Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition characterised by resistance to the effects of insulin at a cellular level. Muscle and adipose tissue require increasing greater amounts of insulin to transfer sugars from the bloodstream. Higher levels of pancreatic insulin synthesis are required to maintain normal blood levels and, therefore both fasting and post-prandial glucose levels rise. Increasing HOMA scores reflect this. Untreated insulin resistance may lead to diabetes and require medical intervention and ongoing treatment.
Insulin Resistance is calculated from both the fasting insulin and fasting glucose results to create the HOMA score (homoeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance).
Insulin resistance is a key component of the Metabolic Syndrome along with abdominal obesity, elevated LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol and high blood pressure. This resistance is seen in relation to both endogenous insulin production as well as resistance to the effects of exogenous insulin administered by injection.
A strong family history of diabetes is a major risk factor for high levels of insulin resistance, along with high GI carbohydrates intake including excessive alcohol consumption; lack of regular exercise; stress and nutritional deficiencies such as chromium, vanadium and magnesium.
- Cardiovascular disease