Blood Insulin

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-24 (EDT)

Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels by facilitating the movement of glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells. Insulin secretion is reactive to the blood glucose level. As blood glucose levels increase, insulin levels are also seen to increase and vice versa. The insulin blood test can be used in the evaluation of patients with fasting hypoglycemia.[1],[2]


  • Insulin assay has been found to be very accurate in detecting insulinoma (tumor of the islets of Langerhans), particularly when combined with a fasting blood sugar level.
  • It can also be used to help evaluate abnormal lipid and carbohydrate metabolism.

Patient Preparation

  • Keep the patient on NPO status for 8 hours.
  • Factors which can cause increased levels:
  • Food intake and obesity
  • Drugs: corticosteroids, levodopa, and oral contraceptives

Clinical Implications

High levels indicate:

  • Insulinoma
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Acromegaly
  • Obesity
  • Fructose or galactose intolerance

Low levels indicate:

Associated Tests


  1. Pagana Kathleen D., Pagana Timothy J., Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, Mosby, Inc
  2. Weatherby Dicken, Ferguson Scott. Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis: Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective, Bear Mountain