Insulin resistance medical therapy

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Insulin resistance Microchapters


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Differentiating Insulin Resistance from other Diseases

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Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


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Medical Therapy

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Medical Therapy

The primary treatment for insulin resistance is exercise and weight loss. In some individuals, a low glycemic index or a low carbohydrate diet may also help. Fasting might also help. Both metformin and the thiazolidinediones improve insulin resistance, but are only approved therapies for type 2 diabetes, not insulin resistance, per se. By contrast, growth hormone replacement therapy may be associated with increased insulin resistance.[1]

The Diabetes Prevention Program showed that exercise and diet were nearly twice as effective as metformin at reducing the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes.[2]

Some types of Monounsaturated fatty acids and saturated fats appear to promote insulin resistance, whereas some types of polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3) can increase insulin sensitivity.[3][4][5]

There are scientific studies showing that chromium picolinate can increase insulin sensitivity, especially in type 2 diabetics, but other studies show no effect. The results are controversial.

Naturopathic approaches to insulin resistance have been advocated including supplementation of vanadium, bitter melon (momordica) and Gymnema sylvestre.[6]


  1. Bramnert M, Segerlantz M, Laurila E, Daugaard JR, Manhem P, Groop L (2003). "Growth hormone replacement therapy induces insulin resistance by activating the glucose-fatty acid cycle". THE JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM. 88 (4): 1455–1463. PMID 12679422.
  2. Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Fowler SE, Hamman RF, Lachin JM, Walker EA, Nathan DM; Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group (2002). "Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin". New England Journal of Medicine. 346 (6): 393–403. PMID 11832527.
  3. Lovejoy, JC (2002). "The influence of dietary fat on insulin resistance". Current Diabetes Reports. 2 (5): 435&ndash, 440. PMID 12643169.
  4. Fukuchi S (2004). "Role of Fatty Acid Composition in the Development of Metabolic Disorders in Sucrose-Induced Obese Rats". Experimental Biology and Medicine. 229 (6): 486&ndash, 493. PMID 15169967.
  5. Storlien LH (1996). "Dietary fats and insulin action". Diabetologica. 39 (6): 621&ndash, 631. PMID 8781757.
  6. Harinantenaina L (2006). "Momordica charantia constituents and antidiabetic screening of the isolated major compounds". Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin (Tokyo). 54 (7): 1017&ndash, 21. PMID 16819222.

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