C-Peptide is a by-product of the manufacture of insulin within the beta-cells of the pancreas.
Insulin is produced from a protein called proinsulin, which consist of three chains of amino-acids: the A-chain, the connecting peptide (or C-peptide) chain, and the B-chain.
Within the islets, the C-peptide breaks away and the A-chain and the B-chain combine to make insulin.
The C-peptide is secreted into the bloodstream along with the insulin.
C-peptide levels can be measured using a simple blood test; they are sometimes measured in people with Type 2 diabetes to determine whether any insulin is still being produced by the pancreas.
(Injected insulin contains no C-peptide)
(*) Important Note Below!
Some insurance providers, including Medicare, require either a C-peptide test or a test for the presence of beta-cell antibodies before providing coverage for insulin pumps!
A person who C-peptide level falls within the normal, nondiabetic range (0.5-3.0 nanograms per milliliter) is generally not eligible for insulin pump coverage in these insurance plans.
(Taken from the November/December 2010 issue of Diabetes Self-Management Magazine pg. 79)
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