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March 26, 2002

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Question from Madison, Wisconsin, USA:

I am a 35 year old who has had type�1 diabetes for about 18 years, and I am aware of many "things" that have the net result of increasing blood sugar for me (caffeine, many kinds of stress, lack of sleep, etc.). Certainly these "things" result in the release of blood glucose affecting hormones (cortisol, epinephrine, etc.). What is the difference (if there is one) between increased insulin resistance and decreased insulin sensitivity? Under what conditions are these terms appropriately used?

Answer:

The terms, “increased insulin resistance” and “decreased insulin sensitivity” are really the same thing. They can be used interchangeably to denote any condition in which insulin is rendered ineffective.

JTL