/diabetes-prevention-program-dpp/Pages/default.aspx>

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC). "rediabetes and Insulin Resistance."
<https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/types/prediabetes-insulin-resistance>

Olatunbosun, S.T., MD. "Insulin Resistance." Medscape. Updated: Jan 30, 2015.
<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/122501-overview>

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/31/2016

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