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Reference Guide
Access Med Labs


Access Med Labs
Access Med Labs
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About the Test

C-Peptide by Access Medical Labs measures the level of C-Peptide in the blood. C-Peptide is a 31 amino acid connecting peptide  that is produced when proinsulin is cleaved into insulin in the pancreas . It is released into the bloodstream in equal amounts as insulin.

The C-Peptide lab test is used to evaluate the production of insulin in the body. It is often ordered for individuals with diabetes to determine if their pancreas is producing enough insulin. It can also be used to differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

What is C-Peptide?

C-peptide is a short peptide chain that is produced during the synthesis of insulin in the pancreas. It is released into the bloodstream in equimolar amounts with insulin. C-peptide serves as a marker for insulin production and can be used to assess pancreatic beta cell function. 

Unlike insulin, C-peptide is not metabolized by the liver, making it a more reliable indicator of endogenous insulin secretion. Measuring C-peptide levels can help diagnose and monitor conditions such as diabetes, insulin resistance, and pancreatic disorders.

Who should get a C-Peptide test?

C-Peptide testing is typically recommended for patients with suspected or diagnosed diabetes mellitus, or to determine the cause of hypoglycemic cases. It is particularly useful in distinguishing between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as assessing insulin production and monitoring treatment effectiveness. 

Ideal candidates for C-Peptide testing may include:

Newly diagnosed diabetes patients: C-Peptide testing can help determine the underlying cause of diabetes and guide appropriate treatment decisions.

Patients with unclear diabetes classification: In some cases, it may be challenging to differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes based on clinical presentation alone. C-Peptide testing can provide valuable information to aid in classification.

Individuals with atypical diabetes symptoms: If a patient presents with unusual or atypical symptoms of diabetes, C-Peptide testing can help confirm the diagnosis and guide further management.

Patients on insulin therapy: C-Peptide testing can be used to assess endogenous insulin production in patients already on insulin therapy. This information can help determine if adjustments to the treatment plan are necessary.

Gestational diabetes patients: C-Peptide testing may be recommended during pregnancy to evaluate insulin production and guide treatment decisions for gestational diabetes.

Individuals diagnosed with hypoglycemia of unknown cause: A C-Peptide test can be used to help determine if too much insulin is the cause of the hypoglycemia, which can result from liver or kidney disease, malnutrition, excessive alcohol consumption without eating, pancreatic tumor, or diabetic medication side effects.

It is important to note that the decision to perform C-Peptide testing should be made by a healthcare professional based on the patient's specific clinical situation and medical history.

What is a normal C-Peptide range?

C-peptide is a substance produced in the body along with insulin. It is used as a marker to assess insulin production by the pancreas. The normal range for C-peptide levels can vary slightly depending on the laboratory and the specific assay used for testing. However, generally, the normal range for fasting C-peptide levels is between 0.5 and 2.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

It is important to note that the interpretation of C-peptide levels should occur in conjunction with other clinical information and test results. C-peptide levels can be influenced by various factors such as age, body weight, kidney function, and the presence of certain medical conditions like diabetes. Therefore, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional to interpret C-peptide test results accurately.

What does high C-Peptide indicate?

C-peptide is a byproduct of insulin production in the body. When the pancreas releases insulin, it also releases C-peptide in equal amounts. Therefore, measuring C-peptide levels can provide insights into the body's insulin production.

A high C-peptide level typically indicates increased insulin production by the pancreas. This can occur in various conditions, including:

Insulin resistance: When the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, the pancreas compensates by producing more insulin. This can lead to elevated C-peptide levels.

Type 2 diabetes: In the early stages of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas may produce excess insulin to overcome insulin resistance. Consequently, C-peptide levels can be elevated.

Insulinoma: This is a rare tumor of the pancreas that secretes excessive amounts of insulin. As a result, C-peptide levels can be significantly elevated.

Renal dysfunction: In individuals with impaired kidney function, C-peptide clearance may be reduced, leading to higher levels in the blood.

Certain medications: Some medications, such as sulfonylureas (used to treat diabetes), can stimulate insulin release and subsequently increase C-peptide levels. Additionally, decreased levels of potassium in blood work can increase insulin and C-peptide levels.

It is important to note that a high C-peptide level alone is not diagnostic of a specific condition. Additional clinical and laboratory evaluations are necessary to determine the underlying cause and guide appropriate treatment. Consulting with a healthcare provider or endocrinologist is recommended for a comprehensive evaluation.

What does low C-Peptide indicate?

A low C-peptide level refers to a lower-than-normal concentration of C-peptide in the blood. C-peptide is a protein fragment that is produced when insulin is formed in the pancreas. It serves as a marker for insulin production because it is released in equal amounts to insulin during its synthesis. A low level can be appropriate if the individual has not eaten recently and blood sugar is low.

A low C-peptide level can indicate a decrease in insulin production by the pancreas. This can occur in several conditions, including:

Type 1 diabetes: In this autoimmune condition, the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, leading to a significant reduction in insulin and C-peptide levels.

Advanced type 2 diabetes: Over time, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas may become exhausted due to chronic high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. This can result in reduced insulin and C-peptide production.

Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas can cause damage to the insulin-producing cells, leading to decreased insulin and C-peptide production.

Pancreatic surgery or injury: Surgical removal of a part or all of the pancreas, or injury to the pancreas, can result in reduced insulin and C-peptide production.

Insulinoma: This is a rare tumor of the pancreas that produces excessive amounts of insulin. In such cases, C-peptide levels may be low due to the excessive utilization of insulin.

Other conditions: Liver disease or Addison’s Disease (adrenal gland disorder) can cause low C-peptide levels as a result of the compromised functioning of the organs.

It is important to note that a low C-peptide level alone is not sufficient to diagnose a specific condition. Additional tests and clinical evaluation are necessary to determine the underlying cause of the low C-peptide level and guide appropriate treatment.

About the Test

This is a single-marker test measuring C-peptide.

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Lab Test Information
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Lab Company
Access Med Labs
Sample Type
Shipping Time
1 - 6 days
Turnaround Time
3 days
Test Preparation Starts
Up to 12 hours before collection
Number of Collection Days
1 day
Methods Used For Processing
Lab Certifications
CLIA Certified
CAP Accredited
ISO 15189
COLA Accredited
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