Insulin Resistance Clinic

What is Seattle Children’s Insulin Resistance Clinic?

Our Insulin Resistance team works closely with children who have insulin resistance. This means the hormone insulin, which is made by the body, cannot keep a child’s blood sugar (glucose) levels normal after they eat or drink. With a healthy diet and exercise, it is possible to reverse insulin resistance and prevent type 2 diabetes.

  • Insulin is made in the pancreas gland. Insulin’s job is to move sugar from the blood and turn it into energy. When insulin does not work right, the body tries to help by making more. This extra insulin keeps blood sugars normal for a while. But over time, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin. Blood sugar levels get too high, which can develop into type 2 diabetes. 

  • The signs and symptoms can vary, but some are easy to see. If your child’s body makes too much insulin, they often develop patches of dry, darker skin on their neck, under the arms or in the groin area. This is called acanthosis nigricans. Some children have:

    • Brain fogginess
    • Depression
    • Tiredness
    • High blood sugar (found by a blood test)
    • Higher blood pressure
    • Increased hunger

     

How will the Insulin Resistance Clinic help my child?

Diabetes and Endocrinology U.S. News and World Report Best Children's Hospitals BadgeOur Insulin Resistance clinic brings together experts in different specialties to care for children and teens at risk of developing diabetes. With a top-10 national ranking by U.S. News & World Report for 2019-20, our Endocrinology and Diabetes Program is the highest-ranked program in the Northwest.

  • Our pediatric specialists work together — and with you — to care for your child. We coordinate appointments so that your child can see multiple providers in a single visit. The team includes:

    • Doctor (endocrinologist) or nurse practitioner to find and check on risk factors related to obesity and insulin resistance. These include changes in liver enzymes, blood pressure and levels of sugars and fats (lipids) in the blood.
    • Dietitian to help make healthy food choices and improve eating habits.
    • Social worker to help your child and family make behavior changes. We link you with community resources if needed.
    • Athletic trainer to create an exercise plan that is right for your child.

    Most patients see the doctor or nurse practitioner every 3 months. They visit the dietitian and athletic trainer every 6 weeks. Families meet with the social worker at their first visit and then as needed.

    • At Seattle Children’s, child life specialists and social workers help your child and family ease tension, express concerns or fears and feel more in control. We connect you to endocrinology and diabetes resources.
    • Each child is different. We work with you to give your child complete care. Members of our team have special training in their field and in the unique needs of children and teens.
    • We work with many children and families from around the Northwest and beyond. Seattle Children's can help with financial counseling, schooling, housing, transportation, interpreter services and spiritual care. Read about our services for patients and families.

Scheduling an Appointment with Insulin Resistance

Who’s on the team?

Providers in our clinic include:

Endocrinologists

Endocrinology nurse practitioner

Dietitians

  • Kendra Baldwin, RD, CHE
  • Michele Rimmer, MS, RDN, CD

Social workers

  • Jessica Koppy, MSW, LICSW

Athletic trainer

  • Kate Stoltz, ATC

Contact Us

For more information, contact the Insulin Resistance Clinic at 206-987-2640. If you would like an appointment, ask your child’s primary care provider to refer you.We provide care at our main campus in Seattle
Providers, see how to refer a patient.

Paying for Care

Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s, including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.