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Insulin Resistance Symptoms & Diagnosis


Except for obesity, there are no obvious symptoms. Those who are obese may have the following symptoms and signs:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Back or knee pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Reduced exercise tolerance
  • Fatigue
  • Central obesity
  • Elevated blood pressure


The doctor will ask about your medical history. A physical exam will be done.

Your doctor may order lab tests such as:

  • Blood tests to measure:
    • Fasting blood sugar levels (glucose) or a two-hour post-glucose challenge blood sugar level
    • Fasting insulin
    • Triglyceride level
    • HDL cholesterol level
  • C Reactive Protein, especially highly sensitive CRP
  • Blood pressure
  • Calculation of body mass index (BMI) from weight and height
  • Calculation of the 10 year risk of cardiovascular disease

You may be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if you have at least three of the following measures:

  • Waist measurement—greater than 40 inches in Caucasian men (35 inches in Asian men) or 35 inches in Caucasian women (30 inches in Asian women)
  • Fasting blood sugar (glucose)—greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL* (5.55 mmol/L)
  • Serum triglycerides—greater than or equal to 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)
  • Serum HDL (“good”) cholesterol—less than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L) in men and less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women
  • Blood pressure—greater than or equal to 130/85 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)
*mg/dL = milligrams per deciliter blood, mmol/L = millimoles per liter blood

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2024 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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