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Insulin is a biomarker that can tell you how well your body’s insulin response is working. It is a hormone released by your pancreas in response to elevated levels of glucose in your blood, usually after a meal. It tells cells to take up glucose to be used later as an energy source. Between meals, when glucose levels are low, the amount of insulin in your blood is expected to be low as well.

Insulin resistance occurs when your cells need more and more insulin over time to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Eventually this reaches a point when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to react to glucose levels. One-third of Americans have insulin resistance, also known as prediabetes¹.

Diabetes is a disease characterized by a faulty insulin response, either due to your pancreas not making enough insulin or your cells being unable to respond to the insulin that is made. These factors can cause blood glucose levels to stay elevated for long periods of time after a meal, eventually resulting in damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, circulatory system, and other organs throughout the body. 

You can possibly decrease insulin resistance by losing weight, eating fewer carbohydrates and sugars, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Even if a test of your blood sugar levels is normal, measuring your insulin levels is an important way to find out if you have insulin resistance.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Diabetes: The surprising truth about prediabetes.” July 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/truth-about-prediabetes.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Ffeatures%2Fdiabetesprevention%2Findex.html
Last updated:
August 6, 2021

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