The QUICKI Calculator measures the patient’s insulin sensitivity based on the insulin and glucose levels measured in the morning, obtained from a blood sample. Term QUICKI is an abbreviation for the quantitative index of insulin sensitivity testing and was developed in 2000 after a study by Katz et al. Read our article below to learn more about the index, what resistance is, and what health consequences it has.

Meanwhile, see other health related posts on our site, such as Urine Anion Gap Calculator, Anion gap calculator, DAPT Calculator, and TI-RADS as well. Also, we strive to make our calculators as accurate and reliable as possible. However, this tool can never replace expert medical and clinical advice.

What Does Insulin Sensitivity Mean?

Insulin sensitivity is the opposite of resistance. Sensitivity shows us how sensitive body cells are when they respond to insulin. Better insulin sensitivity also means better resource management and better structure. Also, sensitivity is not constant, it changes throughout life depending on diet, habits, age. It decreases with age and increases when someone eats healthier and becomes physically active.

Awareness is very high in the morning, and then fat and muscle cells react strongly to the presence of insulin. Therefore, it is the lowest, which means that the absorption of sugar is difficult. People with low consciousness are resistant to insulin. As a result people need more insulin from the pancreas or injections to maintain stable blood glucose levels.

High insulin sensitivity allows body cells to use blood glucose and lower blood sugar better. Low insulin sensitivity is closely linked to high blood sugar because cells do not absorb glucose. Consequently, increased insulin sensitivity can benefit people who have or are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Resistance plays an important role in the pathophysiology of diabetes and is associated with obesity and other cardiovascular risk factors. Therefore, a simple, accurate method for assessing insulin awareness is useful in clinical trials. Therefore, we conclude that the QUICKI index was derived from a fasting blood sample useful for clinical trials.

Insulin Sensitivity Symptoms

Initially, this condition does not present any symptoms, but over time, as blood sugar levels rise, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Fatigue;
  • Hunger;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Weight gain;
  • High blood pressure; and
  • High cholesterol.

Low insulin sensitivity/resistance include:

  • obesity;
  • high-calorie diet;
  • physical inactivity;
  • hormonal disorders (e.g., Cushing’s syndrome);
  • taking certain medications (e.g., steroids); and
  • chronic stress.

QUICKI Index Formula

Now that we have instructed you on what resistance means, let’s move on to the QUICKI index, a simple method for assessing insulin awareness in humans.

Katz defines the Quantitative Insulin Sensitivity Check Index – QUICKI index as the inverse of the logarithms of fasting insulin and fasting glucose:

QUICKI = \frac {1} {\log (FI) + \log (FG)}


FI is fasting insulin expressed in µU / ml;

FG is fasting glucose expressed in mg / dL; and

log is a common logarithm with base 10.

The most commonly used insulin sensitivity test is the Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test or the A1C test to diagnose prediabetes. Less often, doctors use the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

QUICKI Score Interpretation

So when working with this index, you would probably want to know what the result means.

  • It is important to note that the QUICKI index ranges from 0.45 in healthy individuals to 0.30 in individuals with diabetes;
  • Lower values indicate higher resistance.
  • Values below 0.339 indicate resistance associated with obesity and cardiovascular risk factors.

The insulin sensitivity ratio is interpreted so that, for example, your insulin sensitivity factor is 1:50. This means that one unit of regular insulin lowers blood sugar levels by about 50 milligrams per deciliter. It is a short-acting insulin. This type of insulin takes less time to affect glucose levels than regular insulin.

Difference Between HOMA AND QUICKI

So, the HOMA-IR stands for Homeostatic Model Assessment. So, this value determines whether resistance is present in the patient. On the other hand, QUICKI is an index used to assess insulin resistance, just like HOMA-IR. The difference between these two models is that they use different formulas for calculation because they take the same values: fasting glucose and fasting insulin.

The HOMA-IR uses this formula:

HOMA_{IR} = \frac {Insulin \times Glucose} {22,5}

for the glucose concentration in mmol/L, or:

HOMA_{IR} = \frac {Insulin \times Glucose} {405}

for glycemia in mg/dL. In both cases the insulin is in mU/L.

