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Insulin Studies

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas.  The role of insulin is to control glucose levels in the blood.  It also plays a part in controlling the levels of carbohydrates and fats stored in the body.

Insulin is released from the pancreas when glucose levels rise following a meal.   Insulin helps glucose to be taken up by the cells of the body.  Insulin then signals the liver to store excess glucose as fats and carbohydrates.

Insulin is vital to human survival. Without it, glucose is not able to leave the blood stream and be used as an energy source in the cells of the body.  If glucose is not able to be deposited into target cells, muscle cells starve and blood glucose levels rise to dangerous levels.  Eventually these increased glucose levels over a long period can result in a life-threatening condition known as diabetic coma.

Individuals with type 1 diabetes only produce small amount of insulin and need to take insulin injections several times a day to maintain healthy levels. Individuals with type 2 diabetes usually are able to produce insulin with insulin levels often being high; however the body does not respond normally to insulin.  This is called insulin resistance.  Type 2 diabetics require medication that increases their sensitization to insulin or increases insulin levels.  Some type 2 diabetics may also require injections to maintain insulin levels.


Balancing Insulin

It is vital that insulin and glucose levels remain balanced as deviation can lead to a myriad of problematic symptoms and even death. An excess amount of insulin is known as ‘hyperinsulinaemia’.  This can happen if too much insulin has been injected or if there is an insulin-producing tumour.  Hyperinsulinaemia causes hypoglycaemia which can lead to a number of symptoms:


Symptoms of Hypoglycaemia


Rapid Heart Beat (Tachycardia)


Confusion and Cognitive issues

Visual problems



The brain is completely dependent on blood glucose for energy, without adequate amount of glucose being fed to the brain, hyperinsulinaemia can lead to death.

Testing for insulin can help to determine whether there are issues with blood glucose being used in the cells of the body; it is vital that it is addressed if there is a problem with low insulin production or insulin resistance as lack of care can be fatal.

Specimen Requirements

A blood specimen is required, which can be taken at any time of the day.  Fasting of up to 8 hours before taking the blood sample is required.


Specimen Collection

Once the practitioner has given the patient their request form, the patient takes it to their nearest Australian Clinical Labs collection centre.  If you are unsure of your nearest collection centre head to location on our website or call us on 1300 554 480 between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday for details.


Turnaround Time

Turnaround time is usually 7-10 working days.


Patient Preparation

Patients does not need to fast or make any special preparation before having blood collected.



Test Results

Patient results are delivered via electronic download unless requested otherwise. Results can also be issued via hardcopy, fax or web based e-viewer.


Technical Support

All Australian Clinical Labs Functional Pathology tests are accompanied by an Interpretive Guide to assist practitioners in their clinical understanding and patient management for each result. Australian Clinical Labs Functional Pathology also has experienced full time Technical Advisors available for practitioners to discuss appropriate test selection, interpretation of test results, individual cases and other technical matters. Please call 1300 55 44 80 between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm  AEST or email csfp@AustralianClinicalLabs.com.au