Insulin Assay Test

Insulin Assay Test-Why am I having this test?

Insulin assay test can be used to:

  • Help diagnose a tumor of the pancreas. This is a tumor that makes your insulin levels higher than normal (insulinoma).
  • Determine how your body adjusts your insulin level after you eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and fats.

What is being tested?

This test checks your insulin levels. Results of an insulin assay test are used along with other tests to make the diagnosis of insulinoma.

What kind of sample is taken?

A blood sample is required for this test. It is usually collected by inserting a needle into a blood vessel.

How do I prepare for this test?

You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking anything except water (fast) for 8 hours before the test. Follow instructions from your health care provider.

How are the results reported?

Your test results will be reported as values. Your health care provider will compare your results to normal ranges that were established after testing a large group of people (reference ranges). Reference ranges may vary among labs and hospitals. For this test, common reference ranges are:

  • Newborn: 3–20 microunits/mL.
  • Adults: 6–26 microunits/mL or 43–186 pmol/L (SI units).

What do the results mean?

Insulin levels that are higher than normal may be related to a number of health conditions, including:

  • Insulinoma.
  • Cushing’s syndrome.
  • The presence of too much growth hormone in your body (acromegaly).
  • Obesity.
  • Fructose intolerance or galactose intolerance.

Insulin levels that are lower than normal may be related to a number of health conditions. These may include:

  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Too little production of hormones by the pituitary gland (hypopituitarism).

Several factors and conditions can affect insulin assay test results. Your health care provider will rule them out in order to make an accurate diagnosis. He or she will consider whether:

  • You have insulin antibodies in your blood. Antibodies are proteins that your body normally makes to fight germs.
  • You fasted before the test.
  • You are obese.
  • You recently received a treatment or diagnostic test with radioisotopes, such as an X-ray with radioactive dye.
  • You are taking certain medicines.

Talk with your health care provider about what your results mean.

Questions to ask your health care provider

Ask your health care provider, or the department that is doing the test:

  • When will my results be ready?
  • How will I get my results?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What other tests do I need?
  • What are my next steps?

Summary

  • The insulin assay test checks your insulin levels.
  • The insulin assay test is used to determine if you have a tumor of the pancreas that makes your insulin levels higher than normal (insulinoma).
  • The insulin assay test can also be used to determine how your body adjusts your insulin level after you eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and fats.
  • You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking anything except water (fast) for 8 hours before the test.
  • Talk with your health care provider about what your results mean.
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