Sudden insulin resistance?

I am a bit concerned… despite an incredibly healthy diet and daily exercise, my usual insulin regime has suddenly begun to not work.

I am needing many more units for my meals…and yet, even though I am doubling, sometimes tripling the amount, my levels will not go down! They’ve stayed in the mid-high 200 range.

Does anyone know what this may indicate??

I’ve already switched out all my insulin with new vials- so I’ve ruled out my insulin going bad.

My digestion hasn’t been the greatest for the past few months either…I’ve had odd symptoms (sores in my mouth, fatigue, constipation, etc).
The oddest symptom of all is weight loss! Typically, when I take more insulin, I gain weight…but I’m losing.

I’ve already made an appointment to see my Endo…but in the meantime, I was hoping someone might have some ideas as to what is happening?

The internet searches I’ve been coming up with are scary (cancer?)

Thanks for listening :slight_smile:

I have high insulin resistance so the topic is of great interest to me. Quite frankly studying the current theories about what causes it, I find none of the explanations compelling. I know that in some people cutting off or lining a section of the small intestine eliminates IR. So digestion is somehow involved with IR.

Don’t assume worst case scenario. But it would still be prudent to check it out.

I agree that normally more insulin = weight gain.

I have not had your symptoms so I cannot even venture a guess.

Something may be causing grief to your immune system. This can be an infecting agent virus or bacteria or even an allergic reaction like celiacs. I know that my BG goes to hell regardless of the amountof insulin injected when I had the flu or possibly H1N1 virus.

Best of luck in sorting this out.

So, from my experience there is one big thing that comes to mind: Celiac’s Disease. It’s a very common thing to develop sometime into life with diabetes. It’s another autoimmune thing aka a gluten allergy. Luckily, it’s become very mainstream to avoid gluten now so living with it is somewhat similar to living with diabetes. Gluten is something found in many grains in particular wheat products (bread, pasta, rice, etc.) Usually a diet change (simply eliminating gluten) solves a lot of the symptoms you mentioned (sores, digestive issues, fatigue, weight loss) in a few weeks. The big thing about Celiac’s is that it keeps your body from absorbing nutrients that it needs to survive.

I imagine your doctor will prescribe some bloodwork to determine if you have the antibody found along with Celiac’s and then an endoscopy to check your small intestine (to ensure it’s actually active and not latent Celiac’s).

I found out about all of this when I managed to loose 10 pounds in 3 months without trying. I ended up having a latent Celiac’s thing but I may volunteer to go gluten free without it all to try and get healthier.

Best of luck!

Causes of increased insulin resistance in my experience:

  1. weight gain (though you said this isn’t it in your case)
  2. decreased exercise (exercise can make a huge difference - and just a few days with a different exercise routine can be noticeable).
  3. seasonal change (this happens to me every spring and fall, though I and most people tend to need more insulin in the winter than summer)
  4. illness or infection (can make a substantial difference) - e.g. dental infection you’re ignoring maybe could also explain sores in mouth and fatigue?
  5. out of control BG (this one is often missed - if your BG has been high, then you have increased insulin resistance, so will need more insulin to get down to normal - your resistance should return to normal if you can keep your BG within range for a couple days)
  6. hormonal change (this is obviously more-so for you as a woman, but my experience leads me to believe this applies to men as well)
  7. change in diet (I find eating a lot more protein/fat than I normally do - like lots of grilled meats when grilling season starts - causes long sustained increases in BG past the four hours or so it normally takes meals to digest)

I do not think it is cancer! Sometimes the internet is not so helpful!!!

You could have an infection, be under some stress, have hormonal problems, or have anaemia. (thinking about the sore mouth etc).

If your sugars are high, then you will lose weight.

I would ask, if it is not offered for a full blood test to see what is going on. But try not to worry too much.

Any possibility you might be pregnant?

My first symptom of being pregnant (a few days after conception) was an overnight doubling of my insulin needs. Triple for breakfast.

When this happened to me 3 years ago… it was all caused by Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a systemic bacterial infection from infected deer ticks that is particularly common in late spring.

Fatigue and much higher insulin requirements (like you I was doubling doses and still not coming down) were noticeable early on and then came migrating joint pain.

Separating cause and effect when bg’s run high for a while can be hard. An overly focused endo might not necessarily look for lyme disease because he’s concentrating on bg’s.

All easily taken care of with antibiotics after getting it diagnosed.

Are you still following a raw vegan diet? Have you been to your doctor lately?

I don’t know about celiac… my understanding is that unexplained LOW BG, not high, is the hallmark of celiac in someone with diabetes. Which makes sense given it’s a malabsorption syndrome. But, autoimmune thyroid or adrenal disorders could be a likely culprit. High cortisol tends to promote insulin resistance as well. I would suggest you get yourself tested for hyperthyroidism and/or Cushing’s disease, if none of the other suggestions pan out. Either of those would account for the weight loss too.

