Insulin Resistance-related PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), also known as polycystic ovaries, leads to the release of excess insulin, a condition known as hyperinsulinemia. Ovaries seem to be particularly sensitive to high blood levels of insulin, and respond by overproducing male hormones (androgens) like testosterone, which cause PCOS symptoms such as infertility, excessive hair growth, male pattern baldness, and acne. Hyperinsulinemia can also lead to dyslipidemia of insulin resistance; high TGL, low HDL, and small dense LDL, which increase the risks of a heart attack.
Insulin Resistance heightens the risk of PCOS sufferers becoming pre-diabetic, which can lead to type 2 diabetes, an increased risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Insulin Resistance can also cause high blood pressure, another risk factor for heart problems.
Women who have never been pregnant have up to three times the risk of developing endometrial cancer, compared with women who have had a successful pregnancy. Insulin Resistance-related PCOS is one of the most common causes of anovulation, the condition when women fail to ovulate regularly or at all. Lack of ovulation is the prime cause of infertility in women who have PCOS.
Because there is no single solution for PCOS or Insulin Resistance, you must rely on a multi-faceted approach. A complete system, including a weight loss diet and a realistic exercise program, nutritional guidance and a support network that will help you change unhealthy lifestyle choices, is required to address the issues presented by these syndromes.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is frequently associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, and dyslipidemia, but some patients have normal glucose tolerance or normal weight. Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are characterized by fasting and glucose-induced hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, postload hypoglycemia, and hypertriglyceridemia.
The link between insulin resistance and cancer may be related to the compensatory high levels of insulin. Insulin is an important growth factor for body tissues. That insulin is an important growth factor is not surprising, because typically insulin increases when nutrients are plentiful, and drops dramatically during a fasting state. Insulin may signal cells to proliferate through a variety of mechanisms. Insulin could directly signal growth, or it could do this by increasing the levels of other more potent growth factors (insulin-like growth factors [IGF]); or it can make cells more sensitive to other growth factors.
Although cancer is a complex, multifactorial disease, one of the consistent characteristics of cancer cells is their ability to grow uncontrollably and to be less resistant to die. Thus, growth factors are critical to the initial development of cancers, and to their progression. A number of studies now show that individuals with higher levels of circulating IGFs are at increased risk for developing colon, premenopausal breast, and aggressive prostate cancers than are individuals with lower levels.
Although insulin resistance is characterized by cells becoming less sensitive to the effects of insulin to transport glucose into cells, insulin insensitivity does not seem to lower the growth-promoting properties of insulin. Only the glucose transporting properties are affected in insulin resistance. Thus, in an insulin resistant state such as that induced by obesity, the higher circulating levels of insulin may have a cancer-promoting influence for at least some tissues. As long as the pancreas can continue to produce large amounts of insulin in the face of insulin resistance, some individuals may avoid diabetes; however, these individuals may be the ones most susceptible to cancer because they have the highest circulating insulin concentrations.