Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF) Blood Testing
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What is an Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1) Test?
An Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1) test measures the amount of this critical hormone in a patient’s blood, a hormone whose primary job is to help regulate the effects of growth hormone (GH) in an individual’s body, and whose functions include the growth of tissue and bones. Disorders and diseases, that include pituitary tumors, can cause a patient’s body to manufacture too much growth hormone, and since this hormone is directly linked to IGF-1 measurements, it can be used to diagnose health issues related to having too much or little GH in a person’s body.
Who May Need an Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1) Test?
Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1) tests are commonly performed when an individual exhibits Acromegaly, a condition where too much growth hormone is being produced which results in abnormally large extremities (hands and feet) and facial bones in children and adults. It is also utilized to indicate the presence of Laron syndrome, a type of dwarfism, where growth hormone levels are deficient resulting in underdevelopment during the growing stages of individuals.
What Should I Expect from My Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1) Test?
The Insulin-Like Growth Factor is obtained through a patient’s blood sample and requires no preparation by the patient. Though there are many things that can affect a patient’s Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1) results, abnormal levels may indicate the presence of conditions related to dwarfism, gigantism or Acromegaly in children or adults. Any abnormal results should be discussed with your physician or a specialist.
What is an IGF-1 blood test?
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a derivative of human growth hormone (GH) that induces skeletal muscle growth and bone remodeling. It is also involved in the regulation of cell development and differentiation. Its concentration in the blood can be examined to understand health concerns that could indicate an IGF-1 deficiency.
IGF-1 deficiencies can result in:
- A child with a shorter than normal stature
- Low bone density in adults
- Altered lipid levels
- Muscle mass loss
What does IGF-1 test for?
IGF-1 testing can test for conditions that are related to its deficiency or excess. IGF-1 is useful in diagnosing:
- Pituitary gland dysfunction
- Hypopituitarism (decreased pituitary hormones)
Who should get an IGF-1 blood test?
You should consider getting your IGF-1 levels tested if you’re exhibiting symptoms of IGF-1 deficiency like:
- Slowed growth (in children)
- Lipid changes
- Low bone density
- Exercise intolerance
If you are undergoing GH replacement therapy, it is also indicated that you measure your IGF-1 levels to understand the effectiveness of your therapy better.
Do I need to visit a doctor?
Nope. You don't need a doctor's visit to get a test with us.
How do I get my results?
You'll get your results via email as soon as they are available. We will notify you via SMS as well. You can also see them at any time in the future right in your dashboard where you can easily share them with your professional and compare them side by side with future tests.
Does my lab prescription expire?
We're the only lab that honors your lab order forever.