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Question About Insulin Resistance

Discussion in 'PCOS Community' started by tibetie, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. tibetie

    tibetie Guest


    When I was tested for insulin resistance last year, my level was 26 after fasting, which the endo said was on the high side of normal, but nothing to worry about. He didn't think that I should bother with Metaphormin or that it was related to my bouts of TE. My total and free testosterone are both on the low end of normal, so do you think my insulin level can be contributing to my hair loss? What else can high insulin do to jack up your hormone levels?

  2. hwag5149

    hwag5149 Guest

    the number doesn't mean much to us unless we know the range. They did mine and it was 21 (should be less than 17) and my dr was saying i am SUPER insulin resistant. I think his words were "you're so insulin resistant, it's not even funny". Rude ass!

    I can't remember the path it takes, but i know more insulin= ovaries that stop working correctly and the production of MUCH more testosterone. I think it can also stop ovulation all together.... which is why a lot of women who are having trouble getting pregnant are prescribed metformin.
  3. tibetie

    tibetie Guest

    I don't know the range...I can review my lab tests online, but he didn't post the test or range for IR. I asked him at our appointment what my insulin level was, and that's when he told me that it was 26, which was a little on the high range of normal. He seems a little off because he gave me the 3 hour glucose test for pregnant women...I want him to retest me this year since I've changed my eating habits and have hopefully lowered it. Also, this time I want him to give me the healthy range and to put it in my online records.
  4. hwag5149

    hwag5149 Guest

    i got a 3 hour glucose test from a free clinic a while back. I wanted to be tested for diabetes and my regular Dr. didn't want to do it. I ended up hating my dr and going to a free clinic to get an hiv/std test and he was like "we should check your thyroid and check you for diabetes". I was SO excited. Anyway, it was the glucose tolerance test. When I went back to a Dr. through my insurance (different doctor), she was totally confused as to why they gave me that test instead of the blood test, but I was thankful.

    Also, keep in mind that you can be very insulin resistant and still have normal fasting blood sugar values. My fasting blood sugar is in the low 80's (100 is diabetic, 70 is hypoglycemic) so it's actually a pretty great number. Anyway, my hemoglobin a1c is 5.8 though (which tells you your blood sugar for the last 3 months). 6 is diabetic, so I am ALMOST there. My insulin is 21. Sooo you can see that my fasting number is great, but I am still one step away from being diabetic. Be careful as insulin resistance is the precursor to diabetes :(
  5. tibetie

    tibetie Guest

    I just checked my results for the HGBA1C test...it's 5.3 and the range is 4.6-6.0 %, so it seems like I'm right in the middle. If my free and total testosterone are so low, it doesn't seem like the higher level of insulin should be triggering the hair sheds. It sucks because once I went back on BCP's 6 years ago, my hair eventually stopped shedding and I recovered somewhat from the huge shed. I noticed that my hair was thinner near the hairline, which bothered me, but at least there was no shedding. I don't know what's going on with my body.
  6. hwag5149

    hwag5149 Guest

    did u make a post about your estrogen and stuff?
  7. tibetie

    tibetie Guest

    I think I did at some point...it was a while ago. My estrogen is low but that's because I'm on BCP's. Here's my results:

    Component Your Value Standard Range
    TESTOSTERONE FREE 0.5 0.1-6.4 pg/mL
    TESTOSTERONE, TOTAL 16 2-45 ng/dL


    DHEA-S 118 <430- ug/dL



    I hate when some of these tests don't give me the normal ranges.
  8. tibetie

    tibetie Guest

    I was just thinking...if my estrogen is 37 and my progesterone is less than 25, would that make me estrogen dominant? But then maybe these values don't really matter because I'm on BCP's. So confusing.
  9. kimm

    kimm Guest

    I'm no good with the hormone results, but as far as being insulin resistant, from what I understand the tests are pretty useless.

    I don't test IR, but when I talked to my doctor about my symptoms (hypoglycemia being one) it became apparent that it's an issue for me.

