The condition of diabetes, sometimes referred to as diabetes mellitus, affects how your body utilises glucose (blood sugar). To determine if you have diabetes or are at risk for developing it, diabetes tests check glucose levels in your blood or urine. These tests have different types and names, including blood sugar, fasting plasma glucose, OGTT, glucose screening test, urine glucose test, haemoglobin A1c, and random blood sugar. Let’s know more about these tests and how they help determine the manifestation of this condition in an individual.
Why is Diabetes Becoming a Hot Topic, Almost Everywhere?
Diabetes has affected 422 million people in 2014, up from 108 million in 1980. Compared to high-income countries, prevalence has been increasing more quickly in low- and middle-income nations. Age-specific diabetes mortality rates increased by 3% between 2000 and 2019. An estimated 2 million people died in 2019 from diabetes-related renal damage.
Your body uses glucose as its primary energy source. Insulin is a hormone that aids in transferring glucose from your circulation to your cells. When you have diabetes, either your body cannot produce insulin or insulin does not function as it should. This may result in excessive glucose levels, which may affect one’s health. Some of them are heart disease, nerve damage, vision issues, and renal illness.
Diagnosing and Testing The Most Commonly Occurring Diabetes: Type 2
Type 2 diabetes can be avoided or postponed by keeping a nutritious diet, engaging in regular physical exercise, maintaining a normal weight, and abstaining from tobacco use. A good diet, regular exercise, scheduled medication, routine screening, and treatment for complications can all help treat diabetes and postpone or prevent its effects.
To identify diabetes and prediabetes, doctors employ a range of tests. Based on whether you are pregnant or not, your doctor may advise a different diabetes test depending on whether you are experiencing symptoms.
Fasting plasma glucose test
- Preparation: The process of measuring your blood sugar level while fasting is known as a fasting blood sugar test. The easiest way to prepare for a fasting blood sugar test is to fast overnight, which essentially means not eating anything for 8 to 12 hours. The morning, just after you wake up, is the best time to take a fasting blood sugar reading.
- Test: Your blood glucose level is assessed using the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test at a specific moment. Your doctor will administer the diabetes test in the morning after you’ve fasted for at least 8 hours to get the most accurate results. When someone fasts, they only consume small amounts of water.
- Preparation: An arm blood sample will be obtained throughout the HBA1C diabetes test preparation process to measure your blood sugar levels. The HBA1C diabetes test will identify your average blood sugar level over the last 12 weeks because red blood cells have an average lifespan of nearly three months. The outcomes are expressed as percentages.
- Test: The A1C test is a blood examination showing average blood glucose levels that have been collected over the previous three months. Haemoglobin A1C, HbA1C, glycated haemoglobin, and glycosylated haemoglobin test are other names for the A1C test.
Before this diabetes test, you are allowed to eat and drink. The doctor will consider certain aspects before conducting the A1C test to diagnose diabetes, such as whether you are pregnant or not, if you have specific forms of anaemia, or whether there is another issue with your blood. In those situations, the A1C test might not be reliable.
Haemoglobin variations are certain forms of haemoglobin that might cause issues when measuring A1C levels. Your doctor should consider that the A1C test could not be a trustworthy test for you if your test results and your blood glucose levels do not match.
Random Plasma Glucose Test
- Preparation: A type of blood sugar test that may be performed at any moment of the day is a random blood sugar test. The random blood sugar test process is quite straightforward; no fasting is necessary, and blood can be obtained anytime. No matter when you last had a meal, a random blood sugar test can be performed.
- Test: When you have diabetes symptoms, and your doctor does not want to wait until you have fasted for eight hours, they may use the random plasma glucose test to diagnose your condition. This diabetes blood test is available whenever you want.
Can We Conduct Home Testing for Diagnosing Diabetes?
Some examinations are possible for individuals to do alone at home. These consist of the following:
Blood sugar Testing
Blood sugar may be measured using at-home diabetes test kits. The home diabetes test kits’ precise parts differ, but most typically, they contain:
- Syringes for pricking fingers;
- Test strips for blood collection
- Glucometer, a device that analyses the sample and provides a reading.
