Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance Lab Testing and health information

The insulin resistance tests measure the insulin blood levels with glucose and C-peptide. Insulin levels are also tested with the glucose tolerance test (GTT), and the blood glucose and insulin levels are measured at pre-established time intervals to evaluate insulin resistance. Order from Ulta Lab Tests today with results sent confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours.


Name Matches

Diabetes & Insulin Resistance Tests Part 1

C-Reactive Protein (CRP) [ 4420 ]
CBC (includes Differential and Platelets) [ 6399 ]
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) [ 10231 ]
Glucose [ 483 ]
Glucose Tolerance Test, 2 Specimens (75g) [ 35181 ]
Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1C) [ 496 ]
Insulin [ 561 ]
Insulin Response to Glucose, 2 Specimens [ 6697 ]
Lipid Panel [ 7600 ]
Microalbumin, Random Urine with Creatinine [ 6517 ]
 

 


Diabetes & Insulin Resistance Tests Part 2

  • Adiponectin [ 15060 ]
  • Apolipoprotein A1 + B [ 7018 ]
  • C-Peptide [ 372 ]
  • Fructosamine [ 8340 ]
  • Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase-65 Antibody [ 34878 ]
  • GlycoMark® [ 19599 ]
  • IA-2 Antibody [ 36177 ]
  • Lipoprotein Fractionation, Ion Mobility, Cardio IQ™ [ 91604 ]
  • Proinsulin [ 760 ]
  • Urinalysis (UA), Complete [ 5463 ]
     

Cardio IQ® Insulin Resistance Panel with Score

Includes

  • Insulin, Intact, LC/MS/MS
  • C-Peptide, LC/MS/MS
  • Insulin Resistance Score

Patient Preparation

  • Overnight fasting is required

Clinical Significance

The determination of insulin in serum is primarily used for the diagnosis of glycemic disorders in diabetic and pre-diabetic patients in the assessment of insulin resistant syndromes. Insulin is synthesized by the pancreatic beta cell as a precursor, proinsulin. Proinsulin is processed to insulin and C-peptide, a contiguous peptide between the insulin A and B chains, as it passes through the cell. The C-peptide in the proinsulin ensures correct folding and processing of proinsulin as it passes through the cell. Both insulin and C-peptide are released together from the beta cells in response to increased glucose levels. Because of differences in half-life and hepatic clearance, peripheral blood levels of C-peptide and insulin are no longer equimolar but remain highly correlated. A steady-state plasma glucose test in individuals undergoing an insulin suppression test to assess insulin resistance found that the combination of insulin and C-peptide was a better indicator of insulin resistance than either one individually.

 

 


Suspected Insulin Resistance

  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Glucose
  • Insulin

Most Popular

Brief Description: An Insulin test is a blood test that measures the insulin levels in the blood's serum. It is a measurement that is heavily used in patients with diabetes.

Also Known As: Fasting Insulin Test, Insulin Assay Test, Insulin Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: 9 Hours Fasting Required

When is an Insulin test ordered?

Insulin levels are most commonly ordered after a low glucose result or when someone has acute or chronic symptoms of hypoglycemia.  Hypoglycemia can cause the following symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Palpitations
  • Hunger
  • Brain fox
  • Hazy vision
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Seizures and loss of consciousness are common in severe instances.

While low blood glucose can cause these symptoms, they can also be caused by other illnesses.

When a person has or is suspected of having insulin resistance, an insulin test may be performed. People with type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, prediabetes or cardiac disease, or metabolic syndrome may fall into this category.

After an insulinoma has been effectively removed, a health practitioner may arrange insulin and C-peptide testing to verify the effectiveness of treatment and subsequently order the tests on a regular basis to monitor for recurrence.

Periodic testing can also be performed to track the success of an islet cell transplant by determining the graft's insulin-producing capacity.

What does an Insulin blood test check for?

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas' beta cells and stored there. It is necessary for the transfer and storage of glucose, the body's primary energy source. Insulin aids in the delivery of glucose from the bloodstream to cells, as well as the regulation of blood glucose levels and lipid metabolism. This test determines how much insulin is present in the blood.

The levels of insulin and glucose in the blood must be balanced. Carbohydrates are frequently broken down into glucose and other simple sugars after a meal. The blood glucose level rises, prompting the pancreas to produce insulin into the bloodstream. The amount of glucose in the blood reduces as it enters cells, and the amount of insulin released by the pancreas decreases.

If an individual is unable to produce enough insulin, or if the body's cells become resistant to its effects, glucose is unable to reach the majority of the body's cells, causing the cells to starve as blood glucose climbs to harmful levels. This can disrupt normal metabolic processes, leading to a variety of illnesses and difficulties, such as kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and eyesight and neurological issues.

Diabetes is a life-threatening illness characterized by excessive glucose levels and diminished insulin action. People with type 1 diabetes produce relatively little insulin, necessitating the use of insulin supplements. Insulin resistance is a common cause of type 2 diabetes, which worsens over time.

Insulin resistance occurs when the body is unable to respond to insulin's effects. The body makes up for this by manufacturing more of the hormone. Hyperinsulinemia and overstimulation of some insulin-sensitive tissues happen as a result of this. This process generates an imbalance in the connection between glucose and insulin over time, which, if left untreated, can lead to health problems affecting numerous regions of the body.

Insulin resistance can be present in people with polycystic ovary syndrome, prediabetes or cardiac disease, metabolic syndrome, and diseases of the pituitary or adrenal glands, in addition to type 2 diabetes.

Hyperinsulinemia is most commonly seen in persons with tumors of the pancreatic islet cells or an excess of injected insulin, aside from insulin resistance. Low blood sugar is caused by hyperinsulinemia, which can cause sweating, hunger, palpitations, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, seizures, and fainting. Because the brain relies on blood glucose for energy, severe glucose deprivation caused by hyperinsulinemia can swiftly result in insulin shock and death.

Lab tests often ordered with an Insulin test:

  • Glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • C-Peptide
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

Conditions where an Insulin test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Insulin Resistance
  • PCOS
  • Metabolic Syndrome

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use an insulin test?

Insulin testing can be used for a variety of purposes. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas' beta cells and stored there. Insulin is a hormone that aids in the movement of glucose, the body's primary source of energy, from the bloodstream to the cells. Cells starve if a person produces too little insulin or is resistant to its effects. When someone produces too much insulin, such as when they have an insulin-producing tumor, symptoms of low blood glucose appear.

Insulin testing may be used to assist with the following:

  • Diagnose an insulinoma, confirm that the tumor was successfully removed, and/or keep an eye out for recurrence.
  • Determine the source of hypoglycemia in a person who has signs and symptoms.
  • Recognize insulin resistance.
  • In this instance, a C-peptide test may be used to monitor the quantity of insulin produced by the beta cells in the pancreas. As part of the conversion of proinsulin to insulin in the pancreas, the body produces both insulin and C-peptide at the same time. When a doctor wishes to know how much insulin is created by the body and how much comes from outside sources like insulin injections, both tests may be ordered. The C-peptide test indicates insulin produced by the pancreas, but the insulin test analyzes insulin from both sources.
  • Determine when a type 2 diabetic may need to supplement oral medications with insulin.

Insulin tests can be ordered in conjunction with glucose and C-peptide tests. In addition to the glucose tolerance test, insulin levels are sometimes employed. To assess insulin resistance, blood glucose and insulin levels are tested at pre-determined time intervals in this circumstance.

What do my Insulin test result mean?

Insulin levels must be reviewed in the context of other diagnostic tests and symptoms.

