Insulin resistance is one of the hormonal imbalances I talk about that can contribute towards triggering or worsening your acne. You can read about the other hormonal imbalances here.

How do we test for Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance results in high sugar levels in your blood increases inflammation, and free testosterone, making your skin oilier and more prone to breakouts.

Insulin resistance if left unchecked can lead to Type II diabetes. There is no direct test for insulin resistance, just a combination of test that would indicate you may have it and will require attention to improve it.

In this blog, I list the 5 tests to ask your doctor:

Fasting Blood Glucose

Usually taken in the morning after an 8 hour overnight fast. Normal should be less than 100mg/dL. If it’s between 100-125 mg/dL, you have “pre-diabetes” and likely have insulin resistance.

Lipid Profile

This checks your HDL (or good cholesterol), LDL (or bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. An HDL or good cholesterol level under 60 and triglycerides over 100 should make you suspicious of insulin resistance.

Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT)

You check your blood glucose levels before and at different points after drinking sugary drinks for up to 2 hours. If your insulin is working well, your glucose will go back to normal after 2 hours.

Insulin Glucose Tolerance Test

Similar to the GTT but they would also check your insulin levels as well as your blood glucose levels before and at different time points after drinking a sugary drink up to 2 hours. If your insulin is working well, your insulin and glucose levels drop back down to normal levels after 2 hours.

Haemaglobulin A1C (HbA1C)

This is a blood test that measures glycated Hb which essentially means how much “sugar” crusting there is on your red blood cells. It’s a good measure of how well your sugar is regulated the last 3 months. It should ideally be less than 5.5.

If you need more support to help clear your hormonal acne, you may be interested in downloading my Adult Acne Guide. I share the treatment protocol I use in my practice to help my patients clear their hormonal acne without medication. Feel free to use it as a guide in your own healing journey.

To your best self,

Dr Terry