IGF-1 test (Insulin-like growth factor test) is a simple test ordered by your physician to measure the level of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in the blood. This test is done to diagnose various disorders that affect child growth. Because IGF-1 is one of the important hormones responsible for child growth and development.
The article below covers all the important topics that are related to IGF-1 blood test like the IGF-1 test cost, normal IGF-1 levels, procedure, preparation, risks and how to get tested for an IGF-1 blood test.
For our readers, who are very much interested in knowing the IGF-1 test cost beforehand, we would like to begin with that section.
How much does the IGF-1 test cost?
IGF-1 test cost ranges between $89 and $129 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. To view and compare the prices in different labs offered by different providers, click the button below.
IGF-1 test cost with insurance
Most of the health insurance policies in the U.S. do not cover the cost of the IGF-1 test unless it is medically necessary. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid varies widely. So we recommend you to check the coverage of your health insurance plan with the insurance company before getting tested for IGF-1 levels.
Our IGF-1 testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance plan. But, on request, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code that is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is IGF-1?
IGF-1 refers to insulin-like growth factor 1 and it is also known as “Somatomedin C”. IGF-1 is a natural hormone produced by the liver, skeletal muscle, and many other tissues in response to growth hormone (GH) stimulation. It helps to control the growth hormone that is secreted in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is the tiny pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain and it is the master gland that produces various hormones responsible for various body functions.
IGF works along with the growth hormone to promote growth and bone and tissue development. It can also work with insulin rapidly to reduce the blood sugar levels in the blood.
Why is an IGF-1 test done?
The IGF-1 test is done to measure the level of IGF-1 in the blood. The IGF levels in the blood help to diagnose various disorders caused by excess or deficiency of GH. This is because IGF regulates the effects of growth hormone in the body and acts as a mediator of GH in child growth and development. This test is also done to evaluate the pituitary gland function.
GH levels vary throughout the day and IGF-1 levels reflect the average production of growth hormone. So the IGF-1 test is mostly ordered along with the GH stimulation test when you experience the following symptoms that are caused by excess or deficiency of GH.
Symptoms in children
- Acromegaly (abnormal growth of the hands, face, and feet)
- Weakness in the bones
- Delayed puberty
Symptoms in adults
- Decreased bone density
- Unexplained weight gain
- Less strength
- Reduced exercise tolerance
The IGF-1 test is also ordered at regular intervals to monitor the effectiveness of ongoing treatment for GH production or the functioning of the pituitary gland.
Normal levels of IGF-1
The normal IGF-1 levels in the blood vary based on age. The levels of IGF-1 are generally measured in nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). The normal levels of IGF-1 are
- Age 16 to 24 – 182 to 780 ng/ml
- Age 25 to 39 – 114 to 492 ng/ml
- Age 40 to 54 – 90 to 360 ng/ml
- Age 55 and above – 71 to 290 ng/ml
How is the IGF-1 test done?
It takes less than 5 to 10 minutes to perform this test.
Is there any preparation required before the test?
For an IGF-1 blood test, there is no special preparation required. But it is very important to inform your physician about the medications and supplements that you take, before the test. Because these medications and supplements can influence the IGF-1 levels and result in an inaccurate diagnosis.
Are there any risks in the test?
There are no possible risks or complications in the IGF-1 blood test. But sometimes after the blood sample is drawn, you might feel dizziness, slight pain, bruise or redness in the injected area for a very little period. If you have any abnormal bleeding in the injected area, inform your physician or phlebotomist immediately.
What does the test result mean?
If the IGF-1 levels are higher than normal, it indicates the excess production of GH in the body and the possibility of a tumor in the pituitary gland. However, elevated levels of GH and IGF-1 are normal during puberty and pregnancy.
If the IGF-1 levels are lower than normal, it indicates the deficiency of GH or insensitivity to growth hormone. It might also be possible due to hypopituitarism (decrease in the functioning of the pituitary gland).
Sometimes, the higher and lower levels of IGF-1 are also caused by liver disease, low thyroid hormone levels, or uncontrolled diabetes.
How to treat abnormal IGF-1 levels?
As IGF-1 levels are associated with GH levels, treating the GH levels would bring the IGF-1 levels back to normal. The lower GH levels can be treated with growth hormone therapy (injecting growth hormone into the body) and higher GH levels can be treated with the drugs that block the growth hormone. If there are other reasons behind the abnormal IGF-1 levels, treatment will be given based on the underlying condition.
If appropriate and necessary, your physician might order other tests like thyroid and diabetes tests to rule out and confirm the diagnosis.
The IGF-1 blood test can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. by visiting the nearest lab. To know the IGF-1 test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
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