Insulin levels can be elevated with:

  • Acromegaly
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Use of medications such as corticosteroids, levodopa, and oral contraceptives
  • Intolerance to fructose or galactose
  • Insulinomas
  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance, as seen in type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome

Insulin levels can be low with:

  • Diabetes 
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Chronic pancreatitis 
  • Pancreatic cancer

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


Most Popular

Brief Description: An Insulin test is a blood test that measures the insulin levels in the blood's serum. It is a measurement that is heavily used in patients with diabetes.

Also Known As: Fasting Insulin Test, Insulin Assay Test, Insulin Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: 9 Hours Fasting Required

When is an Insulin test ordered?

Insulin levels are most commonly ordered after a low glucose result or when someone has acute or chronic symptoms of hypoglycemia.  Hypoglycemia can cause the following symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Palpitations
  • Hunger
  • Brain fox
  • Hazy vision
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Seizures and loss of consciousness are common in severe instances.

While low blood glucose can cause these symptoms, they can also be caused by other illnesses.

When a person has or is suspected of having insulin resistance, an insulin test may be performed. People with type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, prediabetes or cardiac disease, or metabolic syndrome may fall into this category.

After an insulinoma has been effectively removed, a health practitioner may arrange insulin and C-peptide testing to verify the effectiveness of treatment and subsequently order the tests on a regular basis to monitor for recurrence.

Periodic testing can also be performed to track the success of an islet cell transplant by determining the graft's insulin-producing capacity.

What does an Insulin blood test check for?

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas' beta cells and stored there. It is necessary for the transfer and storage of glucose, the body's primary energy source. Insulin aids in the delivery of glucose from the bloodstream to cells, as well as the regulation of blood glucose levels and lipid metabolism. This test determines how much insulin is present in the blood.

The levels of insulin and glucose in the blood must be balanced. Carbohydrates are frequently broken down into glucose and other simple sugars after a meal. The blood glucose level rises, prompting the pancreas to produce insulin into the bloodstream. The amount of glucose in the blood reduces as it enters cells, and the amount of insulin released by the pancreas decreases.

If an individual is unable to produce enough insulin, or if the body's cells become resistant to its effects, glucose is unable to reach the majority of the body's cells, causing the cells to starve as blood glucose climbs to harmful levels. This can disrupt normal metabolic processes, leading to a variety of illnesses and difficulties, such as kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and eyesight and neurological issues.

Diabetes is a life-threatening illness characterized by excessive glucose levels and diminished insulin action. People with type 1 diabetes produce relatively little insulin, necessitating the use of insulin supplements. Insulin resistance is a common cause of type 2 diabetes, which worsens over time.

Insulin resistance occurs when the body is unable to respond to insulin's effects. The body makes up for this by manufacturing more of the hormone. Hyperinsulinemia and overstimulation of some insulin-sensitive tissues happen as a result of this. This process generates an imbalance in the connection between glucose and insulin over time, which, if left untreated, can lead to health problems affecting numerous regions of the body.

Insulin resistance can be present in people with polycystic ovary syndrome, prediabetes or cardiac disease, metabolic syndrome, and diseases of the pituitary or adrenal glands, in addition to type 2 diabetes.

Hyperinsulinemia is most commonly seen in persons with tumors of the pancreatic islet cells or an excess of injected insulin, aside from insulin resistance. Low blood sugar is caused by hyperinsulinemia, which can cause sweating, hunger, palpitations, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, seizures, and fainting. Because the brain relies on blood glucose for energy, severe glucose deprivation caused by hyperinsulinemia can swiftly result in insulin shock and death.

Lab tests often ordered with an Insulin test:

  • Glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • C-Peptide
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

Conditions where an Insulin test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Insulin Resistance
  • PCOS
  • Metabolic Syndrome

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use an insulin test?

Insulin testing can be used for a variety of purposes. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas' beta cells and stored there. Insulin is a hormone that aids in the movement of glucose, the body's primary source of energy, from the bloodstream to the cells. Cells starve if a person produces too little insulin or is resistant to its effects. When someone produces too much insulin, such as when they have an insulin-producing tumor, symptoms of low blood glucose appear.

Insulin testing may be used to assist with the following:

  • Diagnose an insulinoma, confirm that the tumor was successfully removed, and/or keep an eye out for recurrence.
  • Determine the source of hypoglycemia in a person who has signs and symptoms.
  • Recognize insulin resistance.
  • In this instance, a C-peptide test may be used to monitor the quantity of insulin produced by the beta cells in the pancreas. As part of the conversion of proinsulin to insulin in the pancreas, the body produces both insulin and C-peptide at the same time. When a doctor wishes to know how much insulin is created by the body and how much comes from outside sources like insulin injections, both tests may be ordered. The C-peptide test indicates insulin produced by the pancreas, but the insulin test analyzes insulin from both sources.
  • Determine when a type 2 diabetic may need to supplement oral medications with insulin.

Insulin tests can be ordered in conjunction with glucose and C-peptide tests. In addition to the glucose tolerance test, insulin levels are sometimes employed. To assess insulin resistance, blood glucose and insulin levels are tested at pre-determined time intervals in this circumstance.

What do my Insulin test result mean?

Insulin levels must be reviewed in the context of other diagnostic tests and symptoms.

Insulin levels can be elevated with:

  • Acromegaly
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Use of medications such as corticosteroids, levodopa, and oral contraceptives
  • Intolerance to fructose or galactose
  • Insulinomas
  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance, as seen in type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome

Insulin levels can be low with:

  • Diabetes 
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Chronic pancreatitis 
  • Pancreatic cancer

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


Description: Ion Mobility Lipoprotein Fractionation is a test that uses a gas-phase technology to separate the lipid particles by size. As each particle is separated, they are counted.

Also Known As: LDL Particle Testing, LDL-P Test, LDL Subclass Test, sdLDL Test, LDL Fractionations Test, LDL Particle Size Test, LDL Particle Number Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting preferred, but not required

When is a Lipoprotein Fractionation test ordered?

When someone has a personal or family history of early cardiovascular disease, this testing may be ordered as part of an overall evaluation of cardiac risk, especially if the person does not have typical cardiac risk factors like high cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, high triglyceride, low HDL cholesterol, smoking, obesity, inactivity, diabetes, and/or hypertension.

When a person with elevated LDL-P and/or a high proportion of tiny, dense LDL particles has undertaken cholesterol-lowering treatment or lifestyle adjustments, the healthcare practitioner may conduct LDL lipoprotein subfraction testing, as well as other lipid tests, to assess treatment success.

Although LDL-P is not typically suggested as a screening test, some healthcare practitioners are using it in conjunction with a battery of other cardiac risk tests to evaluate a person's overall risk of getting CVD.

What does a Lipoprotein Fractionation blood test check for?

Low-density lipoproteins are lipid-transporting particles that travel throughout the body. Protein, cholesterol, triglyceride, and phospholipid molecules are all present in each particle. As they move through the bloodstream, their makeup changes. Lipoprotein particles range in size from large and fluffy to small and dense, depending on which molecules are eliminated and which are added. The relative amounts of particles with different characteristics in the blood are determined by LDL particle testing. Subfractionation testing is a term used to describe this process.

Traditional lipid testing determines the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood but does not assess the number of LDL particles. Increased numbers of small, dense LDL particles have been linked to inflammation and are more likely to produce atherosclerosis than fewer light, fluffy LDL particles, according to some research. Researchers believe that the existence of an elevated quantity of sdLDL could be one of the reasons why some people have heart attacks while having relatively low total and LDL cholesterol levels.

