What is the Diabetes Test?
When a person's blood sugar levels are higher than normal, it is known as Diabetes. This can happen when the body is incapable of making proper use of insulin or is unable to produce it. Insulin is a hormone that allows the cells to use the glucose from the food consumed which in turn gets converted into energy. Over time due to high glucose levels, it leads to damage to various organs and tissues. This can be determined by a diabetes test. There are three common types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes: Also known as juvenile diabetes and is the most dangerous form and can be confirmed by undergoing a diabetes test. It is called so as it mostly happens to teenagers or children but also happens to adults. Type 2 diabetes: This is the most common form of diabetes and is called adult-onset diabetes as it develops after 35 years of age. Gestational diabetes: This occurs when blood sugar levels are high during pregnancy and are recognized by symptoms or by a diabetes test. A diabetes test is a test that is conducted to check if an individual has diabetes. These tests can be undergone as part of the general health check or if a person is experiencing symptoms. It can be done at any ‘blood sugar test near me’ clinic or using home test kits.
Which Tests are included in a Diabetes Test?
The healthcare provider may recommend a glucose tolerance test using a blood/ urine sample to confirm if an individual has diabetes or not. Blood tests: A1C test: This is one of the most common glucose tests and performed by most clinics. Look for a ‘sugar test near me’ online to get a list of labs that conduct this test. It is also called: Hemoglobin A1c HbA1c Glycated haemoglobin test. It is done to measure the number of glucose molecules attached to the haemoglobin. This test gives an average blood sugar level of 3 months. If it is higher than 5.7% then it is considered that the glucose levels in the blood are high. Though the doctor can diagnose type 2 diabetes with this test, the other forms of this condition cannot be detected, and hence other tests need to be conducted. Fasting plasma glucose test: This is a glucose tolerance test that is done after the patient has fasted with no food or water for over 8 hours. The test is scheduled in the morning and a blood sample is drawn from a finger or a vein in the arm by healthcare professionals. Random blood sugar test: This is a diabetes test that can be done at any given time irrespective of when you ate. It is called a random glucose tolerance test as blood is drawn at a random time. Oral glucose tolerance test: This is a test that is conducted in most labs (look for a blood sugar test near me to get a list of labs) and is done by consuming a sugary drink and then testing the blood sugar levels. The initial levels before taking the drink are noted and then after 2 hours the levels are tested again. If the blood sugar level is less than 140 mg/dL then it is normal. Above that are the prediabetes and diabetes stage. This is a test done to know if a person has gestational diabetes. Additional tests may be ordered for confirmation of type 1 diabetes. C peptide: This test checks for the production of this protein produced in the pancreas and low levels indicate low levels of insulin. Glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies: This is done to determine the presence of antibodies that destroy insulin-producing cells. Insulin autoantibodies: Determines the presence of proteins that destroy insulin. Insulinoma associated 2 autoantibodies: Determines the presence of these antibodies which shows that the body is attacking insulin-producing cells. Zinc transport 8: Identifies antibodies that kill insulin-producing cells. Islet cell cytoplasmic autoantibodies: It determines the presence of a type of antibody which causes type 1 diabetes. Urine tests for Diabetes The urine tests are not usually done to diagnose diabetes but are recommended if the doctor wants to rule out type 1 diabetes. Glucose tests are done to determine the presence of ketone bodies. These are produced when fat tissue is used instead of blood sugar for energy. When it is present in urine it means there is not enough insulin production.
Why do I need a Diabetes Test?
The doctors recommend glucose test if a person falls under the following categories. Have a family history of diabetes Have chronic diseases like high LDL cholesterol or heart issues, high blood pressure, or high triglycerides. Have a medical history of abnormal blood sugar levels or insulin resistance. Belong to high-risk races like the Asian-Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, etc. Women with PCOS or a history of gestational diabetes. Lead a sedentary lifestyle and/or obese. People who are over the age of 45 should get a regular glucose tolerance test to create a baseline for blood sugar levels. A diabetes test should be undergone every year after the age of 45 years as the chances of getting it increases with age.
When do I need to get a Diabetes Test done?
There are many signs and symptoms which necessitate a home diabetes test or a clinical test. Some of them are: Frequent urination as there is a presence of glucose in high amounts. It leads to dehydration as there is increased urine output. Dehydration leads to increased water consumption as the person feels thirsty. Weight loss due to insulin deficiency and loss of energy. Increase in appetite as there is weight loss. Fatigue Frequent infections of the skin, vagina, bladder, etc if left untreated or not controlled effectively. Blurred vision due to fluctuations in blood sugar levels. High glucose levels lead to a feeling of lethargy. Vomiting or nausea can also occur if not treated. The above are the general symptoms. The below are specific symptoms of: Type 1 diabetes Feeling thirsty Extreme hunger pangs Unintended weight loss Blurred vision Frequent urination Fatigue Mood swings Type 2 diabetes Frequent urination Fatigue Increased hunger Feeling thirsty Wounds are slow to heal Blurred vision Fatigue Frequent infections Gestational diabetes This occurs in pregnant women and most of them do not have any symptoms. It is usually detected only during a routine test that is performed in the 6 months of pregnancy. In some cases, a woman with this type of diabetes has frequent urination and an increased feeling of thirst.
How do I Prepare for a Diabetes Test?
The test includes a blood glucose test and urine test in some cases. The blood glucose test can be: Random: These can be done at any time of the day. Be prepared for a prick on the finger or a blood sample will be drawn from a vein. Fasting: For this type of test one should not eat or drink anything apart from water for more than 8 hours prior to the test. The best is to schedule in the morning as you don’t have to fast during the day. Oral glucose tolerance test: Requires at least 8 hours of fasting and two hours after you drink the sugary beverage. Before the test, talk to your doctor about medications that you are taking as it may affect the blood sugar levels. Also, stress, surgery, trauma, stroke, etc can also temporarily increase blood sugar and you should tell the doctor if you have had these.
How does Diabetes Test at home work?
Your healthcare provider will determine if you can opt for a diabetes test at home. They also help in deciding how often to test and at what time of the day. These kits also help to keep track of the blood glucose and also discover problems in care. Most of the blood glucose test kits have almost the same components. A small needle (lancet) and a device to hold called the lancet needle, test strips, glucose meter, and portable cases. The diabetes test at home can be done by following the below procedure; Put a lancet into the lancet device Place a new strip into the meter Prick your finger with the lancet and place the drop of blood onto the test strip. The results will show up in a few seconds. One can also opt for lab tests at home
by scheduling an appointment with a clinic that conducts diabetes screening at home. Look for a sugar test near me online to get a listing.
Are there any Risks/Side effects of a diabetes test?
There are not many side effects or risks that you will have for taking a diabetes test at a clinic. Sometimes diabetes test at home could have the below possible risks: Light-headedness or feeling faint Excessive bleeding if the blood is not drawn properly. If unable to find a vein there can be multiple puncture wounds. Infection in the region of a prick Blood clots under the skin where the needle is pricked. To prevent such side effects look for the nearest clinic using ‘diabetes test near me’ online.
What does my result mean?
The blood sugar levels, be it at home diabetes test or at the clinic should be in the range given below: Normal Range Prediabetes Diabetes Fasting < 100 mg/dL Between 110 to 125 mg/dL > = 126 mg/dL A1c < 5.7% 5.7% to 6.4% >= 6.5% Random < 200 mg/dL > 200 mg/dL Type 1 diabetes can be caused by factors that are not in your control while type 2 can be prevented with better lifestyle choices. Talk to your doctor if you are at risk and get your home diabetes test to manage their levels.