    I've been on Fortamet (brand name metformin) Since Oct 08 and the hypoglycemic episodes are rare now, my cycle which went off track for a bit is back to 29 days, and my testosterone went from 60 to 39 as of march (need to see if I can score another test from that lab soon)

    So if you have pcos there's a good chance that you may be helped by an insulin sensitizer. Some doctors feel that this is an underlying factor, no matter what your tests say. In my case it seems to be helping (hope it stays that way!)

    Hope that helps?

    I'm a dunce with the estrogen/progesterone stuff, so hopefully someone else can chime in there!

    I just got my blood drawn today for my estrogen and progesterone so I'll be posting here for feedback soon too!
  10. hwag5149

    hwag5149 Guest

    nooo it doesn't work like that.

    You have to look at the lab values to see where your levels SHOULD be. If you are in child rearing years, I THINK your estrogen should be around 100 and your progesterone has to be at least 5 in the luteal phase. I don't know how to explain it.

    My estrogen was 50something (very low for my age) and my progesterone was so low that it couldn't even be read.
  11. april k

    april k Guest

    Your bloodwork is certainly not typical for pcos, but your insulin levels certainly DO indicate insulin resistance. I do not remember seeing your results for the 3 hour glucose tolerance test? Did your blood sugar dip low for the third hour? A low carbohydrate diet might work real well for you, as well as eating about every 3 hours (and these little meals should not only be carb which will only aggravate your situation. For the record, I consider any fasting insulin over 9 too high.

    Best of luck.

    Dr April
  12. joshsmommy

    joshsmommy Guest

    That's what I've always understood too...that a fasting insuling should be around 5 and anything 10 and above would be considered IR. I tested at 10.
  13. hwag5149

    hwag5149 Guest

    :agree: my fasting level was 21 :(
  14. kimm

    kimm Guest

    Hmmmm. I don't know what mine was but If anything I was hypoglycemic!

    My one doctor mentioned that even a normal test doesn't always mean you aren't IR. I really wish I could remember how it was explained to me.

    But now that I'm on an insulin sensitizer I've noticed that I don't get those severe dips that I used to get when I didn't eat properly.

    I still get them but not as bad. I'm hoping that if my numbers (testosterone) stop moving down that I can get someone to bump my fortamet dosage from 1500mg to 2000mg. Anyone know what a typical dose for diabetics is? I don't want to max out too soon as I've also heard that your body can adjust to the med after some time, rendering it less effective.
  15. hwag5149

    hwag5149 Guest

    my room mate was diabetic and i think she only took 1000 mg but she was taking other meds too.
  16. catfancy

    catfancy Guest

    My fasting insulin level was 51. My doctor was...disturbed. Ugh, I'm worried about it since I'm not on Metformin anymore. No insurance. Grr.
  17. missmyhair

    missmyhair Guest

    I'm wondering if I have IR.....I am very small (weigh like 105 lbs), but I need to eat like every few hours and I feel hungry so much. Does this mean anything? Just wondering b/c I do have some other PCOS-ish issues. thoughts?
  18. kimm

    kimm Guest

    I weigh pretty normal for my height (5'2" - 112 lbs) but still have pcos.

    The weight thing and the fact that my glucose tests always came back normal made it really hard to get the IR diagnosis.

    Most doctors won't give you meds, but I managed to find two who knew a little more about IR. I wasn't seeing results on antiandrogens alone (well juries still out on my "results" but my androgens seem to have decreased some)

    Both me and my sis have pcos (she's really thin) and both get hypoglycemic if we wait too long to eat. I've found a lot of benefit from going lower carb (when I can resist the cravings at least) and being on an insulin sensitizer.

    If you have high or high/normal testosterone or any of the other pcos symptoms, it might be worth a look into!
  19. hwag5149

    hwag5149 Guest

    cat i think metformin is quite inexpensive... maybe try to find a way around not having insurance? 51 is super duper duper high!
  20. kimm

    kimm Guest

    You're right shwag! I'll bet it qualifies for either the Target or Walmart $4 priced generics. It's such a common med that I'd be surprised if it didn't!

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