Does this test have other names?
What is this test?
This test measures how much insulin your body makes. If you have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
or other problems related to diabetes, your health care provider may order a C-peptide
test. This test is often done using a blood sample, but a urine sample can also be
Why do I need this test?
If you have diabetes, it can be hard for a health care provider to tell how much insulin
your pancreas makes by just looking at your physical symptoms. A C-peptide test measures
the amount of insulin your body makes.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
C-peptide can be measured with either a blood test or a urine test. Sometimes the
ratio of urine C-peptide to creatinine is used to help measure how much insulin your
body makes. Your health care provider may also recommend other diabetes-related tests.
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses
to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you
may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health
C-peptide levels are measured in picomoles per liter (pmol/L). A normal C-peptide
test result is less than 200 pmol/L. Higher levels of C-peptide typically mean higher
levels of blood sugar. They may also mean that you are making too much insulin because
you have a tumor called an insulinoma. Lower levels of C-peptide mean lower levels
of blood sugar or your body cannot make insulin.
The results are just one thing your provider uses to check your overall health. The
ratios of many different components, including C-peptide, are important for finding
out the best way to treat your diabetes.
How is this test done?
A C-peptide test can be done with either a blood or urine sample. For the urine test,
you can provide the sample at home or at a health care provider's office. Your health
care provider will give you instructions on how and when to give the sample.
When a blood sample is needed, it is drawn by putting a needle into a vein in your
arm or hand.
Does this test pose any risks?
If a urine sample is used, it poses no risks.
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries small risks that include bleeding, infection,
bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight
stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
What might affect my test results?
Your diet, including when you last ate, can affect your C-peptide levels.
How do I get ready for this test?
Sometimes the test is done after fasting, and other times it is done after you eat
a meal. Your health care provider will give you instructions on how the test is to
be done and how to collect a urine sample, if needed.