How can I tell if I have Insulin Resistance?

There is no simple test to diagnose insulin resistance. Your doctor may suspect you are insulin resistant if you have three of the following:


  • A waist size of 101 cm or more in men and 89 cm or more in women
  • Increased levels of triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood)
  • Low HDL cholesterol levels (Less than 1.2 mmols/l for men and 1.7 mmols/l for women)
  • High blood pressure of 149/95 or higher, or being treated for high blood pressure
  • Fasting blood glucose levels of 5.5 mmols/l or above, or being treated for diabetes
  • A fasting glucose to insulin ratio of 0.5 or below
  • Weight gain usually distributed around the abdomen
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Tiredness (especially in the afternoon or after a meal containing carbohydrates)
  • Weakness
  • Bloating
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Constant hunger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Depression
  • Skin tags
  • Sugar and stimulant cravings such as chocolate, sweets, coffee and cigarettes


Please note: Not all these are signs of being insulin resistant, but those such as hypertension are often associated with this condition, and may either precede or arise out of insulin resistance.