HOMA-IR stands for Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance. It’s a formula used to estimate insulin resistance in the body. Insulin resistance is a condition where the body’s cells don’t respond effectively to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar (glucose) levels. This can lead to higher blood glucose levels – a characteristic feature of conditions like type 2 diabetes.
The HOMA-IR formula typically involves measuring fasting blood glucose and fasting insulin levels and then plugging these values into the equation below.
HOMA-IR = (Fasting Insulin (μU/mL) × Fasting Glucose (mmol/L)) / 22.5
This calculation gives an estimate of how well the body responds to insulin – how efficient the body is at utilizing insulin and blood sugar values. A higher HOMA-IR value indicates greater insulin resistance.
Using the Formula With Clients
First, we’ll say that it’s rarely necessary to use this formula since many other signs and symptoms can be used to estimate someone’s insulin resistance.
However, when we use it, we obtain a fasting insulin level and fasting serum glucose (not a finger stick) and track someone’s progress over time.
It doesn’t matter much what the actual value is; more important is how well we can manipulate the value to improve someone’s longterm cardiovascular outcome.
High Insulin Resistance
Someone with a high HOMA-IR value will have more insulin resistance, which increases their risk of Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease – specifically, the atherosclerosis associated with heart attacks and stroke.
Fortunately, insulin resistance is something easily manipulated by lifestyle factors. Well, we say easy, but habits are among the most immovable objects in the world.
Alternatives to HOMA-IR Calculation
Many of our clients don’t have access to this test, so here are some alternative methods to estimate if someone is insulin resistant:
1. Fasting Blood Glucose
Whether by a fingerstick test or a blood test, elevated values are suspicious for insulin resistance and metabolic dysregulation.
2. Elevated A1C
The glycosylated hemoglobin value, the A1C, when elevated, often indicates someone is insulin resistant.
3. Glucose Tolerance Test
Often, this is done by having the person eat a sugary drink that has an exact measurement, and multiple blood tests are done to see how the person responds to this glucose challenge test.
4. CGM Measurements
A Continuous Glucose Monitor, often worn on the arm, estimates the serum blood glucose, and high spikes often indicate insulin resistance.
5. Increased Waist Circumference
There are various cutoffs used, such as 35″ for women and 40″ for men. These elevated numbers indicate visceral adiposity, which is associated with insulin resistance.
6. History of Gestational Diabetes
Those with prediabetes, gestational diabetes, or a strong family history of diabetes may be insulin resistant. But of course, this should be confirmed since it’s just a risk factor for this condition.
7. Acanthosis Nigricans
This rather common skin condition is often associated with insulin resistance. It can happen in many parts of the body, not just the neck.
Reverse Your Insulin Resistance!
Are you tired of feeling trapped by insulin resistance? Ready to take control of your health and regain your vitality? Our coaching service promises a brighter, healthier future.
Experts: Our Heart Health experts understand the complexities of insulin resistance. We provide personalized strategies tailored to your unique needs.
Proven: We’ve helped countless individuals reverse insulin resistance, leading to improved energy levels, weight management, and reduced risk of diabetes.
Holistic: We believe in addressing the root causes of insulin resistance, not just its symptoms. Our comprehensive approach includes addressing all lifestyle factors and the habits needed to see positive results.
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