Also known as: Insulin C-Peptide

What is it? C-peptide is a byproduct created when insulin is produced. The C-peptide test monitors levels of C-peptide in the blood to determine how much insulin is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. It can also help determine the cause of hypoglycemia.

Why is this test performed? The test is performed on people with diabetes to determine how much insulin is still being produced by the pancreas. Since the C-peptide test can be used to monitor beta cell productivity over time, it can help your doctor determine when to begin insulin treatment. If a person experiences recurring symptoms of hypoglycemia, a C-peptide test may be ordered to diagnose the cause of the hypoglycemia and to monitor its treatment.

How is this test performed? The test consists of a blood draw, usually from inside the elbow or from the back of the hand. You may need to fast for 8 to 10 hours before taking the test.

What do my results mean? The normal range for C-peptide levels is 0.5 to 2.0 ng/mL. This range can vary so you should speak with your doctor about your specific results.

What do abnormal results mean? High levels of C-peptide indicate high levels of insulin in the body due to excessive insulin production. Excessive insulin production is a result of high levels of blood glucose caused by glucose intake or insulin resistance. Low levels of C-peptide (or no C-peptide at all) indicate that your pancreas is producing little to no insulin.

Reviewed by Susan Weiner, RD, MS, CDE, CDN. 05/12.

Last Modified Date: May 15, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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