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3 Chronic Diseases That Can Cause Insulin Resistance


Your body creates the hormone insulin in order to process the energy you take in when you eat and drink. That’s a pretty essential function! However, some medical conditions put you at risk for insulin resistance, causing your body to be unable to use insulin normally.

Insulin resistance and diabetes — a chronic medical condition that occurs when insulin resistance develops to a certain stage — are complex health care issues. At Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care in Duarte, California, Dr. Ulin Sargeant and her team can help you learn more about your insulin resistance status and your risk of certain medical conditions with insulin resistance testing

With Dr. Sargeant’s support, you can keep insulin resistance from progressing, managing your condition to avoid over-stressing your health. Do you have any of these chronic conditions? If so, insulin resistance could become a problem for you.

1. Obesity

Recognized as a chronic condition by health officials worldwide, obesity affects more than 40% of American adults. Obesity increases your risk for insulin resistance problems in several ways.

Scientists are still learning about the causes of insulin resistance, but a common predictor seems to be excess fat, especially around your abdomen. A waist measurement of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women can indicate cause for concern.

Obesity also often co-occurs with inactivity, another risk factor for insulin resistance issues. When your body doesn’t get active regularly, you lose muscle, an important source of absorption for blood glucose. Inactivity has been shown to make insulin resistance worse.

2. Hypothyroidism

Chronic hormonal disorders can also disrupt your body’s ability to use insulin. If you have hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the key hormones it’s responsible for. 

Reduced levels of thyroid hormone correlate with increased risk of insulin resistance, as your body struggles to deal with a slowing metabolism and blood sugar buildup.

3. Cushing’s syndrome

Other hormone imbalances can also negatively impact your insulin absorption levels, including Cushing’s syndrome. This is a condition related to excess cortisol, the so-called stress hormone. 

Your body releases cortisol as part of your fight-or-flight response to stressors. But if your body has too much cortisol in its system too much of the time, your blood sugar levels can spin out of control.

Cortisol increases blood sugar levels, an important step of extracting energy from food intake. However, too much cortisol, when out of balance with natural insulin production, leads to problems. As your body experiences less and less effect from insulin, insulin resistance increases and high blood sugar becomes a potentially serious health problem.

Knowing your risk

If you have these or other chronic conditions that put you at risk for developing insulin resistance and, potentially, Type 2 diabetes, contact Dr. Sargeant and the MIMPC team to schedule insulin resistance testing. The Kraft test we use places your insulin resistance on a spectrum, level 1 through level 5, and tells us how close to diabetes you are.

With the right testing and treatment plan, you can protect your body from the negative effects of insulin resistance. Contact Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care by calling 877-254-4496, or schedule your Kraft test through our online booking portal now to get started.

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