The number of sdLDL particles in a person's blood is determined in part by genetics, in part by sex, and in part by lifestyle and overall health. Increased levels of sdLDL are linked to certain diseases and disorders, like as diabetes and hypertension.

By examining a person's triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, it is usually able to estimate whether they have a high amount of sdLDL particles. Typically, these tests are done as part of a lipid profile. People with high triglycerides and low HDL-C have higher levels of sdLDL. More sdLDL is connected with a triglyceride level greater than 120 mg/dL and an HDL-C level less than 40 mg/dL in men and less than 50 mg/dL in women.

Other lipoprotein particles, such as HDL and VLDL, can also be subfractionated, however these tests are generally utilized in research settings and are not discussed on this page.

Lab tests often ordered with a Lipoprotein Fractionation test:

  • Lipid Panel
  • HDL Cholesterol
  • LDL Cholesterol
  • Direct LDL
  • Apolipoprotein A-1
  • Apolipoprotein B
  • Lipoprotein (a)
  • Triglycerides
  • Homocysteine
  • Hs-CRP
  • VAP

Conditions where a Lipoprotein Fractionation test is recommended:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Heart Disease

How does my health care provider use a Lipoprotein Fractionation test?

Low-density lipoprotein particle testing determines the number, size, density, and/or electrical charge of LDL particles. It may be useful in determining cardiac risk in patients with a personal or family history of heart disease at a young age, particularly if their total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels are not markedly increased. LDL subfraction testing is usually done in conjunction with or after a lipid profile.

While the LDL-C test is a good predictor of cardiovascular disease risk for many people, research has indicated that certain persons with healthy LDL-C levels nonetheless have an increased risk of CVD. Similarly, even if their LDL-C is at a safe level, people with chronic diseases like diabetes may be at higher risk. The quantity of LDL particles and/or their size has been recommended as an additional factor to consider when assessing CVD risk in these populations. Lipoprotein subfraction testing may be done in these situations to further assess a person's CVD risk.

LDL-P is sometimes requested to see how well a treatment is working at reducing the quantity of tiny, dense LDL particles.

LDL subfraction testing has been employed in clinical settings, although VLDL or HDL subfraction testing is primarily used in research. This is because LDL cholesterol has been established as the key risk factor for heart disease, and LDL assessment has received increased attention in research and development.

What do my Lipoprotein Fractionation test results mean?

The method and reporting format utilized in an LDL-P test, as well as the person's total cholesterol, LDL-C, VLDL, and/or HDL cholesterol, are all reflected in the results. Because different methods divide subclasses based on different physical qualities, results may not be immediately comparable from one method to the next or from one laboratory to the next.

Usually, the result is evaluated in context of a lipid profile and the risk it implies:

  • If a person has a high number of mostly tiny, dense LDL and an elevated LDL-P, this result will enhance the person's risk of cardiovascular disease beyond the risk associated with total LDL.
  • If a person only has large, fluffy LDL and a low LDL-P, this discovery will not put them at any greater risk.

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


The anti-insulin antibody test checks to see if your body has produced antibodies against insulin. If you have IgG and IgM antibodies against insulin, your body reacts as if the insulin is foreign. This may make insulin less effective, or not effective at all. The antibodies can also change the amount of time it takes insulin to work, putting you at risk for low blood sugar. This means that the insulin cannot move glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. As a result, increased levels of insulin are needed to have the same effect, which is called insulin resistance. If the test shows high levels of IgE antibody against insulin, your body has developed an allergic response to the medication. This could put you at risk for skin reactions, or more severe reactions. Other medications, such as antihistamines or low-dose injectable steroids, may help to lessen the reaction. If reactions have been severe, an in-hospital procedure called desensitization may be necessary.

The insulin response to glucose infusion is useful in evaluating patients with hypoglycemia and suspected insulin-resistance.

The insulin response to glucose infusion is useful in evaluating patients with hypoglycemia and suspected insulin-resistance.

The insulin response to glucose infusion is useful in evaluating patients with hypoglycemia and suspected insulin-resistance.

The insulin response to glucose infusion is useful in evaluating patients with hypoglycemia and suspected insulin-resistance.

The insulin response to glucose infusion is useful in evaluating patients with hypoglycemia and suspected insulin-resistance.

The insulin response to glucose infusion is useful in evaluating patients with hypoglycemia and suspected insulin-resistance.

The insulin response to glucose infusion is useful in evaluating patients with hypoglycemia and suspected insulin-resistance.

The insulin response to glucose infusion is useful in evaluating patients with hypoglycemia and suspected insulin-resistance.

Description: A Lipid Panel is a blood test that measures your cholesterol levels to evaluate your risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Also Known As: Lipid Profile Test, Lipid Test, Cholesterol Profile Test, Cholesterol Panel Test, Cholesterol Test, Coronary Risk Panel Test, lipid blood test 

Collection Method: Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: Serum 

Test Preparation: Patient should be fasting 9-12 hours prior to collection.

When is a Lipid Panel test ordered?  

A fasting lipid profile should be done about every five years in healthy persons who have no additional risk factors for heart disease. A single total cholesterol test, rather than a complete lipid profile, may be used for initial screening. If the screening cholesterol test result is high, a lipid profile will almost certainly be performed. 

More regular testing with a full lipid profile is indicated if other risk factors are present or if earlier testing revealed a high cholesterol level. 

Other risk factors, in addition to high LDL cholesterol, include: 

  • Smoking 
  • Obesity or being overweight 
  • Unhealthy eating habits 
  • Not getting enough exercise and being physically inactive 
  • Older age 
  • Having hypertension 
  • Premature heart disease in the family 
  • Having experienced a heart attack or having pre-existing heart disease 

Diabetes or pre-diabetes is a condition in which a person has High HDL is a "negative risk factor," and its existence permits one risk factor to be removed from the total. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends routine lipid testing for children and young adults. Children and teenagers who are at a higher risk of developing heart disease as adults should be screened with a lipid profile earlier and more frequently. A family history of heart disease or health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or being overweight are some of the risk factors, which are comparable to those in adults. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, high-risk children should be examined with a fasting lipid profile between the ages of 2 and 8. 

A lipid profile can also be done at regular intervals to assess the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, as well as pharmacological therapy like statins. 

What does a Lipid Panel blood test check for? 

Lipids are a class of fats and fat-like compounds that are essential components of cells and energy sources. The level of certain lipids in the blood is measured by a lipid profile. 

Lipoprotein particles transport two key lipids, cholesterol, and triglycerides, through the bloodstream. Protein, cholesterol, triglyceride, and phospholipid molecules are all present in each particle. High-density lipoproteins, low-density lipoproteins, and very low-density lipoproteins are the three types of particles assessed with a lipid profile. 

It's critical to keep track of and maintain optimal levels of these lipids in order to stay healthy. While the body creates the cholesterol required for normal function, some cholesterol is obtained from the diet. A high amount of cholesterol in the blood can be caused by eating too many foods high in saturated fats and trans fats or having a hereditary tendency. The excess cholesterol may form plaques on the inside walls of blood vessels. Plaques can constrict or block blood channel openings, causing artery hardening and raising the risk of a variety of health problems, including heart disease and stroke. Although the explanation for this is unknown, a high level of triglycerides in the blood is linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. 

