Hemoglobin A1C, Insulin and Glucose Most Popular

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.


A blood glucose test measures the amount of a sugar called glucose in a sample of your blood. Glucose is a major source of energy for most cells of the body, including those in the brain. The hormones insulin and glucagon help control blood glucose levels.

Also known as: A1c, Glycated Hemoglobin, Glycohemoglobin, Glycosylated Hemoglobin, HA1c, HbA1c, Hemoglobin A1c, Hemoglobin A1c HgbA1C, Hgb A1c

Hemoglobin A1c

The A1c test evaluates the average amount of glucose in the blood over the last 2 to 3 months. It does this by measuring the concentration of glycated (also often called glycosylated) hemoglobin A1c. Hemoglobin is an oxygen-transporting protein found inside red blood cells (RBCs). There are several types of normal hemoglobin, but the predominant form – about 95-98% – is hemoglobin A. As glucose circulates in the blood, some of it spontaneously binds to hemoglobin A. The hemoglobin molecules with attached glucose are called glycated hemoglobin. The higher the concentration of glucose in the blood, the more glycated hemoglobin is formed. Once the glucose binds to the hemoglobin, it remains there for the life of the red blood cell – normally about 120 days. The predominant form of glycated hemoglobin is referred to as HbA1c or A1c. A1c is produced on a daily basis and slowly cleared from the blood as older RBCs die and younger RBCs (with non-glycated hemoglobin) take their place. This test is used to monitor treatment in someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes. It helps to evaluate how well their glucose levels have been controlled by treatment over time. This test may be used to screen for and diagnose diabetes or risk of developing diabetes. In 2010, clinical practice guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) stated that A1c may be added to fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) as an option for diabetes screening and diagnosis. For monitoring purposes, an A1c of less than 7% indicates good glucose control and a lower risk of diabetic complications for the majority of diabetics. However, in 2012, the ADA and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) issued a position statement recommending that the management of glucose control in type 2 diabetes be more "patient-centered." Data from recent studies have shown that low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can cause complications and that people with risk of severe hypoglycemia, underlying health conditions, complications, and a limited life expectancy do not necessarily benefit from having a stringent goal of less than 7% for their A1c. The statement recommends that people work closely with their doctor to select a goal that reflects each person's individual health status and that balances risks and benefits.

Also known as: Insulin (fasting)


Insulin is a hormone that is produced and stored in the beta cells of the pancreas. It is vital for the transportation and storage of glucose at the cellular level, helps regulate blood glucose levels, and has a role in lipid metabolism. When blood glucose levels rise after a meal, insulin is released to allow glucose to move into tissue cells, especially muscle and adipose (fat) cells, where is it is used for energy production. Insulin then prompts the liver to either store the remaining excess blood glucose as glycogen for short-term energy storage and/or to use it to produce fatty acids. The fatty acids are eventually used by adipose tissue to synthesize triglycerides to form the basis of a longer term, more concentrated form of energy storage. Without insulin, glucose cannot reach most of the body's cells. Without glucose, the cells starve and blood glucose levels rise to unhealthy levels. This can cause disturbances in normal metabolic processes that result in various disorders, including kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and vision and neurological problems. Thus, diabetes, a disorder associated with decreased insulin effects, is eventually a life-threatening condition.
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The Hemoglobin A1C, Insulin and Glucose panel contains 3 tests with 3 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The Hemoglobin A1c, Insulin, and Glucose Panel is a comprehensive test used to evaluate blood sugar control, insulin function, and potential glucose metabolism disorders. This panel is crucial for diagnosing and monitoring diabetes and pre-diabetes conditions.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting required

When and Why It May Be Ordered

This panel may be ordered when a patient shows symptoms of diabetes or for monitoring patients with known diabetes. It's also used in assessing individuals at risk of developing diabetes, such as those with obesity, high blood pressure, or a family history of diabetes.

What the Panel Checks For

  • Hemoglobin A1c: This test measures the average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months by assessing the percentage of glucose attached to hemoglobin. It is a key indicator of long-term glucose control and diabetes management.

  • Insulin: This test measures the amount of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows cells to absorb glucose and use it for energy. It helps in diagnosing insulin resistance and beta-cell function in the pancreas.

  • Glucose: This test measures the current level of glucose in the blood. It is a direct snapshot of blood sugar levels at the time of the test and is essential for diagnosing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Conditions or Diseases Checked

The panel helps in diagnosing and managing:

  • Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: By evaluating long-term glucose control (A1c) and the body's current insulin production and glucose levels.
  • Prediabetes: By identifying elevated blood sugar levels that are not yet high enough to be classified as diabetes.
  • Gestational Diabetes: In pregnant women to monitor blood glucose levels.
  • Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome: By measuring the body's response to insulin.

Use of Results by Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals use the results to:

  • Diagnose diabetes or prediabetes based on A1c and glucose levels.
  • Assess insulin production and function in relation to blood sugar levels.
  • Tailor treatment plans for diabetes, including medication, diet, and lifestyle changes.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of diabetes management strategies over time.

The Hemoglobin A1c, Insulin, and Glucose Panel is an essential tool in diagnosing and managing diabetes and other related metabolic disorders. It provides valuable insights into an individual's glucose control, insulin production, and potential risks for developing diabetes. Accurate and timely interpretation of these tests by healthcare professionals is vital for effective diabetes management and prevention of diabetes-related complications.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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