Insulin Resistance:Causes,Symptoms,Diagnosis & Treatment

Insulin Resistance: Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, permits cells to absorb glucose so that it can be utilized as energy.  Insulin resistance is a situation in which a given concentration of insulin produces a less-than-expected biological effect. Insulin resistance has also been described as the requirement of 200 or more units of insulin per day to succeed glycemic control and to inhibit ketosis.Insulin resistanceOne in three Americans—half of those age 60 and older— have a silent blood sugar complication known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance raises the risk for prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and a host of additional serious health problems- heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.


In insulin resistance, muscle, fat, and liver cells do not react accurately to insulin and thus cannot efficiently absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a consequence, the body needs higher levels of insulin to maintain glucose enter the cells.

Causes Insulin Resistance


  • Excess Weight
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Prediabetes
  • Age 40–45 years or older
  • Family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Excessive fat stored in the liver and pancreas
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Chronic stress
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Some medications(glucosamine, rifampicin, isoniazid, olanzapine, risperidone, glucocorticoids, progestogens, methadone, many antiretrovirals)

Symptoms of Insulin Resistance

If diabetes has not developed, insulin resistance does not usually present any symptoms. The symptoms only start to develop once it leads to secondary effects such as higher blood sugar levels, symptoms may include:

  • Lethargy (tiredness)
  • Hunger
  • Weight gain around the middle (belly fat)
  • Difficulty concentrating (brain fog)
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Acanthosis nigricans - The condition is distinguished by dark patches developing on the groin, back of the neck, and armpits.
  • Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS) - An endocrine disease. High levels of insulin can worsen the manifestations of PCOS.

If insulin resistance extends into prediabetes or types 2 diabetes, the symptoms will include the classic symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

Diagnosing Insulin Resistance

  • HbA1C test
  • Fasting blood glucose test
  • Random  blood glucose test

Insulin Resistance Treatment

While the risk factors for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are not always modifiable.It is potential to reduce the effects of insulin resistance and there are a number of efficient ways to do this-

  • Low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets
  • Taking a lot of exercise in combination with a healthy diet
  • Very-low-calorie diets
  • Weight loss

International Journal of Obesity-overweight people who lost 10% of their weight over diet plus exercise observed insulin responsiveness improve by an impressive 80%.