A lipid profile consists of the following elements: 

  • Cholesterol total 
  • HDL Cholesterol -?commonly referred to as "good cholesterol" since it eliminates excess cholesterol from the body and transports it to the liver for elimination. 
  • LDL Cholesterol -?commonly referred to as "bad cholesterol" because it deposits excess cholesterol in the walls of blood arteries, contributing to atherosclerosis. 
  • Triglycerides 

Lab tests often ordered with a Lipid Panel test:

  • CBC (Blood Count Test) with Smear Review
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Direct LDL
  • VLDL
  • Lp-PLA2
  • Apolipoprotein A1
  • Apolipoprotein B
  • Lipoprotein (a)
  • Lipoprotein Fractionation Ion Mobility (LDL Particle Testing)

Conditions where a Lipid Panel test is recommended:

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Lipid Panel test? 

The lipid profile is used as part of a cardiac risk assessment to help determine an individual's risk of heart disease and, if there is a borderline or high risk, to help make treatment options. 

Lipids are a class of fats and fat-like compounds that are essential components of cells and energy sources. It's critical to keep track of and maintain optimal levels of these lipids in order to stay healthy. 

To design a therapy and follow-up strategy, the results of the lipid profile are combined with other recognized risk factors for heart disease. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, as well as lipid-lowering drugs such as statins, depending on the results and other risk factors. 

A normal lipid profile test measures the following elements: 

  • Total cholesterol is a test that determines how much cholesterol is present in all lipoprotein particles. 

  • HDL Cholesterol — measures hdl cholesterol in particles, sometimes referred to as "good cholesterol" since it eliminates excess cholesterol and transports it to the liver for elimination. 

  • LDL Cholesterol – estimates the cholesterol in LDL particles; sometimes known as "bad cholesterol" since it deposits excess cholesterol in blood vessel walls, contributing to atherosclerosis. The amount of LDL Cholesterol is usually estimated using the total cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, and triglycerides readings. 

  • Triglycerides – triglycerides are measured in all lipoprotein particles, with the highest concentration in very-low-density lipoproteins. 

  • As part of the lipid profile, several extra information may be presented. The results of the above-mentioned tests are used to determine these parameters. 

  • VLDL Cholesterol — derived using triglycerides/5; this calculation is based on the typical VLDL particle composition. 

  • Non-HDL Cholesterol - the result of subtracting total cholesterol from HDL Cholesterol. 

  • Cholesterol/HDL ratio — total cholesterol to HDL Cholesterol ratio computed. 

An expanded profile may include the amount and concentration of low-density lipoprotein particles. Rather than assessing the amount of LDL cholesterol, this test counts the number of LDL particles. This figure is thought to more accurately reflect the risk of heart disease in some persons. 

What do my Lipid Panel test results mean? 

Healthy lipid levels, in general, aid in the maintenance of a healthy heart and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. A health practitioner would analyze the results of each component of a lipid profile, as well as other risk factors, to assess a person's total risk of coronary heart disease, if therapy is required, and, if so, which treatment will best serve to reduce the person's risk of heart disease. 

The Adult Treatment Panel III of the National Cholesterol Education Program published guidelines for measuring lipid levels and selecting treatment in 2002. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association announced updated cholesterol therapy guidelines in 2013 to minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults. These guidelines suggest a different treatment method than the NCEP guidelines. Cholesterol-lowering medications are now chosen based on the 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and other criteria, rather than on LDL Cholesterol or non-HDL Cholesterol objectives. 

The revised guidelines include an evidence-based risk calculator for ASCVD that may be used to identify people who are most likely to benefit from treatment. It's for adults between the ages of 40 and 79 who don't have a heart condition. The computation takes into account a number of characteristics, including age, gender, race, total cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking habits. The new guidelines also suggest comparing therapeutic response to LDL Cholesterol baseline readings, with decrease criteria varying depending on the degree of lipid-lowering medication therapy. 

Unhealthy lipid levels, as well as the presence of additional risk factors like age, family history, cigarette smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure, may indicate that the person being examined needs to be treated. 

The NCEP Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines specify target LDL cholesterol levels based on the findings of lipid testing and these other main risk factors. Individuals with LDL Cholesterol levels over the target limits will be treated, according to the guidelines. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, screening youths with risk factors for heart disease with a full, fasting lipid panel is advised. Fasting is not required prior to lipid screening in children who do not have any risk factors. For non-fasting lipid screening, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol is the preferred test. Non HDL Cholesterol is computed by subtracting total cholesterol and HDL Cholesterol from total cholesterol and HDL Cholesterol. 

Is there anything else I should know? 

The measurement of triglycerides in people who haven't fasted is gaining popularity. Because most of the day, blood lipid levels reflect post-meal levels rather than fasting levels, a non-fasting sample may be more representative of the "usual" circulating level of triglyceride. However, because it is still unclear how to interpret non-fasting levels for assessing risk, the current recommendations for fasting before lipid tests remain unchanged. 

A fasting lipid profile is usually included in a routine cardiac risk assessment. In addition, research into the utility of additional non-traditional cardiac risk markers, such as Lp-PLA2, is ongoing. A health care provider may use one or more of these markers to help determine a person's risk, but there is no consensus on how to use them and they are not widely available. 

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


Description: A Lipid Panel is a blood test that measures your cholesterol levels to evaluate your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Also Known As: Lipid Profile Test, Lipid Test, Cholesterol Profile Test, Cholesterol Panel Test, Cholesterol Test, Coronary Risk Panel Test, lipid blood test, Lipid w/Ratios Test, Cholesterol Ratio test, blood cholesterol Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Patient should be fasting 9-12 hours prior to collection.

When is a Lipid Panel with Ratios test ordered?

A fasting lipid profile should be done about every five years in healthy persons who have no additional risk factors for heart disease. A single total cholesterol test, rather than a complete lipid profile, may be used for initial screening. If the screening cholesterol test result is high, a lipid profile will almost certainly be performed.

More regular testing with a full lipid profile is indicated if other risk factors are present or if earlier testing revealed a high cholesterol level.

Other risk factors, in addition to high LDL cholesterol, include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Not getting enough exercise and being physically inactive
  • Older age
  • Having hypertension
  • Premature heart disease in the family
  • Having experienced a heart attack or having pre-existing heart disease

Diabetes or pre-diabetes is a condition in which a person has High HDL is a "negative risk factor," and its existence permits one risk factor to be removed from the total.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends routine lipid testing for children and young adults. Children and teenagers who are at a higher risk of developing heart disease as adults should be screened with a lipid profile earlier and more frequently. A family history of heart disease or health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or being overweight are some of the risk factors, which are comparable to those in adults. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, high-risk children should be examined with a fasting lipid profile between the ages of 2 and 8.

A lipid profile can also be done at regular intervals to assess the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, as well as pharmacological therapy like statins.

What does a Lipid Panel with Ratios blood test check for?

Lipids are a class of fats and fat-like compounds that are essential components of cells and energy sources. The level of certain lipids in the blood is measured by a lipid profile.

Lipoprotein particles transport two key lipids, cholesterol and triglycerides, through the bloodstream. Protein, cholesterol, triglyceride, and phospholipid molecules are all present in each particle. High-density lipoproteins, low-density lipoproteins, and very low-density lipoproteins are the three types of particles assessed with a lipid profile.

