Insulin Level Blood Test
What is insulin level test?
Insulin Test – Insulin is a test that measures insulin levels in the blood after 10 hours of fasting or randomly.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin helps in the absorption of glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. In these cells, glucose is used for the production of energy, which is utilized by the body. In healthy individuals, insulin production is high when the glucose levels in the blood are high and insulin production is low when the glucose levels in the blood are low.
Insulin maintains blood glucose levels and prevents hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) as well as hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels). Insulin converts the excess sugar in the blood into glycogen for storage.
If insulin secretion is abnormal or if the body is unable to produce insulin, it may lead to an increase in the blood sugar levels; this may cause Diabetes mellitus. If the body is unable to produce insulin, it may lead to type 1 diabetes mellitus. If the body produces an insufficient amount of insulin or if the body cells are resistant to insulin, this may lead to type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Why insulin test is performed?
Your doctor may ask you to perform this test if you are suffering from symptoms such as frequent urination, hunger, blurred vision, fatigue, increased thirst or dry mouth, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, poor wound healing, foot pain and numbness, frequent infections, itching around penis or vagina, sweating, fast heart rate, sleepiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, etc. which are common symptoms of diabetes mellitus. In some cases, such as the removal of an insulinoma (a tumor of the pancreas), your doctor may ask you to perform this test to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. This test may be performed either alone or in a combination with other tests for better diagnosis.
This test is also done to understand whether an individual is having pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), Cushing syndrome (pink and purple stretch marks along with round face and large tummy), acromegaly (enlargement of the face, hand, and feet), insulinomas (excess production of insulin due to tumor in the pancreas). If the patient exhibits symptoms of diabetes, the doctor may ask the patient to undergo an insulin fasting test to determine the status of insulin secretion.
How frequent insulin test has to do?
The frequency of this test depends on various factors like suspected diabetes mellitus, personal history of diabetes, family history of diabetes, body weight, history of heart disease, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes (high blood sugar levels during pregnancy), imbalance of female sex hormones, polycystic ovary disease, etc. You doctor will advise on the frequency of insulin test or you can randomly do insulin test in every 3-6 months.
- Fasting Insulin test is done after you have fasted (without eating or drinking anything) for a whole night or for 8 to 12 hours.
- Random insulin test is done any timekeeping 2-4hrs gap from your last meal or intake. Sometimes doctors may advise for Insulin Post Prandial (Insulin PP), in such cases, you have to give blood after keeping a 2hrs gap from your breakfast or your lunch.
- Doctor’s prescription may be needed
- The test result range may vary depending on gender, age, health history, etc.
- Medications such as corticosteroids, levodopa, oral contraceptives, etc. may alter the results of this test. Hence, it is advised that you report all your current medications to your laboratory manager before undergoing this test.
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