Insulin Resistance and Chronic Pain

Posted by Christa Azbell on Friday, October 1, 2010
Almost by accident we here at RSD/CRPS Doesn’t Own Me stumbled upon a connection between Insulin Resistance and RSD/CRPS.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance is attached to certain medical conditions such as, Type 2 diabetes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Hyperandrogenism, Arteriosclerosis, and Growth Abnormalities.

Polycystic ovary disease

Polycystic ovary disease is a hormonal problem that affects young women. It is associated with irregular periods or no periods at all, obesity, and increased growth of body hair.


High male hormone levels, which are produced by the ovaries can been seen in insulin resistance and may play a role in PCOS described above. Why this association occurs is not known, but it’s thought that the insulin resistance somehow causes the abnormal ovarian hormone production.


Arteriosclerosis, also known as atherosclerosis, is a process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries.

According to Insulin is:
“Insulin is a hormone that is central to regulating energy and glucose metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle.
Insulin stops the use of fat as an energy source. When insulin is absent, glucose is not taken up by body cells and the body begins to use fat as an energy source, for example, by transfer of lipids from adipose tissue to the liver for mobilization as an energy source. As its level is a central metabolic control mechanism, its status is also used as a control signal to other body systems (such as amino acid uptake by body cells). In addition, it has several other anabolic effects throughout the body.
When control of insulin levels fails, diabetes mellitus will result. As a consequence, insulin is used medically to treat some forms of diabetes mellitus. Patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus depend on external insulin (most commonly injected subcutaneously) for their survival because the hormone is no longer produced internally. Patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus are insulin resistant, and because of such resistance, may suffer from a relative insulin deficiency. Some patients with Type 2 diabetes may eventually require insulin if other medications fail to control blood glucose levels adequately, though this is somewhat uncommon.
Insulin also influences other body functions, such as vascular compliance and cognition. Once insulin enters the human brain, it enhances learning and memory and in particular benefits verbal memory.[2] Enhancing brain insulin signaling by means of intranasal insulin administration also enhances the acute thermoregulatory and glucoregulatory response to food intake, suggesting that central nervous insulin contributes to the control of whole-body energy homeostasis in humans.[3]”

“Insulin has many roles in the body. It maintains sugar levels in our cells where we create energy. If we cannot get sugar into the cells we become tired more easily. Overtime this can lead to hypersensitivity to pain that is associated with fibromyalgia. [or RSD/CRPS]
Insulin is a storage hormone. Insulin builds muscle and stores amino acids from protein. Insulin also stores magnesium for future energy production. Insulin also takes excess glucose from carbohydrates and stores them as fat. Many people with insulin imbalances have excess weight, especially in the upper abdomen area. Insulin also controls salt and water retention in the body, and may contribute to rising blood pressures and imbalances in the cholesterol profile. Excess insulin will cause adrenaline to be secreted even when you are not stressed.” – Fibromyalgia and Insulin Resistance Author: Jane Oelke

Now you may be thinking well what is Insulin Resistance? “Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin, that is, the normal response to a given amount of insulin is reduced.”

There is a connection between Chronic pain and Insulin Resistance. It shows up in so many of the Chronic Pain Diseases and vice versa. For example people with Diabetes most of time get a condition called Peripheral Neuropathy which is very similar to RSD/CRPS and sadly is misdiagnosed as RSD/CRPS do to its burning pain nature and hypersensitivity.
Then there is Fibromyaglia which has been tested to show that Insulin Resistance increases pain in most if not all patients.
Then there are us RSD/CRPS Patients. We all if you dip into your medical history or family history we all have a history of some sort of Insulin Resistance. Does this cause RSD/CRPS? Who knows, only thing we do know is that it is a step closer to something. Maybe even a cure.

Hopefully we helped you understand your body a bit more today. But this isn’t the end of your education. Get out there and do your own research.  You may learn something that you never knew before.


One Reply to “Insulin Resistance and Chronic Pain”

  1. I started with RSD, DDD, Peripheral Neuropathy. Then down the road was diagnosed with Graves and type 1 diabetes. I am wondering if pain injections may have caused any of the diabetes. I have also been experiencing problems with insulin not working as well.

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