It's critical to keep track of and maintain optimal levels of these lipids in order to stay healthy. While the body creates the cholesterol required for normal function, some cholesterol is obtained from the diet. A high amount of cholesterol in the blood can be caused by eating too many foods high in saturated fats and trans fats or having a hereditary tendency. The excess cholesterol may form plaques on the inside walls of blood vessels. Plaques can constrict or block blood channel openings, causing artery hardening and raising the risk of a variety of health problems, including heart disease and stroke. Although the explanation for this is unknown, a high level of triglycerides in the blood is linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

A lipid profile consists of the following elements:

  • Cholesterol total
  • HDL Cholesterol - commonly referred to as "good cholesterol" since it eliminates excess cholesterol from the body and transports it to the liver for elimination.
  • LDL Cholesterol - commonly referred to as "bad cholesterol" because it deposits excess cholesterol in the walls of blood arteries, contributing to atherosclerosis.
  • Triglycerides
  • Ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol

Lab tests often ordered with a Lipid Panel with Ratios test:

  • CBC (Blood Count Test) with Smear Review
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Direct LDL
  • VLDL
  • Lp-PLA2
  • Apolipoprotein A1
  • Apolipoprotein B
  • Lipoprotein (a)
  • Lipoprotein Fractionation Ion Mobility (LDL Particle Testing)

Conditions where a Lipid Panel with Ratios test is recommended:

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a Lipid Panel with Ratios test?

The lipid profile is used as part of a cardiac risk assessment to help determine an individual's risk of heart disease and, if there is a borderline or high risk, to help make treatment options.

Lipids are a class of fats and fat-like compounds that are essential components of cells and energy sources. It's critical to keep track of and maintain optimal levels of these lipids in order to stay healthy.

To design a therapy and follow-up strategy, the results of the lipid profile are combined with other recognized risk factors for heart disease. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, as well as lipid-lowering drugs such as statins, depending on the results and other risk factors.

A normal lipid profile test measures the following elements:

  • Total cholesterol is a test that determines how much cholesterol is present in all lipoprotein particles.
  • HDL Cholesterol — measures hdl cholesterol in particles, sometimes referred to as "good cholesterol" since it eliminates excess cholesterol and transports it to the liver for elimination.
  • LDL Cholesterol – estimates the cholesterol in LDL particles; sometimes known as "bad cholesterol" since it deposits excess cholesterol in blood vessel walls, contributing to atherosclerosis. The amount of LDL Cholesterol is usually estimated using the total cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, and triglycerides readings.
  • Triglycerides – triglycerides are measured in all lipoprotein particles, with the highest concentration in very-low-density lipoproteins.
  • As part of the lipid profile, several extra information may be presented. The results of the above-mentioned tests are used to determine these parameters.
  • VLDL Cholesterol — derived using triglycerides/5; this calculation is based on the typical VLDL particle composition.
  • Non-HDL Cholesterol - the result of subtracting total cholesterol from HDL Cholesterol.
  • Cholesterol/HDL ratio — total cholesterol to HDL Cholesterol ratio computed.

An expanded profile may include the amount and concentration of low-density lipoprotein particles. Rather than assessing the amount of LDL cholesterol, this test counts the number of LDL particles. This figure is thought to more accurately reflect the risk of heart disease in some persons.

What do my Lipid Panel test results mean?

Healthy lipid levels, in general, aid in the maintenance of a healthy heart and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. A health practitioner would analyze the results of each component of a lipid profile, as well as other risk factors, to assess a person's total risk of coronary heart disease, if therapy is required, and, if so, which treatment will best serve to reduce the person's risk of heart disease.

The Adult Treatment Panel III of the National Cholesterol Education Program published guidelines for measuring lipid levels and selecting treatment in 2002. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association announced updated cholesterol therapy guidelines in 2013 to minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults. These guidelines suggest a different treatment method than the NCEP guidelines. Cholesterol-lowering medications are now chosen based on the 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and other criteria, rather than on LDL-C or non-HDL-C objectives.

The revised guidelines include an evidence-based risk calculator for ASCVD that may be used to identify people who are most likely to benefit from treatment. It's for adults between the ages of 40 and 79 who don't have a heart condition. The computation takes into account a number of characteristics, including age, gender, race, total cholesterol, HDL-C, blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking habits. The new guidelines also suggest comparing therapeutic response to LDL-C baseline readings, with decrease criteria varying depending on the degree of lipid-lowering medication therapy.

Unhealthy lipid levels, as well as the presence of additional risk factors like age, family history, cigarette smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure, may indicate that the person being examined needs to be treated.

The NCEP Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines specify target LDL cholesterol levels based on the findings of lipid testing and these other main risk factors. Individuals with LDL-C levels over the target limits will be treated, according to the guidelines.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, screening youths with risk factors for heart disease with a full, fasting lipid panel is advised. Fasting is not required prior to lipid screening in children who do not have any risk factors. For non-fasting lipid screening, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol is the preferred test. Non-HDL-C is computed by subtracting total cholesterol and HDL-C from total cholesterol and HDL-C.

Is there anything else I should know?

The measurement of triglycerides in people who haven't fasted is gaining popularity. Because most of the day, blood lipid levels reflect post-meal levels rather than fasting levels, a non-fasting sample may be more representative of the "usual" circulating level of triglyceride. However, because it is still unclear how to interpret non-fasting levels for assessing risk, the current recommendations for fasting before lipid tests remain unchanged.

A fasting lipid profile is usually included in a routine cardiac risk assessment. In addition, research into the utility of additional non-traditional cardiac risk markers, such as Lp-PLA2, is ongoing. A health care provider may use one or more of these markers to help determine a person's risk, but there is no consensus on how to use them and they are not widely available.

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


Patient Preparation 

Fasting specimen is preferred. Patient should be free from medications for 2 days.  IMPORTANT DO NOT DISCONTINUE MEDICATIONS WITHOUT THE SUPERVISION AND APPROVAL OF YOUR PHYSICIAN.

 

Clinical Significance

Alpha MSH is a 13 amino acid peptide (1665 kD) with serine at the N terminal end and amidated valine at the C terminal end. Alpha MSH is derived from pro-opiomelanocorticotropin, a precursor protein which contains within its structure, the sequence of ACTH, beta MSH and gamma MSH. The amino acid sequence of alpha MSH is identical to ACTH 1-13 in humans. Alpha MSH stimulates melanosome dispersion within dermal melanocytes and melanin biosynthesis within epidermal melanocytes. It also stimulates aldosterone synthesis. Plasma alpha MSH increases in humans with high fever due to endotoxin. Average plasma alpha MSH has been found higher in AIDS patients and also in obese men with insulin resistance.

 

 

 


Description: An ALT test is a blood test that is used to screen for and diagnose liver disease.

Also Known As: Alanine Aminotransferase Test, Alanine Transaminase Test, GPT Test, SGPT Test, Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Alanine Transaminase test ordered?

When a person undergoes a standard health examination, ALT may be ordered as part of a full metabolic panel.

When a person has signs and symptoms of a liver problem, a healthcare provider will usually prescribe an ALT test.

Because many people with minor liver damage have no signs or symptoms, ALT may be ordered alone or in combination with other tests for persons who are at an elevated risk for liver disease. With modest liver injury, ALT levels will rise even if there are no other symptoms.

ALT may be ordered on a frequent basis during the course of treatment to establish whether the medication is effective when it is used to monitor the treatment of persons with liver disease.

What does an Alanine Transaminase blood test check for?

Alanine aminotransferase is an enzyme found mostly in liver and kidney cells. It's also found in much lesser concentrations in the heart and muscles. This test determines the amount of ALT in your blood.

The enzyme ALT converts alanine, a protein amino acid, into pyruvate, an important intermediary in cellular energy production. ALT levels in the blood are low in healthy people. ALT is released into the bloodstream when the liver is injured, frequently before more evident indications of liver injury, such as jaundice, appear. As a result, ALT is a useful test for detecting liver disease early on.

