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Endokrynol Pol. 2017;68(3):334-351. doi: 10.5603/EP.2017.0026.

Insulin resistance in endocrine disorders - treatment options.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Diabetology, Poznan University of Medical Science, Poland.


Changes in sensitivity to insulin occur in the course of a number of endocrine disorders. Most of the hormones through their antagonistic action to insulin lead to increased hepatic glucose output and its decreased utilisation in peripheral tissues. Carbohydrate disorders observed in endocrine diseases result from the phenomenon of insulin resistance, and in some cases also a reduction in insulin secretion is present. Abnormalities of glucose metabolism are observed in acromegaly, but also in growth hormone deficiency, hypercortisolism in the course of Cushing's syndrome, hyper- or hypothyroidism, primary hyperparathyroidism, aldosteronism, pheochromocytoma, congenital hypertrophy of the adrenal glands, polycystic ovaries syndrome, hypogonadism, or other hormonally active neuroendocrine tumours. They are of a secondary nature in relation to impaired hormonal balance. Hyperglycaemia is therefore often reversible, and the most effective method of treatment of impaired insulin sensitivity is successful therapy of specific endocrinopathies. Insulin sensitisers, also with a good effect, are used. Most experiences to date can be attributed to metformin therapy. Attempts have been made at treatment with other agents that are also effective in reducing insulin resistance as incretins or glitazones. In the presented paper, the authors reviewed endocrine diseases in which there is a clinically significant change in insulin sensitivity. Moreover, methods of therapy of concomitant disturbed glucose metabolism were presented.


diabetes mellitus; endocrinopathies; insulin resistance

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