Insulin Resistance - Symptoms

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What were the symptoms of your insulin resistance?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white triangle:

What medical conditions are associated with insulin resistance?

While the metabolic syndrome links insulin resistance with abdominal obesity, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure; several medical other conditions are specifically associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance may contribute to some of the conditions listed.

Type 2 Diabetes

Overt diabetes may be the first sign that insulin resistance is present. Insulin resistance can be noted long before type 2 diabetes develops. Individuals reluctant or unable to see a health care practitioner regularly, often seek medical attention when they have already developed type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.

Fatty liver

Fatty liver is strongly associated with insulin resistance. Accumulation of fat in the liver is a manifestation of the disordered control of lipids that occurs with insulin resistance. Fatty liver associated with insulin resistance may be mild or severe. Newer evidence suggests that fatty liver may even lead to cirrhosis of the liver and, possibly, liver cancer.

Arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis (also known as atherosclerosis) is a process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries. Arteriosclerosis is responsible for:

  • Coronary artery disease (leading to angina and heart attack)
  • Strokes
  • Peripheral vascular disease

Other risk factors for arteriosclerosis include:

  • High levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes mellitus from any cause
  • Family history of arteriosclerosis

Skin Lesions

Skin lesions include increased skin tags and a condition called acanthosis nigricans (AN). Acanthosis nigricans is a darkening and thickening of the skin, especially in folds such as the neck, under the arms, and in the groin. This condition is directly related to the insulin resistance, though the exact mechanism is not clear.

  • Acanthosis nigricans is a cosmetic condition strongly associated with insulin resistance in which the skin darkens and thickens in creased areas (for example, the neck, arm pits, and groin).
  • Skin tags are occur more frequently in patients with insulin resistance. A skin tag is a common, benign condition where a bit of skin projects from the surrounding skin. Skin tags vary significantly in appearance. A skin tag may appear smooth or irregular, flesh colored or darker than surrounding skin, and either be simply raised above surrounding skin or attached by a stalk (peduncle) so that it hangs from the skin.

Reproductive abnormalities in women

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormonal problem which affects menstruating women. It is associated with irregular periods or no periods at all (amenorrhea), obesity, and increased body hair in a male pattern of distribution (called hirsutism; for example, moustache, sideburns, beard, mid-chest, and central belly hair).

Hyperandrogenism: With PCOS, the ovaries can produce high levels of the hormone testosterone. This high testosterone level can be seen with insulin resistance and may play a role in causing PCOS. Why this association occurs is unclear, but it appears that the insulin resistance somehow causes abnormal ovarian hormone production.

Growth abnormalities

High levels of circulating insulin can affect growth. While insulin's effects on glucose metabolism may be impaired, its effects on other mechanisms may remain intact (or at least less impaired). Insulin is an anabolic hormone which promotes growth. Patients may actually grow larger with a noticeable coarsening of features. Children with open growth plates in their bones may actually grow faster than their peers. However, neither children nor adults with insulin resistance become taller than predicted by their familial growth pattern. Indeed, most adults simply appear larger with coarser features. The increased incidence of skin tags mentioned earlier may occur through this mechanism too.

Return to Insulin Resistance

See what others are saying

Comment from: AMH, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I was just diagnosed with insulin resistance today by a doctor who listened to me. For years I have tried so hard to lose weight. Yet no matter what diet I went on or how hard and long I exercised I couldn't get my weight under control. I've been to so many doctors. Over and over they would misdiagnose and tell me to "just lose some weight." They never seemed to listen when I explained my long and intense walking, cycling, swimming, and kayaking workouts, usually for two or more hours each day. I kept detailed food diaries that listed everything about the food. I refined and refined and refined my healthy eating plan until there was no refined foods in my diet. Yet the doctors didn't seem to hear me. I guess they couldn't see beyond my size. So my health has continued to deteriorate even with very healthy eating and lots of hard exercise. For example, last week I cycled 77 miles. Yet the Physicians Assistant I saw a few weeks ago told me I "really should consider getting some aerobic exercise." Finally, after 10 doctors in the last 2 years, I have found a wonderful doctor who really listened and who really understood what I've been going through. He prescribed Metformin. I feel so much relief that I've finally found someone who will work with me to improve my health. I'm anxious to see how the Metformin will help my already established good health habits.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Akhtar, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 29

Unfortunately, doctors have never checked the cause why my blood sugar is not in control. I eat exactly what has been prescribed above, but I keep gaining weight, slowly. Last year I was at a place where I had access to a gym. I was on the treadmill, exercise bike for 50 minutes, total, and then weights for another 40 minutes. My weight went down, stomach was in, muscles were visible. My HBA1C went down from 7.8 to 6.1 in two months. Now it is 8.1 again.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Stay Informed!

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox FREE!