The liver is a critical organ positioned directly behind the rib cage on the upper right side of the abdomen. It is engaged in a variety of vital bodily functions. The liver aids in the digestion of nutrients, creates bile to aid in fat digestion, produces a variety of essential proteins such as blood clotting factors and albumin, and breaks down potentially hazardous compounds into safe substances that the body may utilize or discard.

Damage to liver cells can be caused by a variety of factors, resulting in an elevation in ALT. The test is most useful for detecting damage caused by hepatitis or medications or other toxins that are harmful to the liver.

As part of a liver panel, ALT is frequently tested alongside aspartate aminotransferase, another liver enzyme. When the liver is injured, both ALT and AST levels rise, albeit ALT is more specific for the liver and may be the only one to rise in some circumstances. An AST/ALT ratio can be used to help distinguish between different types of liver injury and their severity, as well as to distinguish liver injury from heart or muscle damage.

Lab tests often ordered with an Alanine Transaminase test:

  • AST
  • ALP
  • GGT
  • Bilirubin
  • Liver Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Albumin
  • Total Protein
  • Prothrombin Time
  • Hepatitis Panel General

Conditions where a an Alanine Transaminase test is recommended:

  • Liver Disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Jaundice
  • Cirrhosis
  • Alcoholism
  • Wilson Disease
  • Hemochromatosis

How does my health care provider use an Alanine Transaminase test?

The alanine aminotransferase test is commonly used to diagnose liver damage. It's frequently ordered as part of a liver panel or complete metabolic panel with aspartate aminotransferase to screen for and/or diagnose liver disease.

ALT is an enzyme found mostly in liver and kidney cells. ALT is released into the bloodstream when the liver is injured. As a result, ALT is a useful test for detecting liver disease early on.

Although ALT is more specific to the liver than AST, they are both considered to be two of the most significant tests for detecting liver impairment. When AST is directly compared to ALT, an AST/ALT ratio is calculated. This ratio can assist distinguish between different types of liver disease and identify cardiac or muscle harm.

To assess which type of liver illness is present, ALT values are frequently matched to the results of other tests such as alkaline phosphatase, total protein, and bilirubin.

ALT is frequently requested to monitor the therapy of people with liver disease to evaluate if it is effective, and it can be ordered alone or in combination with other tests.

What do my ALT test results mean?

A low ALT level in the blood is normal and anticipated. The most prevalent cause of ALT levels that are higher than normal is liver disease.

Acute hepatitis and viral infections are the most common causes of very elevated ALT values. ALT levels are normally elevated for 1-2 months after acute hepatitis, but they might take up to 3-6 months to return to normal. ALT levels may also be significantly raised as a result of exposure to liver-toxic medications or other chemicals, or in situations that produce reduced blood flow (ischemia) to the liver.

In chronic hepatitis, ALT levels are frequently less than four times normal. Because ALT levels in this scenario regularly fluctuate between normal and slightly elevated, the test may be ordered frequently to observe if a trend emerges. Other reasons of mild ALT elevations include bile duct obstruction, cirrhosis, heart damage, alcohol addiction, and liver cancers.

ALT is frequently used in conjunction with an AST test or as part of a liver panel. See the Liver Panel article for more information on ALT values in relation to other liver tests.

The ALT level is usually greater than the AST level in most forms of liver disorders, and the AST/ALT ratio is low. There are a few exceptions: in alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and heart or muscle injury, the AST/ALT ratio is frequently more than 1, and it may be greater than 1 for a day or two after the onset of acute hepatitis.

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


Description: A hs-CRP or High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein test is a blood test used to accurately detect lower concentrations of the protein C-Reactive Protein. This test is used to evaluate your risk of cardiovascular and heart disease and to check for inflammation and many other issues.

Also Known As: hsCRP Test, Cardiac CRP Test, high sensitivity C-reactive protein Test, CRP Test for heart disease.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a hs-CRP test ordered?

There is currently no consensus on when to get an hs-CRP test. It may be beneficial for treatment purposes to order hs-CRP for those that have kidney disease, diabetes or inflammatory disorders.

It's possible that hs-CRP will be tested again to confirm that a person has persistently low levels of inflammation.

What does a hs-CRP blood test check for?

C-reactive protein is a protein found in the blood that rises in response to infection and inflammation, as well as after trauma, surgery, or a heart attack. As a result, it's one of numerous proteins referred to as acute phase reactants. The high-sensitivity CRP test detects low levels of inflammation in the blood, which are linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

According to the American Heart Association, CVD kills more people in the United States each year than any other cause. A number of risk factors have been related to the development of CVD, including family history, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, being overweight or diabetic, however a considerable number of people with few or no recognized risk factors will also acquire CVD. This has prompted researchers to investigate for new risk variables that could be causing CVD or could be used to identify lifestyle modifications and/or treatments that could lower a person's risk.

High-sensitivity CRP is one of an increasing number of cardiac risk markers that may be used to assess an individual's risk. According to certain research, monitoring CRP with a highly sensitive assay can assist identify the risk level for CVD in persons who appear to be healthy. CRP levels at the higher end of the reference range can be measured with this more sensitive test. Even when cholesterol levels are within an acceptable range, these normal but slightly elevated levels of CRP in otherwise healthy persons might indicate the future risk of a heart attack, sudden cardiac death, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.

Lab tests often ordered with a hs-CRP test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Lipid Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Lp-Pla2
  • Glucose

Conditions where a hs-CRP test is recommended:

  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Disease
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Stroke

How does my health care provider use a hs-CRP test?

A test for high-sensitivity C-reactive protein can be used to assess a person's risk of cardiovascular disease. It can be used in conjunction with a lipid profile or other cardiac risk markers, such as the lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 test, to provide further information regarding the risk of heart disease.

CRP is a protein that rises in the bloodstream as a result of inflammation. A continuous low level of inflammation, according to studies, plays a crucial role in atherosclerosis, the narrowing of blood vessels caused by the build-up of cholesterol and other lipids, which is typically linked to CVD. The hs-CRP test successfully detects low levels of C-reactive protein, indicating low but chronic inflammation, and so aids in predicting a person's risk of developing CVD.

Some specialists believe that high-sensitivity CRP is a good test for assessing CVD, heart attacks, and stroke risk, and that it can help in the evaluation process before a person gets one of these health problems. Some experts believe that combining a good marker for inflammation, such as hs-CRP, with a lipid profile is the best way to predict risk. This test has been recommended by several organizations for persons who are at a moderate risk of having a heart attack in the following ten years.

What does my hs-CRP test result mean?

Even when cholesterol levels are within an acceptable range, high levels of hs-CRP in otherwise healthy people have been found to predict an elevated risk of future heart attacks, strokes, sudden cardiac death, and/or peripheral arterial disease.

Higher hs-CRP concentrations indicate a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, while lower values indicate a lower risk. Individuals with hs-CRP values at the high end of the normal range are 1.5 to 4 times more likely than those with low levels of hs-CRP to have a heart attack.

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


HDL cholesterol is inversely related to the risk for cardiovascular disease. It increases following regular exercise, moderate alcohol consumption and with oral estrogen therapy. Decreased levels are associated with obesity, stress, cigarette smoking and diabetes mellitus.

Most Popular

Total serum cholesterol analysis is useful in the diagnosis of hyperlipoproteinemia, atherosclerosis, hepatic and thyroid diseases.


Description: A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel or CMP is a blood test that is a combination of a Basic Metabolic Panel, a Liver Panel, and electrolyte panel, and is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases such as liver disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

Also Known As: CMP, Chem, Chem-14, Chem-12, Chem-21, Chemistry Panel, Chem Panel, Chem Screen, Chemistry Screen, SMA 12, SMA 20, SMA 21, SMAC, Chem test

Collection Method: 

Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: 

Serum 

Test Preparation: 

9-12 hours fasting is preferred. 

When is a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test ordered:  

A CMP is frequently requested as part of a lab test for a medical evaluation or yearly physical. A CMP test consists of many different tests that give healthcare providers a range of information about your health, including liver and kidney function, electrolyte balance, and blood sugar levels. To confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis, abnormal test results are frequently followed up with other tests that provide a more in depth or targeted analysis of key areas that need investigating. 

What does a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel blood test check for? 

The complete metabolic panel (CMP) is a set of 20 tests that provides critical information to a healthcare professional about a person's current metabolic status, check for liver or kidney disease, electrolyte and acid/base balance, and blood glucose and blood protein levels. Abnormal results, particularly when they are combined, can suggest a problem that needs to be addressed. 

The following tests are included in the CMP: 

  • Albumin: this is a measure of Albumin levels in your blood. Albumin is a protein made by the liver that is responsible for many vital roles including transporting nutrients throughout the body and preventing fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. 

  • Albumin/Globulin Ratio: this is a ratio between your total Albumin and Globulin  

  • Alkaline Phosphatase: this is a measure of Alkaline phosphatase or ALP in your blood. Alkaline phosphatase is a protein found in all body tissues, however the ALP found in blood comes from the liver and bones. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage, gallbladder disease, or bone disorder. 

  • Alt: this is a measure of Alanine transaminase or ALT in your blood. Alanine Aminotransferase is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver with small amounts in the heart and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • AST: this is a measure of Aspartate Aminotransferase or AST. Aspartate Aminotransferase is an enzyme found mostly in the heart and liver, with smaller amounts in the kidney and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • Bilirubin, Total: this is a measure of bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is an orange-yellowish waste product produced from the breakdown of heme which is a component of hemoglobin found in red blood cells. The liver is responsible for removal of bilirubin from the body. 

  • Bun/Creatinine Ratio: this is a ratio between your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and Creatinine result.  

  • Calcium: this is a measurement of calcium in your blood. Calcium is the most abundant and one of the most important minerals in the body as it essential for proper nerve, muscle, and heart function. 

  • Calcium: is used for blood clot formation and the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. 

  • Carbon Dioxide: this is a measure of carbon dioxide in your blood. Carbon dioxide is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels.  

  • Chloride: this is a measure of Chloride in your blood. Chloride is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as potassium and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels. 

  • Creatinine: this is a measure of Creatinine levels in your blood. Creatinine is created from the breakdown of creatine in your muscles and is removed from your body by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

  • Egfr African American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Egfr Non-Afr. American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Globulin: this is a measure of all blood proteins in your blood that are not albumin. 

  • Glucose: this is a measure of glucose in your blood. Glucose is created from the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion and is the body’s primary source of energy. 

  • Potassium: this is a measure of Potassium in your blood. Potassium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in cell metabolism, nerve and muscle function, and transport of nutrients into cells and removal of wastes products out of cells. 

  • Protein, Total: this is a measure of total protein levels in your blood. 
    Sodium: this is a measure of Sodium in your blood. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in nerve and muscle function. 

  • Urea Nitrogen (Bun): this is a measure of Urea Nitrogen in your blood, also known as Blood UreaNitrogen (BUN). Urea is a waste product created in the liver when proteins are broken down into amino acids. Elevated levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test: 

  • Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein

Conditions where a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test is recommended: 

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Hypertension

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test? 

The comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a broad screening tool for assessing organ function and detecting diseases like diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. The CMP test may also be requested to monitor known disorders such as hypertension and to check for any renal or liver-related side effects in persons taking specific drugs. If a health practitioner wants to follow two or more separate CMP components, the full CMP might be ordered because it contains more information. 

What do my Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test results mean? 

The results of the tests included in the CMP are usually analyzed together to look for patterns. A single abnormal test result may indicate something different than a series of abnormal test findings. A high result on one of the liver enzyme tests, for example, is not the same as a high result on several liver enzyme tests. 

Several sets of CMPs, frequently performed on various days, may be examined to gain insights into the underlying disease and response to treatment, especially in hospitalized patients. 

Out-of-range findings for any of the CMP tests can be caused by a variety of illnesses, including kidney failure, breathing issues, and diabetes-related complications, to name a few. If any of the results are abnormal, one or more follow-up tests are usually ordered to help determine the reason and/or establish a diagnosis. 

Is there anything else I should know? 

A wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medications can have an impact on the results of the CMP's components. Any medications you're taking should be disclosed to your healthcare professional. Similarly, it is critical to provide a thorough history because many other circumstances can influence how your results are interpreted. 

What's the difference between the CMP and the BMP tests, and why would my doctor choose one over the other? 

The CMP consists of 14 tests, while the basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a subset of those with eight tests. The liver (ALP, ALT, AST, and bilirubin) and protein (albumin and total protein) tests are not included. If a healthcare provider wants a more thorough picture of a person's organ function or to check for specific illnesses like diabetes or liver or kidney disease, he or she may prescribe a CMP rather than a BMP. 

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

Please note the following regarding BUN/Creatinine ratio: 

The lab does not report the calculation for the BUN/Creatinine Ratio unless one or both biomarkers’ results fall out of the published range. 

If you still wish to see the value, it's easy to calculate. Simply take your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and divide it by your Creatinine result.  

As an example, if your Urea Nitrogen result is 11 and your Creatinine result is 0.86, then you would divide 11 by 0.86 and get a BUN/Creatinine Ratio result of 12.79. 


Most Popular
LDL cholesterol is a key factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), while HDL cholesterol has often been observed to have a protective effect. Even within the normal range of total cholesterol concentrations, an increase in LDL cholesterol can produce an associated increased risk for CAD. LDL cholesterol binds to receptor sites on macrophages in blood vessel walls inciting several changes to the blood wall which enhance atherosclerotic plaque development.


Insulin resistance affects over one-third of American adults. Many of those adults will go on to develop diabetes and a host of related conditions, including metabolic syndrome, which can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and other serious conditions. 

Many people believe they will be able to tell when their blood sugar levels change, and they begin to develop insulin resistance. Unfortunately, most people don't develop any symptoms until insulin resistance has progressed to much more serious conditions. That's where insulin resistance tests come in. 

This is because not only is insulin resistance manageable, but it can also be reversible. The key to reversing insulin resistance is catching it early. If you're able to do so before it becomes prediabetes or even Type 2 diabetes, you can take charge of your health and make informed decisions.

Read on to learn about insulin resistance, when most people begin to develop symptoms, and how you can get safe, secure, and reliable insulin resistance tests, even without health insurance.

What Is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance is an extremely common condition. It occurs when your body's cells don't respond as well to the hormone and therefore don't use the glucose (sugar) from your blood as effectively. Your pancreas responds to the higher levels of glucose in your blood by producing more insulin. 

About Insulin Resistance

While your body may be able to adjust for a while, insulin resistance can worsen over time. As more glucose builds up in your blood and your body produces even more insulin, your cells can become resistant to it. As insulin resistance progresses, it can lead to diabetes, hypoglycemia, and hyperglycemia.

Insulin resistance syndrome can also include a host of related conditions. In addition to diabetes, these include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity. 

Insulin resistance is extremely common, and it frequently progresses to diabetes. The CDC estimates that over 1 in 3 adults in the United States are prediabetic, and over 10% of the adult population has diabetes.

