Insulin Resistance Diagnosis

Insulin resistance describes the body's lack of sensitivity to the hormone insulin, meaning body cells such as the muscle, fat and liver cells are not adequately stimulated to take up glucose from the blood, even when insulin levels are high. This under-utilization of blood glucose results in hyperglycemia or a raised blood sugar level. Tests for diagnosing insulin resistance include:

Fasting blood sugar and postprandial blood sugar - Blood sugar is almost always raised in people with insulin resistance.

Fasting insulin assessment - In a healthy person who has fasted for 6 to 8 hours (usually overnight), the insulin level is approximately 60 pmol/L. A level higher than this is considered indicative of insulin resistance.

Glucose tolerance testing (GTT) - For a glucose tolerance test, a person fasts for 8 to 12 hours (usually overnight) and is then given a 75 gram oral dose of glucose. After two hours, the blood levels of glucose are measured.

In a healthy person, the blood sugar level after two hours is usually less than 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dl). A blood sugar level between 7.8 and 11.0 mmol/dl (140 to 197 mg/dl), however, indicates impaired glucose tolerance. If the level is over 11.1 mmol/dl (200 mg/dl), diabetes mellitus is diagnosed.

Modified insulin suppression test - For this test, patients are given 25 mcg of octreotide (an inhibitor of insulin and glucagon) over 3 to 5 minutes and are then infused with somatostatin (0.27 μgm/m2/min) to suppress the release of insulin and glucose into the blood.

Next, the patient is administered insulin and 20% glucose and a series of blood sugar tests are then performed and the values averaged out to give the steady-state plasma glucose (SSPG) level. An SSPG greater than 150 mg/dl indicates insulin resistance.

Other measures of insulin resistance include the homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) and quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI).

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, July 03). Insulin Resistance Diagnosis. News-Medical. Retrieved on July 14, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Insulin Resistance Diagnosis". News-Medical. 14 July 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Insulin Resistance Diagnosis". News-Medical. (accessed July 14, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. Insulin Resistance Diagnosis. News-Medical, viewed 14 July 2024,


  1. luis eduardo vasquez tapia luis eduardo vasquez tapia Chile says:

    123.75 uUl/ml es lo que tengo ???? que es

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Flavonoid-rich diet slashes type 2 diabetes risk by up to 28%, new study reveals