It is common knowledge that insulin resistance is associated with diabetes, hypertension, or obesity, but a study shows that 50% to 70% of women with PCOS are also insulin resistant. Insulin resistance PCOS is a hormonal abnormality condition in women. When you have too much insulin and glucose in the blood, higher androgen levels result in physical changes, pregnancy complications, infertility, depression and anxiety, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc.

So, if you are planning to get pregnant and suspect you have PCOS or seeking some answers on the effects of insulin resistance PCOS and how to deal with it, just keep reading as we walk you through this article.

What is Insulin Resistance PCOS?

Insulin resistance PCOS is surprisingly one of the most common types of polycystic ovary syndrome. It can be a result of an unhealthy lifestyle or genetics. With this type, women with insulin resistance PCOS have elevated hormones such as leptin and insulin which the body doesn’t process well which creates hormonal imbalances.

Naturally, your pancreas produces insulin which helps regulate your blood sugar levels by sending glucose from the blood to your cells to be used for energy.

Consequently, insulin resistance happens when the body does not respond well to insulin. When this happens, sugar does not get into the cell which causes physiological imbalances and complicated health issues if not prevented.

Insulin Resistance PCOS: How it Affects Women’s Health and Fertility

Effects of Insulin Resistance PCOS on Women’s Fertility and Health

Consequences of insulin resistance may include high production of male hormones called androgens. This hormonal imbalance can prevent ovulation of eggs from being released from the ovary for reproduction. As a result, you may experience some symptoms of PCOS, such as

  • irregular periods;
  • Amenorrhoea or no menstruation at all;
  • skin problems like acne;
  • excessive face and body hair growth;
  • hair thinning or alopecia;
  • obesity;
  • mood swings (onset of depression and anxiety);
  • and skin darkening on armpits, back of your neck, or groins

On top of that, 90% to 95% of women, who experience no menstruation or anovulation and need infertility treatment, have PCOS.

If you are pregnant, pay special attention, because the PCOS fertility rate among older women is more at risk of having gestational diabetes and early pregnancy loss.

Another study suggests that more than 50% of women with PCOS can have type 2 diabetes by age 40. And if you do not adhere to a targeted nutrition and lifestyle plan, more complicated health risks tied to insulin resistance PCOS may develop, such as hypertension, obesity, depression and anxiety, diabetes, ovarian or breast cancer, etc.

Symptoms of Insulin Resistance

study shows that women with PCOS must be treated for insulin resistance. Although not all women can experience noticeable signs and symptoms, early warning signs may look like these:

  • increased cravings for salty food and sweets
  • increased feelings of hunger and thirst
  • chronic fatigue
  • skin darkening–armpits, back of the neck, genitals
  • frequent urination
  • tingling sensation in the feet and hands
  • weight gain

Detecting Insulin Resistance

Your healthcare provider might suggest taking a blood test to measure your insulin resistance. These insulin resistance tests are fasting blood sugar tests, A1C, random blood sugar tests, or oral glucose tolerance tests.

How to Treat and Reverse Insulin Resistance PCOS?

Insulin Resistance PCOS is a lifelong health condition that will manifest even after your child-bearing years. However, it’s empowering to know that you should most definitely pursue a conscious, healthy lifestyle with PCOS insulin resistance.

Do Regular Exercise

Regular exercise can lower your body fat, and insulin resistance, improve brain health, strengthen your muscles and bones, and reduce the risk of diseases. Take for instance the study of women with PCOS and insulin resistance who did a 20-week aerobic exercise at home who had reduced body inflammation and improved their insulin sensitivity.

So, get off your duff by doing moderate exercises like yoga, aerobic exercise, brisk walking, jogging, etc. try to do a minimum of 150 mins physical activity a week.


Have a Healthy Diet

Experts have shed light on the effectiveness of diet on women with insulin resistance PCOS. You must consult a professional women’s health and fertility dietitian or pregnancy nutritionist to give the right and efficient nutrition plan appropriate for your body’s needs; or diets for PCOS fertility if you want to increase fertility with PCOS.

Meanwhile, adding high-fiber, vitamin, and mineral food to your diet can help you reduce inflammation, decrease testosterone, and regulate the effect of sugar in your blood. Some of these foods are

  • dark chocolate,
  • fruits like berries,
  • grapes,
  • almonds,
  • sweet potatoes,
  • mushrooms,
  • green tea,
  • avocados,
  • pepper,
  • beans, and lentils;
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli,
  • Leafy greens (rich in fiber)

On the other hand, unhealthy foods such as fast foods, junk foods, soft drinks, concentrated sugars, and fatty foods, etc may be putting your health at risk as these foods most often exacerbate insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances.

Take Vitamin Supplements

Aside from changing your diet and exercising regularly, taking vitamin supplements helps to get a better chance of pregnancy and reduces insulin resistance. Here are some vitamin supplements you can take:

  • Probiotics in yogurt, kefir, and tempeh can also help reduce insulin resistance and improve fertility with PCOS.
  • Inositol is the supplement popularly used by women with PCOS. Myoinositols and D-chiro-inositols combinations increase insulin sensitivity, reduce testosterone levels, and improve ovulation.
  • Zinc deficiency is common in women with PCOS, but taking enough lowers insulin deficiency and less hormonal imbalance.
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a type of antioxidant that reduces inflammation, androgen levels, and insulin resistance, and improves pregnancy and ovulation.
  • Metformin for PCOS is not a vitamin but is a drug commonly used to reduce insulin resistance and androgen levels and improve menstrual regularity.

Related Topic: What are the best fertility supplements for PCOS?

Insulin Resistance PCOS

Seek Professional Help

If you are experiencing some insulin resistance PCOS symptoms, seek help from your healthcare provider. By doing this, you are poised to get the appropriate treatment and advice for your condition.

How Can Holness Nutrition Help You with PCOS and Insulin Resistance?

Nicole Holness is a Registered Dietitian and PCOS Nutritionist. Nicole specializes in women’s reproductive nutrition and fertility (PCOS and IVF), hormone and gut health, and PCOS nutrition plans. As a women’s health dietitian advocate, her mission is to help women struggling with pregnancy and reproductive health challenges achieve life-changing results through a holistic, nutritional approach.

So, if you are ready to change your life, invest in your health and begin your Holness journey, book a free consultation to get started with your PCOS nutrition plan.


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Back links:

https://holnessnutrition.com/different-types-of-pcos-how-to-know-what-kind-of-pcos-you-have | Different Types of PCOS

https://www.holnessnutrition.com/working-with-a-registered-dietitian-nutritionist-to-manage-pcos | Working With a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist To Manage PCOS

https://www.holnessnutrition.com/what-are-the-best-nutrition-supplements-for-pcos | What are the best nutrition supplements for PCOS?

https://www.holnessnutrition.com/holness-nutrition-advocating-womens-health-through-the-power-of-food | Advocating Women’s Health Through the Power of Food

https://www.holnessnutrition.com/contact | Holness Nutrition