Insulin Fasting, Serum
- Reporting Time:
- 6 Hrs
- Specimen Type:
- Home Collection:
- You may be asked to fast for 8 hours before the blood sample is collected, but occasionally a health practitioner may do the test with, for example, a glucose tolerance test. In some cases, a health practitioner may request that you fast longer.
To help evaluate insulin production by the beta cells in the pancreas; to help diagnose the presence of an insulin-producing tumor in the islet cells of the pancreas (insulinoma);áto help determine the cause of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia); to help identify insulin resistance, or to help determine when a type 2 diabetic might need to start taking insulin to supplement oral medications
When you have low blood glucose levels with symptoms such as sweating, palpitations, dizziness, fainting; when you have diabetes and your health practitioner wants to monitor your insulin production; sometimes when it is suspected that you have insulin resistance
Insulin levels are most frequently ordered following a low glucose and/or when someone has acute or chronic symptoms of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) caused by, for example, an insulinoma. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include: Sweating Palpitations Hunger Confusion Blurred vision Dizziness Fainting In serious cases, seizures and loss of consciousness These symptoms may indicate low blood glucose but may also be seen with other conditions. An insulin test may also be done when an individual has or is suspected of having insulin resistance. This may include people with type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), prediabetes or heart disease, or metabolic syndrome. A health practitioner also may order insulin and C-peptide tests after an insulinoma has been successfully removed to verify the effectiveness of treatment and then order the tests periodically to monitor for recurrence. Periodic testing may also be used to monitor the success of an islet cell transplant by measuring the insulin-producing capacity of the transplant.
Can I do an insulin test at home?
No. Although glucose levels can be monitored at home, insulin tests require specialized instruments and training are are perforemd at laboratories.
Why does insulin have to be injected?
Insulin must be injected or given via an insulin pump. It ca ot be given orally because it is a protein and is broken down in the stomach before it can be absorbed.
How is an insulinoma treated?
Insulinomas are insulin-producing tumors that are usually benign. They are typically treated by being located and removed. Once removed, generally they do not return.
What else is important about insulin resistance?
insulin resistance is a warning signal that the body is having problems processing glucose and it is characteristic of prediabetes. People with early or moderate insulin resistance often don't have any symptoms, but if their condition is ignored, it puts them at a much greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and/or heart disease several years down the road. Abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension form a set of risk factors that are referred to as metabolic syndrome.
Risk factors for insulin resistance include:
Obesity, especially abdominal obesity Family history of Diabetes or insulin resistance Gestational diabetes Polycystic ovary syndrome
Treatment of insulin resistance involves changes in diet and lifestyle. The American Diabetes Association recommends losing excess weight, getting regular amounts of moderate intensity physical activity, and increasing dietary fiber to lower blood insulin levels and increase the body's sensitivity to it.