Hi Jen, I have developed IR over the past couple years, and it comes and goes. Mine seems to be most related to fat (the kind I eat, more than the kind that accumulates on various places on my body). If I eat a good portion of cheese, which I love, I can become almost completely insulin resistant, especially if I haven’t been to the gym in a couple days. I’ll be at 225, and take 6 units with no effect after 2 hours. I’ll take 6 more, and so on. It can last up to a day.

The only remedy I’ve found when I’m in this state is exercise. If I go for a jog, even for 10 or 15 minutes, I can bring my BG down pretty dramatically, especially if I have insulin on-board. I once stepped onto our trampoline with our 9-year-old at 280, and stepped off 15 minutes later at 80.

Not sure if this is your issue, though. Here’s hoping you figure it out soon.


Years ago I had a long spate of insulin resistance that made me totally insane. It turned out I had a low-level sinus infection that I was unaware of, and once that was cleared up my sugars got back to normal. See your doc!

With insulin resistance, I now that over time I’ve had to stop injecting into the leg area and move locations of the injection. I don’t know whether there is any trurth to this but I somewhat believe that when the bottles of insulin get down to about 1/4 left that it seems the insulin loses it effectiveness. It seems to take more units to get the sugars down than when the bottles are fuller.

Like some of the other comments read here, I would be suspicious of some kind of infection messing the system up. Might not be totally obvious but it doesn’t need much.
I am aware that stress and mental peace, if you want to call it that, also affect how you are doing.

Hello, I have insulin resistance and my symptoms are similar to yours but I gain weight; friend relax, you have to wait to see your Endo. but I you don’t have cancer. When I had those symptoms my first thought was “cancer” but I did all the specific medical test and all the doctors said, “Ely relax, you only have insulin resistance, problem with your thyroid and diabetic type 2, in your case is very common to have this kind of symptoms” so my friend relax and take a deep breath when you are talking with your Endo.
I can understand your worry but I’ve learned that it’s worse when you’re stressful.
All the best.

Yea, see the Endo. Seems like a Thyroid issue is out of whack…I wouldn’t get to worried. With the BS that high your going to burn off any weight, kinda like DKA. Once they do the blood work you should have your answer, we all have the symptoms of something bad when we are sick…even with the flu! You’ll be fine! Keep us posted.

I want to thank everyone who kindly responded to this post.

After reading through everyone’s comments, I started doing more research on Celiac Disease.

I kept thinking that because I was having constipation and not the opposite, that it couldn’t possibly be celiac, however, after checking out some books at the library, I’ve learned constipation CAN be a symptom.

Also, while low blood sugars might be the hallmark, everyone’s body is different, and I’m assuming mine were elevated due to inflammation.

I’ve been on a gluten free diet for only 3 days now and already see a difference! My levels are returning back to normal and my constipation is gone! I am still on a raw vegan diet, however I stopped using the liquid stevia, carob, and himalayan sea salt (replacing it with others because the labels indicate they are manufactured on equipment that also processes wheat).

I’m seeing the doc this Saturday, so I’m going to run all this by him.

Unbelievable how much of a difference I’ve already seen!

Also, my scalp was incredibly itchy (another sign of Celiac) and I discovered that those that are gluten intolerant can also have issues with shampoos and hair products that contain wheat proteins. Lo and Behold, all my hair products contained some form of wheat! I ran out to Whole Foods and purchased a gluten free shampoo…My scalp has never felt better!

Thanks again everyone! It was this post that got me to look at Celiac more closely.

Wish me luck at the doc on Saturday! :slight_smile:

Hi Jen,

I started experiencing some sudden insulin resistance, similar to what you described. Do you have any updates on your situation? did it get better? was your doctor able to offer any helpful information/advice?

Thanks! Ilana

The things that come to mind for me are: Pregnancy, an infection or thyroid. Let us know what your doctor says!

Okay everyone- I’m sorry it took so long to respond with the results.

I finally discovered what was wrong after I received a bunch of lab tests.

I have a severe candida overgrowth in my blood. This and the fact that I am intolerant to many foods (some of which I was eating every day) including: dairy, soy, corn, eggs, almonds, cashews, garlic, wheat, watermelon, and the list goes on.

I’m also extremely intolerant to gluten. I very well could have Celiac, but I would need further testing. For now, I will just avoid it without a diagnosis.

I’ve been put on a candida diet cleanse…this combined with the intolerances, and diabetes of course, has made it very difficult to figure out what to eat. I’m basically eating a green smoothie in the AM flavored with lemons and stevia. And veggies and meat for lunch and dinner.
This diet is driving me crazy- I’m constantly hungry!

I’ve been put on nystatin, which is an anti fungal medicine, but its made me very sick. I had diarrhea so bad it caused me to miss a day from work and gave me severe muscle cramps (signs of dehydration- despite the electrolyte waters i was taking in). So now I’m just trying to figure out how to treat this nasty infection.

Geez, that sounds terrible. It sounds like you’re seeing a naturopath: is that right?

You must be going through a really rough time. I’m sorry. Systemic candida is very serious. I know the treatment must he really harsh. Hopefully you can get over the candida quickly and get back to feeling better.