IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1) Test

What is IGF-1 Test?

The IGF-1 test is a blood test used to measure the level of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) in your body. IGF-1 is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the liver that's involved in the growth and development of cells and tissues. It's also referred to as Somatomedin C (SMC) or Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

When Is an IGF-1 Test Recommended?

The IGF-1 test is commonly recommended to those suspected of having Growth Hormone Deficiency or Gigantism. It is also used to help doctors diagnose conditions such as muscle weakness, or other conditions associated with low IGF-1 levels.

How Is an IGF-1 Test Prepared For?

Your doctor may request that you fast for 8-12 hours prior to the test. Fasting helps ensure an accurate test result. It’s important to discuss any medications or supplements you’re taking with your doctor prior to the test as they may interfere with the results.

How Is an IGF-1 Test Performed?

An IGF-1 test is done by taking a blood sample, usually from the vein in your arm. You may feel a slight prick on your arm when the needle is inserted, but this should only last for a few seconds. The blood sample will then be sent to a laboratory for testing.

Types of IGF-1 Test

  • Total IGF-1
  • Free IGF-1
  • Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 (IGFBP-3)

What Do My IGF-1 Test Results Mean?

Your doctor will review your test results and discuss what they mean for your health. Results are typically reported in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). A blood sample from a healthy adult would be expected to return an IGF-1 level between 100 and 200 ng/mL.

Are There Any Risks With an IGF-1 Test?

An IGF-1 test is a purpose-driven blood test and is generally considered safe. The most common risks associated with getting a blood sample taken are minimal bleeding, swelling, bruising, and/or pain due to the needle stick.

Why is an IGF-1 Test Important?

IGF-1 helps regulate cell growth and repair. Low IGF-1 levels can be indicative of Growth Hormone Deficiency or Gigantism. High IGF-1 levels may indicate acromegaly, which can cause a range of other symptoms, such as enlargement of facial features, fatigue, hand and feet enlargement, and impaired vision. Monitoring IGF-1 levels over time can help guide your doctor in evaluating and managing these conditions.