Health,  MyFriendAlexa

Diabetes- Diagnosis and tests

Thanks a lot for stay tuned with diabetes awareness series. I am really glad to be a part of #MyfriendAlexa. It has been really a great learning experience for me, so far. And I am hoping to have same in upcoming weeks too.

This is the post 3 of #Diabetes awareness series. In this, I will be sharing one of the most important aspects of diabetes. And that is the diagnosis of diabetes. (If you had missed part 1, click here  and for part 2 click  here)

Diagnosis of diabetes

Diagnosis of diabetes is one of the most things for early detection and prevention of complication. Though diabetes signs and symptoms are main criteria for diagnosis . in some case patients have no visible signs and symptoms of diabetes (despite increased sugar level).

This is the main reason, regular screening and testing are very important to make a timely diagnosis of this dreading disease, ( especially in high-risk cases, when a person have the family history of diabetes or suffering from other lifestyle disorders such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol level)

What are the important tests for the diagnosis of diabetes? How they performed? Read on to know more.

Diagnosis of type 1 diabetes

As the type 1 diabetes runs in the family, it is very important to do a regular screening in family members of DM, for early detection. It should be done even when the person has no indicating symptoms of diabetes.

Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes

According to National Institute of diabetes, digestive and kidney diseases , there are mainly 3 types of tests performed to diagnose DM.

  • Random plasma glucose test
  • A1C Test
  • Fasting glucose plasma test

Random plasma glucose test

As the name suggested, this is a random test where healthcare professionals collect blood sample randomly to detect the blood glucose level. For this test, no fasting is required. A random blood sugar level of 200mg per decilitre (mg/lt) or higher suggests diabetes.

A1C test

A1C test is a blood test that provides an average level of blood glucose level. This test measures the blood glucose level over the past 3 months. There is no fasting required for this test. This test measures the glucose level in your body by accessing the amount of glycated haemoglobin. In simple words, if more glucose enters the bloodstream there will be the higher amount of glycated haemoglobin and as a result, you will have a higher A1C test value.

Here is the normal range for this test.

  • A1C below 5.7- consider normal
  • 5.7 to 6.4- prediabetes
  • Higher than 6.4- diagnosed diabetes

The level of A1C depends on various factors such as age, level of advancement of the disease and other associated diseases. As a primary goal, it is very important to that diabetic people maintain their A1C level in a recommended limit. It is one of the most important things to avoid diabetic complications.

Fasting blood sugar level

It is one the most common test that is used to detect diabetes and pre-diabetes stage. Fasting is required for 8 hours. Then your blood glucose level measures. This test measures the blood glucose level at a single point of time. Here is the range of this test.

  • Less than 100mg/dl – consider as normal
  • Prediabetes- 100mg/dl to 125 mg/dl
  • Diabetes- 126 mg/dl or higher

2 hours postprandial blood sugar level

This is not a diagnostic test but it helps in the management of diabetes. In this test blood glucose level is measured after 2 hours of eating. This test helps in the management of diabetes and deciding the medication of diabetes.

Test for gestational diabetes

Screening for gestational diabetes is essential for rule out the high-risk factors such as being overweight or having a family history of diabetes mellitus.

Following tests are performed to diagnosed diabetes.

Initial glucose challenge test

Glucose challenge test is also called glucose screening test.  According to Mayo Clinic, this test can be performed during an early period of pregnancy, if the pregnant woman has any of high-risk factors such as   (being overweight or family history of diabetes).

In this test, the pregnant woman required drinking the liquid containing glucose and after 1 hour the healthcare professional collects the blood sample and measure the blood glucose level. A blood glucose level higher than 140mg/dl is considered as diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Oral glucose tolerance test

It is another important diagnostic test for gestational diabetes. In this test, there is a series of a blood test is done to measure the blood glucose level, in 1 hourly, 2 hourly, 3 hourly manners.

In this test pregnant woman asked to drink sweetened glucose liquid and then the blood glucose level is measured after every hour and the 2 to 3 hours. In the diabetic person, the two levels are greater than 200mg/dl or the fasting glucose level is noted as greater than 120mg/dl.

This test is quite expensive and can be used to detect all kinds of diabetes.

Here are a few important things that should be kept in mind while diagnosis diabetes.

  • If you suspect that you or your family members have diabetic symptoms, never attempt to do a self-diagnosis with any blood glucometer device or any other equipment. It is highly risky and should not be used as a way to diagnose diabetes.
  • Regular screening and testing are one of the most important aspects of diabetes. It is one of the vital steps in diagnosis, treatment and management of diabetes. Only with this step, we can detect it early and avoid the complications.

Apart from these tests, there are some specific tests are also available that can be used to detect the type of diabetes. If you want to learn about them, click here.

what are treatment options for diabetes? and what are the dreading complications of it? stay tuned to know more about it.

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