Laurie Klipfel RN, MSN, ANP-BC, CDE, WCC

Level 3: Insulin Resistance: Signs, Symptoms, and Causes

Laurie Klipfel


It is very often assumed that weight gain “causes” insulin resistance and that insulin resistance leads to diabetes.  Weight loss is therefore often recommended to “prevent” diabetes.  While an association can make it look like a causal effect, we actually have no evidence of a causal relationship between weight and diabetes.  In reality, diabetes is actually a multifactorial disease with a strongly genetic pathogenesis.  Less than 5% of people can lose more than 5% of their weight and keep it off.  Regardless of weight loss, healthy behavior can benefit insulin resistance and therefore delay the onset of diabetes.  Unsuccessful weight loss efforts can lead to increased stress/depression and decrease motivation for healthy behavior.  Evidence shows that it is more beneficial to focus on healthy behavior rather than weight.  We are gathering more evidence that improving insulin resistance leads to decreased weight rather than decreasing weight leading to improved insulin resistance.

Speaker Bio

Laurie has been a nurse and diabetes educator for over 30 years specializing in the relationship of weight and diabetes.  She is also a nurse practitioner and a certified wound care nurse.  She has managed several ADA recognized diabetes education programs.  She has been a national speaker for PESI Healthcare for over 10 years with a variety of diabetes, weight and wound care topics.  She has also been a speaker for the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).  She is a past president of the St. Louis local networking group of AADE and had had several publications.