Suspected Insulin Resistance

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 Suspected Insulin Resistance panel contains 3 tests with 3 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The Suspected Insulin Resistance panel is a diagnostic assessment that includes markers such as Glucose, Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and Insulin. This panel is ordered to evaluate insulin resistance, a condition where the body's cells do not respond effectively to insulin, leading to elevated blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance is often associated with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Whole Blood and Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting required

When and Why the Suspected Insulin Resistance Panel May Be Ordered

Timing of the Test: The Suspected Insulin Resistance panel may be ordered when there are clinical indications or risk factors for insulin resistance, such as obesity, family history of diabetes, or symptoms of high blood sugar.

Reasons for Ordering the Test:

  1. Assessment of Insulin Sensitivity: This panel is ordered when healthcare providers suspect insulin resistance, a condition where the body's cells do not respond effectively to insulin's signals. Insulin resistance can lead to elevated blood glucose levels.

  2. Screening for Prediabetes: The Suspected Insulin Resistance panel may be used for early detection and screening of prediabetes, a condition characterized by higher-than-normal blood glucose levels but not yet meeting the criteria for type 2 diabetes.

  3. Diagnosis and Monitoring of Diabetes: In individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes, this panel helps assess insulin resistance and glycemic control over time.

  4. Evaluation of Metabolic Syndrome: Insulin resistance is a key component of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. This panel aids in evaluating metabolic syndrome.

  5. Assessment of Weight-Related Conditions: Insulin resistance is often associated with obesity. Healthcare providers may order this panel for individuals with obesity or weight-related health concerns.

What the Suspected Insulin Resistance Panel Checks For

The Suspected Insulin Resistance panel assesses several key markers:

  1. Glucose: Measures the concentration of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Elevated fasting glucose levels may indicate impaired glucose metabolism.

  2. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c): Reflects the average blood glucose levels over the past two to three months. It provides a longer-term view of glycemic control and is useful for diagnosing and monitoring diabetes.

  3. Insulin: Measures the concentration of insulin in the blood. Elevated insulin levels may suggest insulin resistance, especially when accompanied by elevated blood glucose levels.

How Health Care Providers Use the Results

Healthcare providers use the results of the Suspected Insulin Resistance panel to:

  1. Diagnose Insulin Resistance: Elevated fasting glucose, HbA1c, and insulin levels may collectively indicate insulin resistance. These results help diagnose the condition.

  2. Screen for Prediabetes and Diabetes: Abnormal glucose and HbA1c levels can signal prediabetes or diabetes, allowing for early intervention and management.

  3. Assess Glycemic Control: HbA1c levels provide information about long-term glycemic control, helping healthcare providers determine whether a patient's diabetes management plan is effective.

  4. Evaluate Metabolic Syndrome: Insulin resistance is a component of metabolic syndrome. Abnormal results in this panel may contribute to the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome.

  5. Guide Treatment Decisions: Based on the results, healthcare providers can tailor treatment plans for individuals with insulin resistance. Treatment may involve lifestyle modifications (diet and exercise), oral medications, or insulin therapy.

  6. Monitor Progress: Regular testing with the Suspected Insulin Resistance panel helps healthcare providers monitor changes in insulin sensitivity and glycemic control over time, allowing for adjustments to treatment plans as needed.

In summary, the Suspected Insulin Resistance panel is a valuable tool for diagnosing insulin resistance, prediabetes, and diabetes. It aids in assessing glycemic control, guiding treatment decisions, and evaluating metabolic health, especially in individuals with risk factors for insulin resistance and related conditions.

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

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