A physician can identify individuals who are likely to have insulin resistance with a detailed patient history, patient physical examination, and laboratory testing utilizing the risk factors. There are some very sophisticated tests for the diagnosis or confirmation of insulin resistance such as euglycemic insulin clamping or intravenous tolerance testing. However, these are expensive or complicated and are not necessary for managing patients. These tests are used primarily for research purposes.
In general clinical practice, glucose levels in conjunction with fasting insulin levels can give the physician a clue as to whether insulin resistance is present or not in patients without diabetes. A firm diagnosis can not be made simply based on this, since the lab techniques for measuring insulin can vary, and there is no absolute value that meets a definition. However, a level above the upper quartile in the fasting state in someone without diabetes is considered abnormal.
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