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Prediabetes and Insulin Resistance

Learn about prediabetes, the last step before a diabetes diagnosis. Esp. important for people taking antipsychotic medication.

Learn about prediabetes, the last step before a diabetes diagnosis. Especially important for people taking antipsychotic medication. Also, info on insulin resistance and what the glucose test numbers really mean.

Type 1 diabetes comes on full force and immediately needs insulin; it's not a given that type 2 diabetes will show up with the same intensity. In fact, there are two stages that a person passes through before receiving a type 2 diabetes diagnosis:

  1. insulin resistance
  2. prediabetes

Prediabetes

People with prediabetes, a state between "normal" and "diabetes," are at a higher risk for developing diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. This is very important information because those at risk of diabetes from high-risk antipsychotic drugs start with prediabetes. The main risk factor and sign of prediabetes in those with a psychiatric disorder is being overweight, especially around the middle. 

Insulin Resistance

When a person is insulin resistant, the pancreas is usually producing enough insulin, but for unknown reasons, the body cannot use it effectively. Insulin resistance is closely related to excess fat in the belly. If untreated, insulin production eventually decreases and a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It's thought that the stomach fat weight gain associated with high-risk antipsychotics is due to insulin resistance. If a person does have a high blood sugar rating, it's assumed that insulin resistance is present as well.

One important problem to note is that those with insulin resistance and/or prediabetes may not have any diabetes symptoms except for a higher than normal, though not dangerous, blood glucose level.

APA Reference
Fast, J. (2010, June 1). Prediabetes and Insulin Resistance, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/diabetes/mental-health/pre-diabetes-and-insulin-resistance

Last Updated: May 9, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD