Endocrinology (including Diabetes)/insulin resistance and acanthosis


Hi there,

When I turned ten, I began getting dark around my neck,  underarms, thighs.
I think that's around the time I was putting on a lot of weight.
No one ever knew what it was caused by.
At 18, my periods stopped and I was too silly to continue with blood tests to find the reason why, though it was thought that I had PCOS.
I eventually got to 115kg at 5'8ft
When I lost 5kg and gained muscle from my new job, my periods started to come back.

Since the start of the year, my diet drastically changed and I began exercising a lot and have lost 16kg so far.
I did research to find that my acanthosis could be due to type 2 diabetes and that insulin resistance can cause acanthosis..

Today I called the doctor and the receptionist told me my insulin resistance was only very slightly high.. 0.2 over or something.
I heard that insulin resistance medication will pretty much help to cure acanthosis..
I'm not sure if I will even be medicated for it and I'm so scared my acanthosis will never be cured.
I don't want to live always hiding away..
I'm so depressed and worried that I'll always have it..

I was wondering if my diet and exercise has drastically changed my insulin resistance, do you think I'll be medicated?
And if not.. do you think my diet and exercise is enough to rid of my skin problems?

Please help.. sometimes I think it's just not worth living a life always hiding away

  I am not an expert in ancanthosis (other than knowing that insulin resistance is a common cause), but I did find this on the NIH web site: "Because acanthosis nigricans usually only changes the skin's appearance, no treatment is needed. It is important, however, to treat any underlying medical problem that may be causing these skin changes. When acanthosis nigricans is related to obesity, losing weight often improves the condition.

Expectations (prognosis): Acanthosis nigricans often fades if the cause can be found and treated."

So, I would say that there is hope that in time and with your lifestyle improvements, it could fade or disappear.  It is very likely that you have/had PCOS (thus the loss of your periods), which can be treated with lifestyle changes.  I also know of a group that has suggestions for how to go about making those for the best benefit that you can access here: http://www.pcos.insulitelabs.com/.  If nothing else, that may give you some ideas of things to try that you may not have yet.  Sheri

Endocrinology (including Diabetes)

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Sheri Colberg, PhD


I am an exercise physiologist with a PhD who specializes in diabetes--as such I CANNOT answer general questions about other endocrine problems as I am neither an expert in all areas of endocrinology nor am I a medical doctor. My expertise lies in answering questions about diabetes (of any type) and physical activity, so please limit your questions to those areas. I can help you if you want to begin exercise or if you're already a diabetic athlete, and I am prepared to respond to questions about physical activity to which even your diabetologist may not know the answer. I can give suggestions about changes in your diabetic medications that differing types and intensities of exercise may necessitate, but I will have to refer you to your regular health care team to get final approval to make such changes. I can also answer questions about physical fitness, exercise metabolism, prediabetes reversal, and prevention of type 2 diabetes and diabetic complications.


I have both personal and professional experience in the areas of diabetes and exercise/physical activity. On a personal level, I have had type 1 diabetes since 1968, and I have been an avid exerciser since I was a child. Professionally, I have been conducting clinical studies on diabetes and exercise since 1992, largely with funding from the American Diabetes Association. I am also the author of 8 books related to diabetes, exercise, and more: The Diabetic Athlete (2001), Diabetes-Free Kids (2005), The 7 Step Diabetes Fitness Plan (2006), 50 Secrets of the Longest Living People with Diabetes (2007), The Science of Staying Young (2007), Matt Hoover's Guide to Life, Love, and Losing Weight (2008), Diabetic Athlete's Handbook (2009), and Diabetes? No Problema! (2009).

I am a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, a professional member of the American Diabetes Association (and professional volunteer for the ADA), and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association.

I have published research and review articles in the following journals and magazines: Diabetes Care, Diabetes, Journal of Diabetes & Its Complications, Diabetes Self-Management, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Journal of Applied Physiology, The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, International Journal of Obesity, FASEB Journal, The Diabetes Educator, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Clinical Diabetes Reviews, Insulin, ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, Biomechanics, On the Cutting Edge, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, Microvascular Research, Drug Benefit Trends, ACSM Certified News, Diabetes Health, SportEX Health, Diabetes Focus, Diabetes In Control, dLife-For Your Diabetes Life, Pediatrics for Parents, and My TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) Newsletter. I have also been interviewed in myriad other magazines, such as Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Diabetes Forecast, Countdown Magazine, Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness, Health, Tidewater Parent, Barron's News, Diabetes New Day, and Newsweek International.

I have an undergraduate degree (1985) from Stanford University, a Master's degree in exercise physiology (1987) from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. (1992) from the University of California, Berkeley, in the same field. I also spent two years in an NIH-funded postdoctoral research position in endocrinology (studying obesity, diabetes, metabolism, and exercise) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1993-1994).

Awards and Honors
Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) - 1996 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Young Investigator Grant Award 2003 Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Old Dominion University Chapter 2004-Present Great Women of the 21st Century by the American Biographical Institute 2005 Edition Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Largest Research Grant Award 2006 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Publications Award (for greatest number) 2006 Saint Louis University, The Max K. Horwitt Memorial Lecture Distinguished Lectureship Award 2008 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Publications Award 2009 Old Dominion University Darden College of Research Grants Award 2009

Past/Present Clients
I have consulted for numerous groups, including Can-Am Care, Numera|Social, California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training(about candidates with diabetes), Animas Corporation (an insulin pump company), Therasense, Inc. (makers of the Freestyle blood glucose meters), Council of Healthcare Advisors, and the City of Chesapeake (Virginia) Health Department.

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