WHAT IS AN INSULIN LAB TEST?
The Insulin lab test includes a blood test to measure Insulin production.
IS FASTING REQUIRED FOR AN INSULIN LAB TEST?
Yes, fasting for at least 8 hours is required for the Insulin Test.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas and used by the body to transport and convert glucose throughout the body into usable energy. Issues with the pancreas including diabetes or a pancreatic tumor can prevent the pancreas from producing the correct amount of insulin to maintain proper glucose levels. Too much insulin causes hypoglycemia, or low glucose levels, while too little, or resistance to, insulin, which is often caused by type 2 diabetes, leads to extremely high levels of glucose. Either situation can lead to severe health issues.
Excess insulin production may be due to an insulin producing tumor (insulinoma) and can cause low glucose levels leading to convulsions or loss of consciousness. Acute or chronic symptoms of low blood sugar include sweating, confusion, blurred vision, hunger, fainting or heart palpitations.
Insulin resistance, which is associated with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, heart disease and polycystic ovarian syndrome (POCS), can lead to extremely high glucose levels in the body. Long term blood sugar levels that are too high cause severe health problems associated with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes including blindness, neuropathy that can lead to foot and leg amputations and cardiovascular disease. The pancreatic system in those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes becomes damaged over time and is unable to utilize insulin properly. Known as insulin resistance, this condition can be improved with diet and lifestyle changes but may ultimately require injectable insulin.
WHY DO I NEED AN INSULIN LAB TEST?
Are you experiencing low glucose symptoms: sweating, dizziness, palpitations or fainting? Are you at risk for or monitoring type 2 diabetes?
If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes or have already developed symptoms associated with prediabetes or metabolic syndrome including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess weight and/or higher than normal glucose levels, you should be monitoring insulin production in your body. These conditions, if untreated, can develop into type 2 diabetes which may ultimately require insulin treatment. The Insulin test can be used to monitor whether diet and lifestyle changes are having a great enough impact to reverse or improve your condition. It can also help you and your doctor to determine if insulin supplementation is needed.
The Insulin test is helpful in identifying the cause of hypoglycemia including the presence of an insulinoma or other pancreatic disorders. Physicians can use the results of the Insulin test to determine if an insulinoma was fully removed during surgery or to identify other causes of high insulin levels.
The Insulin test is also often used in conjunction with a Glucose Tolerance Test to evaluate insulin resistance.
IF I’M GETTING AN INSULIN LAB TEST, ARE THERE ANY OTHER TESTS I SHOULD LOOK INTO?
Customers interested in the Insulin Test may also be interested in the Glucose Tolerance Test or the Diabetes Maintenance Panel.
How Long Will It Take to Get My Test Results?
Test results generally take between 24 to 72 business hours after your specimen is collected.
Fasting Insulin: 2.0-19.6 µIU/mL
LOW RESULTS INDICATE:
Low insulin levels are associated with diabetes, hypopituitarism and pancreatic diseases including pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis and pancreatic cancer.
HIGH RESULTS INDICATE:
High insulin levels are associated with insulin resistance, acromegaly, Cushing syndrome, obesity, insulinomas, fructose or galactose intolerance or use of drugs such as corticosteroids, levodopa and oral contraceptives.
IF MY TEST RESULTS ARE OUT-OF-RANGE OR ABNORMAL, WHAT TYPE OF PHYSICIAN SHOULD I SEE?
You should see your primary care physician or an endocrinologist.