Insulin resistance is a condition in which body cells do not fully respond to the action of insulin, a hormone that controls the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels become abnormally high.
Over time, insulin resistance can result in consistently high blood sugar levels, which increases a person's risk for type 2 diabetes. Pregnant women who are insulin resistant have an increased risk for gestational diabetes.
Usually, insulin resistance develops in people who are overweight and not physically active. These characteristics are often associated with having high cholesterol and high blood pressure. People who are insulin resistant have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, especially if other risk factors, such as being a smoker or having high cholesterol levels, are present.
Current as of: December 18, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine & Lois Jovanovic, MD - Endocrinology
Public Health Alerts
Public health alerts include information about outbreaks, advisories and product recalls. Click on the links below to read the most recent alerts, or visit our Public Health Alerts web page.
Tell Us About Your Visit
FIND Services and Resources
If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use our directory to FIND hospitals, clinics, and other resources.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Is it an emergency?
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.