Insulin Resistance - Causes and Symptoms

Related articles: Insulin resistance


Insulin resistance is a condition that occurs when the body's cells show poor sensitivity to insulin. Therefore, glucose cannot be absorbed by them in response to the action exerted by the hormone and remains in the blood.

In most patients, hyperinsulinemia compensates for insulin resistance, even for several years. However, when the insulin response is no longer adequate to the demands, a hyperglycemic state is established, which can progressively evolve towards type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The causes of insulin resistance can be hormonal, genetic or pharmacological.

Furthermore, at the root of the problem there may be endocrine diseases, such as Cushing's syndrome, acromegaly and pheochromocytoma. Often, in these pathologies, they are produced in excess of the insulin antagonists (such as cortisol and glucocorticoids), which diminish their action. In some cases, on the other hand, the disorder is of genetic origin and depends on mutations affecting insulin receptors and altering the path of transduction of the relative signal.

Insulin resistance can also be induced by prolonged use of certain types of drugs, such as corticosteroids. Even incorrect habits, such as a high-calorie diet associated with poor exercise, can predispose to this condition.

As anticipated, inadequate response to insulin contributes significantly to the pathogenesis of diabetes. This condition also represents a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, obesity, dyslipidemia, arterial hypertension, non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Possible Causes * of Insulin Resistance

  • Acromegaly
  • Fanconi anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes
  • dyslipidemia
  • Primitive and Secondary Hemochromatosis
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Hypertension
  • Cooley's disease
  • Cushing's disease
  • Obesity
  • Progeria
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease