The fasting insulin test is a blood test that measures the level of insulin in your blood after you have fasted (not eaten or drunk anything except water) for at least 8 hours. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels. The fasting insulin test is often used to help diagnose conditions such as insulin resistance, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes. It may also be ordered to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for these conditions. The test is usually done in the morning, after an overnight fast. The test results will be reported in units of insulin per liter of blood (U/L). It is important to note that the interpretation of a fasting insulin test may vary depending on the individual's medical history and other factors. A healthcare provider should be consulted to interpret the test results correctly.
This test measures the amount of insulin, the hormone that lets cells take in glucose. Glucose, a sugar from food, is the body's primary energy source. Our bodies break down foods we eat into glucose and other nutrients, which are absorbed into the bloodstream by the gastrointestinal tract.
Glucose levels rise after meals and trigger the pancreas to release insulin into the blood. Insulin works like a key that opens the doors to cells and allows glucose in. Without insulin, glucose can't get into the cells and stays in the bloodstream.
For good health, the body must be able to balance insulin and glucose levels. With too little insulin, blood sugar remains higher than normal (a condition known as hyperglycemia), and cells can't get the energy they need. With too much insulin, blood sugar decreases (hypoglycemia), causing symptoms such as sweating, trembling, lightheadedness, and in extreme cases, shock. The most common cause of abnormal fluctuations in blood sugar is diabetes.
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Fasting Insulin Blood Test - Why This Test Could Save Your Life!
The fasting insulin test is a blood test that measures the level of insulin in your blood after you have fasted (not eaten or drunk anything except water) for at least 8 hours. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels. The fasting insulin test is often used to help diagnose conditions such as insulin resistance, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes. It may also be ordered to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for these conditions. The test is usually done in the morning, after an overnight fast. A healthcare provider will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm and send the sample to a laboratory for analysis. The test results will be reported in units of insulin per liter of blood (U/L). It is important to note that the interpretation of a fasting insulin test may vary depending on the individual's medical history and other factors. A healthcare provider should be consulted to interpret the test results correctly.
Insulin is one of the essential hormones in your body. Most people know about diabetes and how it can threaten your life if not managed properly. Insulin is vital to this picture, so you should test it regularly.
A fasting insulin test is inexpensive and can be done using a single blood sample. Remember that you should only eat or drink water for at least 8-10 hours before doing this test. This is crucial for the accuracy of your fasting insulin blood test result.
Please keep reading to learn more about insulin and its role in the body.
What Exactly is Insulin?
Insulin is a substance produced by your pancreas. Its vital role is to process the sugar in your blood. Whether you eat lettuce or a hearty meal, all this food is transformed into glucose in the blood. This is also known as blood sugar, your primary energy source.
But sugar doesn't help you if it floats around in the bloodstream. When glucose levels rise, pancreatic cells secrete insulin. This insulin "opens up" cells in your tissues, organs, and muscles to absorb some glucose in the blood and use it for energy.
As you can see, this hormone is vital in keeping you healthy and giving you enough energy to carry out various tasks throughout the day. Insulin also has a role in lipid metabolism. This means that it helps your body process fats correctly.
Fasting Insulin Test vs. Blood Glucose Test
Many people get confused by the fasting insulin and blood glucose tests because they think they are identical. However, blood glucose and insulin are two different things. It would be best if you fasted for both tests, but they entail two other things related to your health.
Insulin is a substance that reduces blood sugar levels and has different referenfastues. For example, a blood glucose test reveals how much sugar you have in your blood in a fasted state. This simple result can categorize you as a pre-diabetic or diabetic person.
When you do a fasting insulin test, you check how much insulin is floating in your blood and whether your pancreas works appropriately. Some people have a lot of glucose and insulin in their bloodstream, which might be caused by insulin resistance.
What Are the Normal Levels of Insulin?
The reference values for insulin depended on when you ate last time. Remember that as soon as glucose is detected in the bloodstream (because you ate something recently), your pancreas does its job of secreting insulin.
Therefore, the numbers will be higher a few hours after eating than those shown during a fasting state. For example:
- Normal insulin levels should be lower than 25 mIU/L of blood when fasting
- Normal insulin levels should be between 18 and 276 mIU/L of blood 1 hour after ingesting glucose
- Normal insulin levels should be between 16 and 166 mIU/L of blood 2 hours after ingesting glucose
As you can see, insulin levels increase to absorb the glucose in the bloodstream and send it to cells and tissues. After that, they fall to normal levels, and the process repeats over and over again.
What Do High Insulin Results Mean?
Too little insulin is rare and usually because your pancreatic cells might be damaged. This means your body doesn't produce sufficient insulin, and you must rely on a daily dose of this hormone to live normally.
People with high insulin levels are at the other end of the spectrum, even during a fasted state. This is usually called hyperinsulinemia, and numerous factors cause it. For example, obesity is generally associated with excessively high insulin levels.
One of the main reasons people have too much insulin in the bloodstream is insulin resistance. This is a condition in which your cells become resistant to insulin, and they don't "open up" to absorb glucose in the body.
Insulin resistance is also associated with type 2 diabetes. In short, your body produces insulin, but cells cannot absorb the glucose in the bloodstream. As a result, you will feel primarily lethargic and confused since little to no energy (glucose) is fed to your tissues and organs.
Insulin resistance develops over the years. This makes cells less sensitive to insulin, which is how diabetes develops. An unhealthy lifestyle, lack of physical exercise, poor diet, smoking, excessive drinking, etc., usually cause it.
Living with an elevated level of insulin in your body regularly can damage your cardiovascular system. Plaque buildup, a form of wax that lines up the interior of your veins and arteries, can develop due to too much insulin in the body.
This leads to high blood pressure, damage to your heart and blood vessels, and increased risks for other complications such as coronary artery disease, stroke, heart attacks, and others. As you can see, it's paramount to do everything you can to lower your insulin levels if they're too high.
Lowering your insulin levels depends on what makes them high in the first place. For example, eating less sugar and following a low-carb diet might put less load on your pancreas, and this organ will secrete less insulin daily.
Working out more often and adopting a more active lifestyle will reduce insulin resistance, making cells more sensitive to glucose. Your doctor will help you with a tailored treatment plan if you have high insulin levels.
Order Your Fasting Insulin Test Today!
Insulin is one of the essential hormones in the body. That's why you must ensure it stays within normal values. If your results are abnormal, there are plenty of treatment options you can explore to live a healthier life.
Hyperinsulinemia: Is it diabetes?
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