Insulin resistance can put an individual at an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes. This write-up provides information on the tests that can help diagnose this condition.
Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas. It allows the cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Glucose is used for energy or stored in the form of glycogen in the liver or muscle cells for future use. In case of some people, the cells of the body become less sensitive to the effects of insulin that is secreted by the pancreas.
Under such circumstances, pancreas secrete more insulin to normalize the blood glucose levels. When the cells offer resistance to the increased levels of insulin, it results in high levels of blood glucose. This physiological condition can make one susceptible to type 2 diabetes, which is why an early diagnosis is extremely essential. An insulin resistance test is a blood test that can help diagnose this condition.
Blood Tests to Measure Insulin Resistance
When the cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, the blood sugar levels start rising. This could give rise to symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. In case you are experiencing such symptoms and also have a family history of diabetes, doctors may recommend certain diagnostic tests.
Hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp is a test that helps determine if a person is affected by this condition or not. However, this is a complicated method that is generally used in medical research. The blood tests that are usually conducted include glucose tolerance test, fasting glucose test, and fasting insulin test.
Fasting blood test is the most common test that is conducted for diagnosing this condition. The normal reference range for blood sugar levels is 80 to 100 mg/dl. If a person’s blood sugar level is between 100-140 mg/dl, he/she might be insulin-resistant.
Glucose tolerance test requires overnight fasting. Blood is drawn for a baseline blood glucose level. Then, the patient has to consume a sugar drink that contains about 75 grams of glucose. Thereafter, blood is drawn to check the blood glucose levels over the course of several hours. In case of people who are insulin-resistant, the blood sugar levels stay abnormally high, as the insulin secreted by the pancreas is only partially absorbed by the tissues. The normal range is below 140 mg/dl. If the test results indicate a reading of 140 to 199 mg/dl, it is indicative of pre-diabetes.
The glucose tolerance test alone might not be sufficient for diagnosing this condition, therefore, it must be analyzed along with insulin test results. Though the fasting insulin test is variable, high insulin levels generally point towards insulin resistance. Besides these tests, a lipid profile may also be ordered in order to measure LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. If the tests show increased levels of triglycerides and LDL and low HDL concentration, the probability of a person being insulin-resistant is quite high.
If you have been experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, weight gain or increased blood pressure, consult a doctor soon. If detected at an early stage, you can make some changes in your diet and reduce your chances of developing diabetes.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.