The fasting insulin test is a blood test that measures the levels of insulin in the bloodstream after a period of fasting. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that plays a vital role in regulating blood sugar levels. The test is primarily used to evaluate insulin resistance and assess insulin production in the body. It is often ordered in conjunction with other tests to diagnose and monitor conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). During the test, the patient is required to fast for a specific period, usually overnight, to ensure accurate measurement of basal insulin levels. The blood sample collected is then analyzed to determine the concentration of insulin present. Abnormal results of the fasting insulin test can indicate insulin resistance, where the body's cells are less responsive to insulin's effects. High levels of fasting insulin may suggest impaired glucose metabolism and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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