This panel contains the following tests:
- Fasting glucose
- Fasting insulin
Glucose is the primary blood sugar used by cells to make energy. Because glucose is so important to your cells, the body regulates it in many different ways. The one most commonly understood involves insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas that delivers glucose to cells throughout the body.
When you eat a meal, the pancreas responds by releasing insulin to transport the glucose into the cells. As long as receptors on the cell walls remain sensitive to insulin, the channeling of glucose out of the bloodstream occurs relatively quickly and without excessive insulin production.
Sometimes, however, the cells become resistant to insulin’s effects. When this happens, the pancreas pumps out ever-greater amounts of insulin in an attempt to force the glucose into the cells. This effort is only partially effective in most instances, and may result in higher blood glucose levels.
High blood glucose levels are associated with diabetes, neuropathy, eye problems, heart disease, and stroke. Life Extension believes that an optimal range for fasting blood glucose is 70-85 mg/dL, and insulin should be less than 5 µIU/mL.
This test may be done fasting or 2-6 hours after eating. Both ways provide valuable information, though 2-6 hours after a meal provides a more realistic assessment of the state of your blood in everyday life. Stay hydrated and take your medications as prescribed.