Insulin Resistance: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Insulin resistance means that the body can't use insulin as it should. Insulin lets sugar (glucose) enter the body's cells, where it is used for energy. It also helps muscles, fat, and liver cells store sugar to be released when needed. If the body tissues don't respond to insulin right, the blood sugar level rises.

Insulin resistance mainly is caused by obesity. But other medical conditions, such as acromegaly and Cushing's syndrome, also can cause it. It can run in families too.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
  • Make healthy food choices.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Exercise helps control your blood sugar. It also helps you stay at a healthy weight. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or team sports.
  • Try to lose weight. Losing even a small amount of weight can help.
  • Do not smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your blood sugar stays outside the level your doctor set for you.
  • You have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.