Diabetes: Insulin Resistance Syndrome
Insulin resistance syndrome is a term used to describe a combination of medical conditions that have a common link -- an increased risk of premature heart disease.
The cluster of medical conditions that make up the insulin resistance syndrome places a person at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It is estimated that 70 to 80 million Americans have the combination of diseases caused by insulin resistance syndrome.
Those diseases are:
What Is Insulin Resistance?
In insulin resistance, the body's cells have a diminished ability to respond to the action of the insulin hormone. To compensate for the resistance, the pancreas secretes more insulin.
People with this syndrome have insulin resistance and high levels of insulin in the blood as a marker of the disease rather than a cause.
Over time people with insulin resistance can develop high sugars or diabetes as the high insulin levels can no longer compensate for elevated sugars.
How Is Insulin Resistance Syndrome Diagnosed?
The current epidemic of obesity in children also puts them at risk for the development of the insulin resistance syndrome.
What's The Treatment?
Is It Preventable?
Reviewed by Certified Diabetes Educators in the Department of Patient Education and Health Information and by physicians in the Department of Endocrinology at The Cleveland Clinic.
WebMD Medical Reference
Last Editorial Review: 5/24/2005
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