How to Increase Insulin Sensitivity?

For instance, sports activity is one of the best ways to improve insulin awareness and prevent health complications.

Strength training is likely to be effective for increasing the GLUT4 glucose transporter and increasing the activity of the insulin-signaling protein in the trained muscles.

Exercise is useful for moving sugar to the storehouse in the muscles, thus improving awareness. The duration of awareness depends on the type of training and can last from 2 to 48 hours.

Enough sleep

Sleep affects insulin awareness because its deficiency causes increased cortisol secretion. The stress hormone is not a problem with short-term sleep deprivation. The problem is long-term rest restriction that can lead to chronically high cortisol levels leading to resistance.

Lack of sleep affects muscle growth but increases the risk of heart disease, infections, and type 2 diabetes. This condition can return to normal with longer sleep. If you want to contribute to awareness, don’t forget to exercise enough or sleep well.

Foods that increase insulin sensitivity are foods rich in fiber. These are legumes, oatmeal, flax seeds, vegetables like Brussels sprouts, and fruits like oranges. Colorful fruits and vegetables are rich in plant compounds that have antioxidant properties.

Herbs and spices, including burger, turmeric, ginger, and garlic, have shown promising increasing insulin awareness. The intake of trans fats, carbohydrates should be reduced. Consume apple cider vinegar and plenty of green tea.

Insulin sensitizers have a beneficial effect on glycemic control and have multiple effects on lipid metabolism and atherosclerotic vascular processes that may prove useful. In addition, Metformin and thiazolidinedione are effective.

QUICKI Calculator – How to Use?

When using our QUICKI Calculator, what should be taken into account and what is important is the following:

  • Fasting glucose levels (you can switch between mg/dL and mmol/L units); and
  • Fasting insulin level (expressed in µU/ml)

QUICKI Calculator – Example

So, we will now explain the calculation of the index through one example. We need to calculate the QUICKI index of a person with a fasting glucose level of 103 mg/dL and a fasting insulin level of 15 µU/ml.

QUICKI = \frac {1} {\log (FI) + \log (FG)} = \frac {1} {\log (15) + \log (103)} 
QUICKI =  \frac {1} {1,176 + 2,013} =  \frac {1} {3,189} = 0,313

To sum up, if the score is less than 0.339, the Quantitative Insulin Sensitivity Check Index indicates that this person has insulin resistance.

If you want to study more on these health related subjects, head to our SAAG, PECARN, and Qp/Qs Calculators as well.


How is QUICKI calculated?

To calculate the value of the Quantitative Insulin Sensitivity Check Index (QUICKI Index), it is necessary to know two values, the value of glucose and insulin in the morning. Then we use our QUICKI Calculator that calculates the value and makes it easier to know if we are resistant or not.

What is the difference between insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity are quite related. More precisely, higher sensitivity is also lower resistance and vice versa. High insulin is the reason for the better ability of cells to use glucose from the blood and thus reduce its level in the bloodstream. Conversely, resistance is harmful, and awareness is a sign of good health.

What is a normal insulin sensitivity factor?

Insulin reference values:
Men and women: 17.8 – 173 pmol / L
QUICKI ranges from 0.45 in healthy individuals to 0.30, which is the value associated with diabetes. A score below 0.339 indicates insulin resistance.

What does a low QUICKI index mean?

Lower values of our index indicate higher insulin resistance, and values below 0.339 indicate insulin resistance associated with obesity and cardiovascular risk factors.

Does insulin sensitivity change during the day?

Insulin resistance is a condition that should not be taken lightly. Insulin awareness needs to be maintained by a healthy lifestyle. You can improve it with regular exercise, including healthy foods in your diet, getting enough sleep, and supplementing with the right dietary supplements.
We believe that in our article, you have learned everything you need to know about insulin sensitivity. Do you want your friends to know about our QUICKI calculator and a quick way to determine the sensitivity index? Then, do not hesitate and share the article.