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Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance Overview

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the beta cells found in the pancreas. Insulin is an important hormone that has many actions within the body including those involved in metabolism (control) of carbohydrates (sugars and starches), lipids (fats), and proteins.

When insulin resistance develops, tissues in the body – particularly muscle and fat tissues- do not respond appropriately to insulin. In fact, more insulin is needed to elicit the same response from these tissues. As a result, higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to continue to exert its physiologic effect.

Insulin Resistance Causes

There are many causes of insulin resistance, including a strong association with genetics (an inherited component). In addition, insulin resistance is often associated with the following conditions:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/31/2014

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Insulin Resistance:

Insulin Resistance - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with insulin resistance.

Insulin Resistance - Diet

What changes to your diet have helped manage your insulin resistance?

Insulin Resistance Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance and pre-diabetes usually have no symptoms. People may have one or both conditions for several years without noticing anything. People with a severe form of insulin resistance may have dark patches of skin, usually on the back of the neck. Sometimes people have a dark ring around their neck. Other possible sites for dark patches include elbows, knees, knuckles, and armpits. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans.

SOURCE: National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, National Institutes of Health. Insulin Resistance and Pre-Diabetes.

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