An insulin test is a blood test that measures the amount of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
How the test is performed
Blood is drawn from a vein on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic, and an elastic band is placed around the upper arm to apply pressure and restrict blood flow through the vein. This causes veins below the band to fill with blood.
A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. After the blood is drawn, the band is removed to restore circulation. Then, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
For an infant or young child:
The area is cleansed with antiseptic and punctured with a sharp needle or a lancet. The blood may be collected in a pipette (small glass tube), on a slide, onto a test strip, or into a small container. Cotton or a bandage may be applied to the puncture site if there is any continued bleeding.
How to prepare for the test
The preparation depends on the reason for testing your insulin levels. Ask your health care provider if you should fast prior to the test. The health care provider may advise you to withhold medications that can interfere with the test, including injected insulin and/or oral antidiabetic medications.
For infants and children:
Review Date: 02/27/2006
Reviewed By: Robert Hurd, MD, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.