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Insulin Response Blood Test, 3 Specimens

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The Insulin Response Blood Test, 3-Specimens, measures insulin levels in response to glucose to help screen for hypoglycemia and suspected insulin resistance.


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Test Code:


CPT Code(s):


Also Known As:

Insulin, Three Specimens


Immunoassay (IA)




Fasting for at least 12 hours is required. Patients should stop biotin consumption at least 72 hours prior to the collection. Patients should be on a high-carbohydrate diet for 3 days prior to testing.

Test Results:

4-5 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.

Walk-In Lab is prohibited from selling Quest tests to residents in the following states:AZ, NY, NJ, RI

What is the purpose of this test?

Insulin is a hormone produced and stored in the pancreas. It is produced in response to elevated glucose (blood sugar) after eating and is necessary for transporting and storing glucose, the body's primary energy source. In addition, as insulin helps transport glucose through the bloodstream, it also plays a role in metabolism by regulating glucose levels. This Insulin Response Blood Test, 3-Specimens, measures the amount of insulin in the blood as a response to glucose and helps screen for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and insulin resistance.


What causes elevated insulin levels?

Insulin and glucose levels must maintain a balance. Usually, after a meal, the body breaks down (metabolizes) carbohydrates (sugar) into glucose. Then the glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream, causing the blood glucose level to rise and stimulating the pancreas to release insulin into the blood. However, as glucose moves into cells, the amount in the blood decreases, and insulin release by the pancreas reduces.


If an individual cannot produce a sufficient amount of insulin, or if the body is not able to process it (insulin resistance), an adequate amount of glucose will not be able to reach all of the cells throughout the body. However, the blood glucose will be unregulated and continue to rise to an unhealthy level. Unregulated blood glucose can lead to various disorders and complications, including metabolic, kidney, cardiovascular disease, and vision and neurological problems.


What causes insulin resistance?

Diabetes is a disease that develops either when the body is not able to make or use insulin appropriately. As a result, the body generates too much blood glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. 


The two primary types of diabetes are: 


  • Type 1: It happens when the body cannot produce insulin. It is commonly referred to as juvenile diabetes because it is primarily found in children and teenagers. However, type 1 diabetes also affects adults.
  • Type 2: It happens when the body cannot make enough insulin or doesn't use it as it should. Although type 2 diabetes is primarily found in adults, many children and teenagers are diagnosed with it.


Insulin resistance usually occurs in individuals with type 2 diabetes because of the body's cells' inability to respond to insulin's effects. As a result, glucose is left in the blood, and the body overcompensates by producing excess insulin to regulate it. This leads to high insulin levels in the blood, a condition known as hyperinsulinemia. If left untreated, this condition can worsen, causing an imbalance between glucose and insulin, and may eventually cause health complications affecting various areas of the body.


When should I order an Insulin Response Blood Test, 3-Specimens?

Individuals may order this test if they have experienced hypoglycemia or insulin resistance symptoms. Common signs or symptoms of hypoglycemia include:


  • Increased heart rate or pulse
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Hunger


Additionally, signs or symptoms of insulin resistance may include:


  • A large waistline
  • High blood pressure
  • High triglycerides
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • Fasting Glucose level > 100 mg/dL
  • Patches of dark, velvety skin

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