Anti-insulin antibody test

What is an Anti-insulin Antibody Test?

An Anti-insulin Antibody Test measures the presence of antibodies directed against insulin, a hormone produced by certain cells in the pancreas that helps the body regulate the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to fight foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria. The results of this test are important in diagnosing autoimmune disorders, in which the immune system mistakenly recognizes certain healthy parts of the body as foreign and releases antibodies to attack them.

Why is the Anti-insulin Antibody Test done?

This test is done to help diagnose autoimmune disorders such as type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the body’s own immune system destroys pancreatic cells that produce insulin, or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is caused by an autoimmune reaction of the immune system against the thyroid gland. Other conditions that may be diagnosed with this test include Addison's disease and pernicious anemia.

Types of Anti-insulin Antibody Tests

There are several types of Anti-insulin Antibody tests. Some measure only the presence of antibodies against insulin, while others measure the level of the antibodies. Other types of tests measure the presence of non-insulin antibodies.

Preparation for Anti-insulin Antibody Test

There is no special preparation needed for this test. Your healthcare provider may advise you to fast for 8 hours prior to the test.

Procedure for Anti-insulin Antibody Test

This test is typically done as part of a blood test. A sample of your blood is taken by your healthcare provider and sent out to a lab for testing.

Risks of Anti-insulin Antibody Test

There are no serious risks associated with this test, but some people may find the needle prick of the blood test to be uncomfortable.

When to do an Anti-insulin Antibody Test?

Your healthcare provider may request an anti-insulin antibody test when there is a suspicion of an autoimmune disorder or when blood sugar levels are abnormally high.