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Insulin Resistance (cont.)

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Who is at risk for insulin resistance?

An individuals is more likely to have or develop insulin resistance if he or she:

  • Is overweight with a body mass index (BMI) more than 25 kg/m2. You can calculate your BMI by taking your weight (in kilograms) and dividing twice by your height (in meters).
  • Is a man with a waist more than 40 inches or a woman with a waist more than 35 inches
  • Is over 40 years of age
  • Is of Latino, African American, Native American or Asian American ancestry
  • Has close family members have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or arteriosclerosis
  • Has had gestational diabetes
  • Has a history of high blood pressure, high blood triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, arteriosclerosis (or other components of the metabolic syndrome)
  • Has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Displays acanthosis nigricans

How is insulin resistance diagnosed?

A health care professional can identify individuals likely to have insulin resistance by taking a detailed history, performing a physical examination, and simple laboratory testing based on individual risk factors.

In general practice, the fasting blood glucose and insulin levels are usually adequate to determine whether insulin resistance and/or diabetes is present. The exact insulin level for diagnosis varies by assay (by laboratory). However, a fasting insulin level above the upper quartile in a non-diabetic patient is considered abnormal.

How is insulin resistance managed?

Management of insulin resistance is through lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and disease prevention; and medications.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/12/2014

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