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Insulin Resistance

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Slightly OT but, seeing the prosposed links between hormonal influences, IR and acne, it's sort of related to some of the topics here

I discovered a paper recently that described a study of patients taking cyproterone acetate and estradiol. The conclusion was not even that this combination can cause IR, but that it does in the majority of patients! ie, a drug treatment that is commonly used to treat women with acne might make an underlying cause worse!

I noticed that as soon as I started taking those drugs, I started gaining weight like anything (I had previously been extremely thin and used to be able to eat whatever I wanted without gaining an ounce). 7 years later (stopped taking the cyp 2 years ago) and I still struggle with my weight. I'm not overweight, but I have to exercise regularly and eat next to nothing (eg about 800-1000 calories a day) to maintain a normal weight.


1. I couldn't find any other studies to back this up -- anyone else?

2. If one did have drug induced IR, is it possible to restore your metabolism to its previous state? And if so, how? I already exercise and have a pretty healthy diet...

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LOL, yeah some drugs can cause it. Was this the study you were referring to?

Eur J Endocrinol. 2004 Feb;150(2):215-23.  Related Articles, Links 


Metabolic and endocrine effects of treatment with peroral or transdermal oestrogens in conjunction with peroral cyproterone acetate in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Vrbikova J, Stanicka S, Dvorakova K, Hill M, Vondra K, Bendlova B, Starka L.

Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, Czech Republic. [email protected]

OBJECTIVE: To compare the influence of transdermal and peroral oestrogen treatments in conjunction with cyproterone acetate (CPA) on metabolic and hormonal parameters in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-four women with PCOS, aged 25.4+/-4.3 (mean+/-s.d.) years, body mass index 24.5+/-3.9 kg/m2 were randomly assigned to receive either transdermal oestradiol plus CPA (n=12) or a peroral oestradiol-CPA combination (n=12). Before and after 3 months of treatment, basal blood samples, euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamp combined with indirect calorimetry and arginine tests were performed. ANOVA and Student's t-test or Wilcoxon's test were used for statistical analyses. RESULTS: After peroral oestradiol-CPA, insulin sensitivity (P<0.004) and the disposition index as the function of insulin sensitivity and secretion (P<0.0001) decreased significantly. Fasting insulin (P<0.05), cholesterol (P<0.05), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P<0.05) and sex-hormone binding globulin (P<0.0001) increased significantly. Dehydroepiandrosterone (P<0.05) and 17-OH progesterone (P<0.01) decreased significantly. After transdermal oestradiol+CPA, no significant changes were observed in sex-hormone binding globulin and androgen concentrations, insulin sensitivity or disposition index. CONCLUSIONS: In women with PCOS, peroral oestrogens (at doses common in combined oral contraceptives) led to a significant impairment in insulin secretion and action. In contrast, the transdermal application of oestrogens did not significantly influence insulin sensitivity.


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