Studies have linked low levels of C-peptide to diabetes mellitus complications, and evidence suggests that maintaining higher levels of C-peptide is especially beneficial for Type 1 diabetics.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus is characterized by β-cell destruction, which leads to very low or undetectable levels of C-peptide.
In contrast, type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with insulin resistance and typically initially has normal or elevated levels of C-peptide, which can decrease over the course of the disease.
16 C-peptide levels are typically measured in serum or plasma and can also be measured in urine.
Urine measurements generally require a 24-hour collection and are not as convenient as serum or plasma measurements.
C-peptide is an important, biologically active molecule.
Short-term replacement of C-peptide improves some of the complications associated with diabetes mellitus.
In addition, type 1 patients who are able to maintain C-peptide levels have fewer complications and better glycemic control.
C-peptide measurements play a key role in the evaluation of hypoglycemia and insulinoma, are a useful aid in the classification of diabetes mellitus, and may play a larger role in its management in the future.
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