Insulin Resistance May be Linked To Idiopathic Hirsutism

April 15, 2014

We all know by now that idiopathic hirsutism has no pathogenesis.

Meaning, it has no true cause. The best explanation is genetics.

However, there are people like me that simply refuse to believe that all that excessive hair is there for no solid reason. Something is causing your hair follicles to be sensitive to male hormones.

Researchers have determined that insulin resistance may be correlated to IH. We already know that it is related to PCOS to a high degree as id diabetes.

But apparently, according to this test, insulin levels and HOMA-IR (homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance, a test to measure insulin) were significantly higher in subjects with PCOS and IH in comparison to normal subjects. However; PCOS insulin levels were far higher than IH levels.

Of course, there are other studies that say there is no relation to varying glucose levels. If you read on page 17, the authors briefly discuss a study by another group of researchers claiming there were no differences between the menses of IH subjects and normal subjects.

In conclusion, it truly would not hurt if you chose to monitor your glucose level even if you do not have diagnosed insulin resistance or diabetes.

The first step would be to limit your sugar intake, especially artificial and added sugars. Natural sugars are fine, such as those found in fruits and 100% and organic natural juices.

Additionally, you should pay attention to the glycemic index of the foods you take in. The glycemic index is simply a number on foods that determine high much that food will make your blood sugar increase or not. Foods range from 1-100. Foods under 50 are normally safe, but foods above that number will have to limited. Your total daily intake should be 100.

Whole wheats, fruits and veggies are the lowest on the glycemic index. Nuts and yogurts are also amongst some of the lowest.

So, I bet it would only help if us IH girls were to establish a low sugar diet regardless of our diagnoses or not. I’m sure it would only improve all that fuzz. If not, we are at least doing our bodies a favor!


  • Trish Short Lewis

    Mo, thanks for speaking out about Hirsutism! My mother exhibited hirsutism that I noticed as a little girl, just thinking that’s how women look and as I grew up I looked the same. But as you and I know, we found out different! We are in the minority. I am SO glad to have found you, and bless you for being here!! :)

    • reneleft01

      Thanks my dear!

  • Mandy

    Hey There, thank you for your blog!

    I’ve seen quite a few studies that have linked idiopathic hirsutism to insulin resistance, personally my hirsutism was jump started by a very low carb diet when I was about to turn 20. I have a very fast metabolism so I wonder the IR theory could apply to me, but you can still be thin and IR. I could have also increase my IGF levels with the high protein which has also been linked to hirsutism.

    I think the problem with idiopathic hirsutism is that there is a cause, it just hasn’t been discovered yet and it’s probably different for everyone. Unfortunately I don’t think the standard tests aren’t going to pick much up. I’ve seen other studies that suggest that idiopathic hirsutism results from abnormal ovarian secretion of 17-hydroxyprogesterone and adrenal abnormality. It gets so complex that I get obsessed and that causes even more anxiety than the hair! It just makes me so mad that women have to deal with this (and hair loss).

    PS- How is your electrolysis going? Have you had much grow back? I’m thinking of getting it done.