Symptoms and Signs of Insulin Resistance

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/21/2022

Doctor's Notes on Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells found in the pancreas that has many actions within the body including those involved in metabolism 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 and 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 is associated with many medical conditions that can cause a wide variety of symptoms including 

What is the treatment for insulin resistance?

The treatment to reverse insulin resistance is self care by doing the following:

  • Exercise – 30 minutes per day at least 5 days per week
  • Reach a healthy weight – see your doctor
  • Eat a healthy diet – for example, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, whole grains, fish and lean meats

Some patients may need a medication like metformin to keep blood sugar levels effective. Your doctor can help determine if you need medication.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.