What is an insulin
Insulin is the hormone that is
primarily responsible for lowering glucose
levels in the blood, also called blood sugar. Insulin is produced by specialized
cells in the pancreas called beta cells. When we eat, our bodies begin to break
food down into glucose and other nutrients. In response, the pancreas produces
insulin, which allows cells to absorb glucose from the blood.
C-peptide is a byproduct created when insulin is produced. Measuring the
amount of C-peptide in blood indicates how much insulin is being produced.
Generally, high C-peptide production indicates high insulin production, and
benefits from an insulin C-peptide test?
The insulin C-peptide test is used to monitor insulin production in the body.
The test can give doctors a lot of information about what is happening in your
body. It can be used to:
- determine the cause of hypoglycemia,
also called low blood sugar
- reveal how much insulin the pancreas is
producing in a person newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes
- distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes,
if the doctor is not sure which type of diabetes is present
- provide information about how well the beta
cells in the pancreas are working
The test may also be performed on patients who experience symptoms related
to hypoglycemia in the absence of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In this case, the
body may be producing too much insulin. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- heart palpitations
- excessive hunger
- nervousness or irritability
- blurred vision
- seizures and/or loss of consciousness
does a patient prepare for an insulin C-peptide test?
The preparation needed for the insulin C-peptide test depends on a person’s
age and the reason for the test. In some instances, you may be required to fast
for up to 12 hours before the test. Fasting requires that you to not eat or
drink anything but water before the test. You may also need to stop taking
certain medications. Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions
based on your particular medical needs.
is an insulin C-peptide test administered?
The insulin C-peptide test requires a blood sample be collected by a
qualified doctor or nurse. The blood is drawn from a vein, typically in the arm
or on the back of the hand. The procedure can cause minor discomfort, but the
discomfort is temporary. The blood will be collected in a tube and sent to a
lab for analysis.
Results are typically available within a few days. In general, normal
results for C-peptide in the bloodstream are between 0.5 and 2.0 ng/mL
(nanograms per milliliter). However, results for the insulin C-peptide test may
vary based on the lab. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more
information about the results and what they mean.
are the risks of an insulin C-peptide test?
The insulin C-peptide test may cause some discomfort when the blood sample
is drawn. Common side effects include temporary pain or throbbing at the needle
site. Less common side effects include:
- difficulty obtaining a sample, resulting in multiple
- excessive bleeding at the needle site
- fainting as a reaction to the sight of blood
- accumulation of blood under the skin, known as a
- infection where the skin is broken by the needle