Risk Factors for Insulin Resistance

Since insulin resistance is so common, most adults are at risk for developing it, especially as they age. Your doctor will likely recommend that you get tested for insulin resistance and diabetes at age 40, along with tests for other markers of health, even if you are not experiencing symptoms and have no other risk factors.

For younger adults, testing is advisable if you have any of these risk factors:

  • Obesity, especially with a high percentage of belly fat
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes
  • Have other health conditions, such as sleep apnea, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diet high in carbohydrates
  • Are African-American, Latino, or Native American

Causes of Insulin Resistance

Researchers aren't entirely sure what causes insulin resistance. They believe that the link between weight gain, especially belly fat, and insulin resistance may result from chronic inflammation caused by hormones produced by belly fat.

Lack of physical activity can also be a cause of insulin resistance. Regular physical activity helps your body regulate your blood glucose levels.

While there is still a lot of research to be done, this information is enough to help you take charge of your health. If you know you have insulin resistance, you can make changes that may help you avoid progressing to prediabetes or diabetes. 

Signs and Symptoms of Insulin Resistance

Since your body is working so hard to make up for insulin resistance, many people have few symptoms, especially at first. Even once symptoms begin to appear, it's impossible to tell if you have insulin resistance syndrome just based on how you feel.

There are, however, some signs and symptoms to watch out for:

  • darkened skin, especially on the armpits, neck, and groin
  • skin tags
  • fatigue
  • increased hunger or thirst
  • cravings for sweet or salty foods
  • frequent urination
  • tingling in hands or feet

Many people, however, will not experience these symptoms until their insulin resistance has progressed to prediabetes or even diabetes. It would be best if you also kept a close eye on other signs that indicate a higher risk for insulin resistance syndrome, such as:

  • a waistline over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women
  • high blood pressure
  • high fasting glucose levels
  • high triglyceride levels

The good news is that you can reverse insulin resistance with physical activity and weight loss, adjustments in diet, and other lifestyle changes. Testing for insulin resistance with Ulta Lab Tests can help you take control of your health and take preventative measures before insulin resistance progresses to more serious conditions.

Lab Tests for Insulin Resistance

No single test can determine whether you have developed insulin resistance with 100% accuracy. However, a few standard, non-invasive blood tests taken together can provide results on insulin resistance as well as other indicators of type 2 diabetes and related conditions. If you have many symptoms and/or risk factors for diabetes, your doctor may recommend more comprehensive blood panels or additional tests.

Two standard tests, insulin and glucose tests are frequently used to evaluate insulin resistance. There are also hemoglobin tests that show your average blood sugar levels over the last 2-3 months and help diagnose diabetes. Lipid panels and others can also provide more information about your overall health and possible insulin resistance or prediabetes.

Glucose Tests

There are three common types of glucose tests:

  • Fasting glucose test - After fasting for at least 8 hours, this test measures your blood sugar.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test - Just as with the fasting plasma glucose test, you'll fast for at least 8 hours and then take the test. You'll then drink a sugary solution. After another 2 hours, you'll retake the test to compare differences in blood sugar levels.
  • Insulin response to glucose test - The insulin response to glucose infusion is helpful in evaluating patients with hypoglycemia and suspected insulin resistance.

These tests are very similar. Either can help you evaluate whether you have insulin resistance or other related blood sugar problems.

Hemoglobin A1C Tests

This test evaluates your average blood sugar levels over 2 to 3 months. This is especially useful if you show symptoms of prediabetes or diabetes and are often part of a full panel of tests to determine whether you have diabetes or are at risk of contracting diabetes soon.

Additional tests can be ordered to determine levels of insulin resistance and gather essential information could include:

Insulin testing: While results from a fasting test can vary, it's typical for people with severe insulin resistance to show elevated levels

hs-CRP testing: This can evaluate cardiac risk by looking at low levels of inflammation in the body. Insulin resistance can cause an increase in inflammation.

LDL-P testing: This measures the number of low-density lipoprotein particles in the body via lipoprotein sub-fractions testing. It's believed that certain types of LDL particles, such as small and dense particles, are linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Insulin tolerance testing: Although this type of testing isn't common, it's one way to determine how sensitive to insulin a person is. The test is beneficial for people that are obese or suffering from PCOS. During the test, a person will receive an insulin infusion via an IV. From there, levels of insulin and glucose will be measured.

FAQ About Insulin Resistance and Insulin Resistance Tests

It can be overwhelming to realize that you may have insulin resistance and related conditions. And with so many tests available, it can be challenging to make sense of your options. Read on for helpful answers to frequently asked questions about insulin resistance and insulin resistance tests. 

Won't I Start Feeling Bad if I Am Developing Insulin Resistance?

Not necessarily. While some people will begin to experience the symptoms listed above before their insulin resistance syndrome progresses, other people won't feel any different until they are prediabetic or even have full diabetes. 

Your body is adept at compensating for insulin resistance, and your pancreas is working hard to make up for it. That's part of why you won't necessarily feel bad until you've progressed beyond insulin resistance.

If I Develop Insulin Resistance, Will I Definitely Get Diabetes?

No, the good news is that insulin resistance can be slowed, stopped, and even reversed. You might not even need medication. Many people can adjust their blood sugar levels and reverse insulin resistance with diet and lifestyle changes.

Some of the most important lifestyle changes that you can make now are quitting smoking, moderating your consumption of alcohol, exercising, and eating a balanced, healthy diet.

Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity 5 days a week can make a huge difference. You don't have to run a marathon--even brisk walking can transform your body and help reverse insulin resistance.

A balanced diet, including lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean meat, and other sources of protein, can also help. Studies have shown that losing just 5 to 7 percent of your body weight can help reduce your risk of getting diabetes.

Depending on the severity of your insulin resistance and other symptoms and risk factors, your doctor may prescribe a medication called metformin. This helps control your blood sugar.

Can't I Just Change My Lifestyle Without Getting Tested?

It certainly helps to make lifestyle improvements no matter what. However, while very common and potentially reversible, insulin resistance is also very dangerous. In addition to leading to type 2 diabetes, it and other related conditions can lead to severe complications if left untreated. These include stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, eye problems, Alzheimer's disease, and others.

The best thing you can do for your health is arm yourself with information, then consult with your doctor about your test results. The more you know about your condition, the better you can manage and even reverse your insulin resistance while also monitoring any possible complications.

What Is the Best Test for Me?

It depends on your concerns, symptoms, and the risk factors outlined above. Suppose you are in good health and don't have any risk factors for insulin resistance or diabetes but want to make sure that you aren't beginning to develop insulin resistance without being aware of it. In that case, a simple insulin resistance panel might be best.

This panel requires overnight fasting. It then uses a combination of markers to evaluate the insulin levels in your blood.

On the other hand, if you are experiencing worrisome symptoms, have a family history of diabetes, or are otherwise high-risk, you may be better served by a full Diabetes & Insulin Resistance panel. These panels include all of the tests mentioned above, as well as a few others, and also require fasting overnight.

Is My Information Safe?

Absolutely. Your results will be available in your secure web portal. No one else will have access to your information unless the release of test results is ordered by law.

Do I Need Health Insurance or a Physician Referral?

We don't require a referral from a doctor, and we offer the same low prices to everyone, with or without health insurance.

What You Can Do Next

Insulin resistance, while very common, is a potentially harmful condition that can progress to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. It can even lead to dangerous or fatal events, like a heart attack or stroke.

However, the good news is that you can take your health into your own hands. Book simple, secure insulin resistance tests today, and get the information you need to make decisions about your health and lifestyle.