The pancreas produces and stores insulin, the most important hormone regulating blood sugar. Insulin transmits blood glucose, in other words sugar, to the various cells in the body and participates in fat metabolism. The balance of glucose and insulin is vitally important; a severe disruption may even result in death.
Insulin is particularly secreted after eating as the blood contains more glucose. After the glucose has moved from the blood to the cells, the insulin production is reduced. Insulin is secreted as a precursor which releases the C peptide, transforming into the final form of insulin. C peptide levels can also be measured if examining the amount of insulin secretion as the levels of secreted C peptide and insulin are equal.
The word ‘insulin’ is derived from insula, meaning island.
When should insulin be measured?
Insulin can be measured when suspecting that the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin. Ambiguous bouts of low blood sugar or excessive build-up of insulin may be related to the problem.
Excessive and insufficient secretion of insulin may result in the following symptoms:
- heart palpitations
- feeling of hunger
- impaired vision
What does an insulin test measure?
The test measures the amount of insulin hormone in the blood. The results indicate whether the insulin levels are normal, insufficient or excessive.
How is the insulin test result interpreted?
Normally, the result is:
- 2,0–20 mU/l (reference value for sample after fasting)
A one-off insulin test cannot be used to diagnose diabetes or determine the type of diabetes (type 1 or 2).
Please contact your physician or other healthcare professional if you suspect an illness or need help interpreting the results.
The reference values of this examination have changed 11.10.2021. You will find your own result's reference values from My LOUNA in touch with the graph. Read more about defining reference values.
What can cause elevated insulin values?
Elevated insulin levels occur in adult-onset diabetes (type 2 diabetes). Insulin levels may also increase due to hypersecretion of growth hormone (acromegaly), some medicinal products (such as corticosteroids), a tumour producing insulin or a disorder of the adrenal cortex.
What can cause decreased insulin values?
Low insulin levels are usually related to juvenile diabetes where cells producing insulin in the pancreas are destroyed for an unknown reason.
The most typical additional insulin tests:
- C peptide, proinsulin (2503 fS-C-Pept)
- Glucose (1469 fS-Gluk)
Fasting is required
Paastoa vaativissa tutkimuksissa tulee olla syömättä ja juomatta 10–12 tuntia ennen verikoetta. Tarvittaessa tuona aikana voi juoda lasin vettä.
Paastoverikokeet suosittelemme otettavaksi kello 8–10 välisenä aikana. Lue muista suosituksista täältä.
Diabeetikot noudattavat lääkäriltä saamaansa ohjeistusta paaston suhteen.