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Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a state in which the cells in the body do not recognize insulin as well as they should. As a reaction, the body increases the production of insulin so the cells will get “bombarded” with it, recognize it and then be able to function properly.

The higher levels of insulin can adversely affect other hormones. Ovulation may become irregular, androgen(testosterone) levels may increase and lipid metabolism may be affected, causing high triglyceride levels and weight gain. If the body reaches a state in which it cannot produce enough insulin to allow the cells to recognize it, type II diabetes results. Many women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCOS) have underlying insulin resistance.

Insulin is one of the major hormones involved in breast development and function during puberty, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Women with insulin resistance may have difficulty producing milk.

Their breasts may have a distinctive shape where there is not as much breast tissue on the inner aspect compared with the outer part of the breast. There may be a wide space between the breasts and the shape may be conical. See photos.

If you are experiencing low milk supply and you have PCOS or you suspect that you are insulin resistant, speak with your doctor or an endocrinologists.

Follow the guidelines for increasing low milk production and speak with your doctor about taking metformin to improve insulin resistance.

Metformin /Glucophage is a medication that helps the cells recognize insulin. Once the cells recognize the insulin, the body can decrease the production of insulin to normal levels. The hormonal cascades initially affected by the high insulin levels can normalize. In women with PCOS and insulin resistance, metformin has been used to successfully regulate ovulation and menstrual cycles. It has also been used to decrease the rates of first trimester miscarriage and improve milk production.