Insulin and Glucose

The Insulin and Glucose panel contains 2 tests with 2 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The Insulin and Glucose panel is a focused diagnostic tool used to evaluate blood sugar levels and insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating glucose uptake from the bloodstream into the cells. This panel includes two essential tests: one for measuring glucose levels and another for assessing insulin levels in the blood. Together, these tests provide valuable insights into the body's glucose metabolism and insulin function, which are crucial for diagnosing and managing diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: 9 Hours Fasting Required

When and Why the Insulin and Glucose Panel May Be Ordered

Healthcare providers may order this panel for individuals showing symptoms of diabetes or other glucose metabolism disorders, such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, or fatigue. It's also commonly used to evaluate patients with risk factors for diabetes, including obesity, high blood pressure, family history of diabetes, or in the presence of symptoms suggesting hypoglycemia or insulin resistance.

What the Insulin and Glucose Panel Checks For

  • Glucose: This test measures the concentration of glucose in the blood. Glucose levels can indicate how well the body is metabolizing sugar and can be used to diagnose diabetes or pre-diabetes. Elevated glucose levels may indicate impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes, while low levels may suggest hypoglycemia.
  • Insulin: Insulin testing measures the amount of insulin, the hormone produced by the pancreas that allows cells to take in glucose. High insulin levels can indicate insulin resistance, a condition where the body's cells don't respond effectively to insulin. Low insulin levels may suggest an inability of the pancreas to produce sufficient insulin, which is characteristic of type 1 diabetes.

Conditions and Diseases Detected by the Insulin and Glucose Panel

This panel is instrumental in diagnosing and managing conditions such as:

  • Type 1 Diabetes: Characterized by low or undetectable insulin levels due to the autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, leading to high glucose levels.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Marked by insulin resistance and eventually decreased insulin production, resulting in elevated glucose levels. Insulin levels may be high in early stages due to insulin resistance, then decline as the disease progresses.
  • Prediabetes and Insulin Resistance: Indicated by higher than normal glucose levels that don't meet the criteria for diabetes and elevated insulin levels, suggesting the body's reduced sensitivity to insulin.
  • Hypoglycemia: Low blood glucose levels, which can occur with excess insulin production or in insulinoma, a rare insulin-producing pancreatic tumor.

Using the Insulin and Glucose Panel Results in Clinical Practice

Healthcare professionals use the results from the Insulin and Glucose panel to:

  • Diagnose Diabetes: High glucose levels with correspondingly high or low insulin levels can confirm diabetes. The insulin test helps differentiate between type 1 (low insulin) and type 2 (initially high insulin) diabetes.
  • Assess Prediabetes and Insulin Resistance: Elevated glucose and insulin levels can indicate these conditions, prompting early interventions to prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.
  • Manage Diabetes Treatment: Monitoring glucose and insulin levels helps in adjusting dietary plans, medications, or insulin therapy for optimal diabetes management.
  • Investigate Hypoglycemia: Identifying low glucose levels and inappropriate insulin levels can aid in diagnosing the cause of hypoglycemia and tailoring treatment.

The Insulin and Glucose panel is a critical diagnostic tool for assessing the body's glucose metabolism and insulin function. By providing a snapshot of glucose levels and insulin activity, this panel aids in the diagnosis, differentiation, and management of diabetes and related metabolic disorders. Understanding these parameters enables healthcare providers to devise effective treatment strategies, improving patient outcomes and quality of life for those affected by these conditions.

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

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.

Glucose

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: Insulin (fasting)

Insulin

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.
*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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