The ideal blood sugar levels for an individual will be established by a physician, who will also explain which test results necessitate immediate medical intervention.
Urine Ketone Testing
Another kind of home diabetes test looks for ketones in the urine, which the body creates as it breaks down lipids for energy. Ketones often signal an insulin deficiency in the body.
These home diabetes kits may be found at most pharmacies. Urine must first be collected for the diabetes test, which is followed by the insertion of the given strips into the urine. These will show whether ketones are present.
Typically, if ketone levels are moderate or high, a person should contact a doctor.
Testing for Type 1 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes
Diagnosing type 1 diabetes can be challenging. It happens when the body does not create enough of the hormone insulin required to metabolise blood sugar. Without necessary treatment, type 1 diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar levels to grow exceedingly high. Insulin injections are part of the treatment.
Whether a doctor has a suspicion that a patient has type 1 diabetes, they will see if they are exhibiting any of the disease’s symptoms, which include excessive exhaustion and flu-like symptoms.
The following diabetes tests are available to the doctor:
- FPG: This diabetes blood test reveals how efficiently the body metabolises glucose.
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test: A person must fast before consuming a glucose-containing solution. After that, a medical practitioner will check blood sugar levels every hour for two to three hours.
- A1C: This diabetes test can reveal the average blood sugar levels over the previous three months; however, type 1 diabetic may have falsely low readings.
The doctor may request any of the following tests if the findings are unclear:
- C-Peptide: Along with insulin, the pancreas produces this protein. Low blood levels of C-peptide may indicate low insulin levels.
- Insulin Autoantibodies: This diabetes test looks for the existence of antibodies to insulin, which are proteins that attack and destroy insulin.
- Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Autoantibodies: This diabetes test is used by doctors to look for antibodies that can kill enzymes in cells that make insulin.
- Insulinoma-Associated 2 Autoantibodies: These antibodies may also signify that your body is fighting the insulin-producing cells.
- Islet Cell Cytoplasmic Autoantibodies: According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, this antibody affects 80% of persons with type 1 diabetes.
- Zinc Transport 8: This test finds antibodies that destroy beta cells that make insulin.
A doctor might not be able to provide a definitive diagnosis until they have reviewed the outcomes of many of these diabetes tests.
Tests for Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes
Blood tests are used to determine gestational diabetes. Between 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy, you’ll likely undergo a pregnancy test. Your doctor could test you early if you are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes as a result of having more risk factors. Early in your pregnancy, blood sugar levels higher than normal might be an indication of type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.
Analysing Test Results
What HBA1C test level is normal is the most often asked query when we discuss HBA1C testing. An individual is considered to be free from diabetes if the HBA1C test result falls below 5.7% and falls within the normal range.
Prediabetes is indicated by a reading between 5.7% and 6.4%, which is higher than the HBA1C test normal range. Knowing the typical HBA1C test level makes it simple to conclude that any test result equal to or higher than 6.5% indicates diabetes.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
If the diabetes test shows your blood sugar level to be less than 100 mg/dL, you don’t have to worry about anything. Blood sugar levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL, which is 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L, the normal range for diabetes, indicate prediabetes.
Your blood sugar level satisfies the criteria for diabetes diagnosis if it is 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or above in two separate tests.
Random Plasma Glucose Test
You are likely to be diagnosed with diabetes if your random blood sugar test results show that the blood sugar level has been 200 mg/dL or above.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
The acceptable blood sugar range for oral glucose tolerance testing is 140 mg/dL or less. You could have prediabetes if your blood glucose level is between 140 mg/dL and 199 mg/dL. You are likely to develop diabetes if your blood glucose level is detected to be more than 200 mg/dL.
Numerous strategies exist for keeping up a lifestyle even after diabetes. Finding alternate, diabetic-friendly recipes for the meals you enjoy is a terrific way to go about it. You may continue to enjoy the meals you love by adjusting the recipes and swapping out high-glycemic items for low-glycemic ones.
Making lifestyle adjustments alongside someone else makes them simpler. Work out and eat better as a family to increase the approach towards embracing a new diabetes lifestyle. The journey is made much more comfortable and delightful by encouragement and conversations.