Diabetes is a medical condition where the body fails to efficiently store and subsequently use glucose (the body’s fuel) for energy. In extension, the body either fails to produce adequate insulin and if it does, it is unable to exploit it fully.
The most prevalent type of diabetes is the type 2 diabetes (approximately 90 % of persons having diabetes have it).
The unique aspect of diabetes type 2 is that its symptoms may not manifest for decades or years. Because of this, numerous individuals with remaining not diagnosed until they see their physician as a result of the side effects of high blood sugar. This, in essence, necessitates diagnosis, early diagnosis where possible.
What’s interesting is that diagnosing diabetes requires more than a single abnormal blood test. For several years, testing for diabetes usually comprises a doctor dipping a finger into a sample of urine and then testing it to identify abnormally high levels of sugar.
Luckily, testing for this ailment is now a lot easier for physicians.
Usually, urine tests also pick up diabetes. Nonetheless, the sugar levels ought to be relatively high (with the symptoms more advanced) for the urine test to pick it out. This is what disqualifies urine tests from being the preferred option for diabetes (type 2).
Virtually every diabetes test is now carried out via blood samples. You take them on your visit to a doctor/obstetrician (for pregnant mothers). The tests are used to measure the glucose levels, or sugar amount, in your blood. The doctor can perform either (or more than one) of these tests to confirm the diagnosis.
In case you exhibit an abnormal result signifying that your blood sugar is on a high (on either of these distinct tests), then you will need to go through some more tests.
Multiple factors can have an effect on your blood sugar including illness, stress, or medication.
Diagnosing diabetes is done with more than a single blood Sugar Test. Below are the most popular blood tests:
The A1C test is typically a long-term blood sugar control measure. It gives the physician a general idea of the average body blood sugar levels of an individual for several months. This test naturally measures (in percentage) the blood sugar as found in the hemoglobin.
In essence, hemoglobin is the body’s oxygen-carrying protein and is in the red blood cells.
The delineation is simple: the higher your A1C levels, the higher the levels of blood sugar. Although this test is not as accurate as the random plasma and fasting plasma glucose tests, it is nonetheless more convenient.
Unlike some diabetes tests, you need not fast, and better yet, your blood samples can be taken at whatever time of the day.
Moreover, this test is not affected by either illness or stress. After the blood samples are collected, they are taken to the lab for diagnosis, and as such, the results are not instant.
Normal: A1C tests indicate below 5.7%
Prediabetes: The A1C tests results fall ranges from 5.7% to 6.4%
Diabetes: The test comes off as (6.5%) and above
The advantage of A1C testing is that it can apply in monitoring your blood sugar levels and control after diagnosis. Recommendations urge that you check your A1C test levels multiple times yearly.
The American Diabetes Association describes this as the most popular diabetes type 2 diagnosis method. This is because not only is simple to perform; it is also less costly (compared to other tests) and quite convenient
Similar to the A1C, The fast plasma glucose test requires the doctor to take a blood sample, BUT it needs you to FAST OVERNIGHT before taking it. However, as opposed to the A1C test, this one mainly measures your blood sugar content at a given time rather than over an extended period.
This test is more effective than many other tests such as the A1C for instance which cannot be done on individuals with hemoglobin variant, or who are pregnant. Unfortunately, however, sickness or stress can affect the overall results.
Normal: Test indicating below 100 mg/dL
Prediabetes: Test indicating between 100 to 125 mg/dL
Diabetes: Tests indicate 126 mg/dL or higher
This test is done on people already exhibiting diabetes symptoms. This type of analysis can be carried out at any day or time-hence the name random. It checks out your levels of blood sugar devoid of considering when you had your last meal.
Normal: Tests indicate below 140 mg/dL
Prediabetes: The tests sugar levels range between 140 and 199 mg/dL
Diabetes: The blood sugar tests range between 200 or more mg/dL
Similar to the random blood sugar test, this test also mandates that you have an overnight fast. On your arrival at the health center for an oral glucose tolerance test, you will initially undergo regular fasting (blood sugar) test.
Afterward, you will ingest a (sugary) liquid. After all, has been done, the doctor will carry out a periodic test to check your levels of blood sugar for some hours.
You are advised that before going for the oral glucose tolerance test, you need to take in approximately 150 grams worth of carbs for at least three consecutive days. Cereal, bread, potatoes, pasta, and fruits are among some good sources of carbohydrates.
Moreover, discuss with your physician about any medication you may use, and whether or not you are ill or stressed. This is because these factors play a part in the overall outcome of this diabetes test.
Normal: Levels of blood sugars are below 140 mg/dL (after 120 minutes)
Prediabetic: Levels of blood sugar range from 140 to around 199 mg/dL (after 120 minutes)
Diabetic: Levels of blood sugar are at 200 200 mg/dL and above (after 120 minutes)
Aside from diagnosing type 2 diabetes, glucose tolerance tests also find use in diagnosing gestational diabetes (during diabetes).
If you are not vigilant with your blood sugar levels, diabetes can result in numerous severe health concerns. Nonetheless, even after a positive diagnosis result, you can remain in good shape and healthy provided you adhere to the prescribed treatment program and lead a healthy lifestyle.
By carefully selecting your foods, keeping your weight healthy, regularly working out, and ensuring your levels of stress are managed, living with this condition (diabetes type 2) should get more comfortable.
If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or even type2 diabetes, it is not a death sentence and can be reversed. Discover out how this diabetic patient reversed his type 2 diabetes here.