What Tests Are Used to Diagnose Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious medical condition. It can be difficult to detect early symptoms, so getting a diagnosis is essential to avoid complications. 

Luckily, there are different types of tests available for the diagnosis of diabetes. A common way to check for diabetes is a blood glucose test called the hemoglobin A1C. 

This test is the most comprehensive of its kind and gives doctors a good idea of a person’s blood sugar level over the past two to three months. 

It measures the amount of glucose that is attached to the red blood cells. If the level is 6.5 percent or higher, the person has diabetes. If the level is between 5.7 and 6.4 percent, it is prediabetes, and anything under that is considered normal.

Apart from A1C, there are many other tests to diagnose diabetes. Continue reading to know more about these tests. 

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious disease that occurs when your blood sugar levels are too high. As your pancreas is not able to make enough insulin, the glucose doesn’t reach your cells and stays in your blood. 

This medical condition can damage many body organs and tissues. It can lead to cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure, and some complications can be life-threatening. It can also cause nerve damage, which can lead to numbness or tingling. 

To diagnose diabetes, a doctor will take blood and urine samples. There are several types of diabetes, each with different symptoms. The most common one is Type 2 diabetes. It is caused by an imbalance between the body’s insulin and glucose levels.

What Is Diabetes Testing?

Early detection of diabetes is key to preventing serious complications from developing. Diabetes testing is a procedure in which a doctor takes your blood and urine samples to check your glycemic control. There are several different types of blood tests to diagnose diabetes. 

One of the most common is the HbA1c test, which measures average blood glucose levels over the past two to three months. This test is easy to perform and takes just a few drops of blood from an arm vein. 

Another type of diabetes test is a fasting blood glucose test. This test is a simple procedure that measures your blood sugar level before you eat. A nurse will draw blood from a vein in your arm. Afterward, the blood will be tested to see if it can maintain the normal blood sugar level. 

If you think you may have diabetes, you should get your blood tests regularly. High blood glucose levels can reduce your immune system’s ability to fight infections. In addition, high blood sugar levels can also impair your vision and nerves.

You should have your blood glucose levels checked once or twice a year for a proper diagnosis of diabetes. A diabetes screening can help with the diagnosis and proper management of diabetes. There are apps, such as Klinio that helps people with diabetes manage and track important metrics, such as blood glucose levels, glycated hemoglobin, steps, weight, and medications.

Types of Diabetes Tests

Here are some of the most common tests you can employ for the diagnosis of diabetes. 

Fasting Plasma Glucose Test

A fasting plasma glucose test is necessary to determine blood glucose levels. It shows how your body processes glucose. You have to fast overnight or for 8 to 10 hours before the tests. This type of blood test is common for prediabetes. A normal fasting blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL. A fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dL indicates prediabetes. A level of 126 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes.

A1C Test

The A1C test, also called the glycated hemoglobin test, measures the amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin. When the A1C level is above 6.5%, the person is diagnosed with diabetes. If the result is between 5.7 and 6.4%, a person has prediabetes, and a level less than 5.6% is normal. The A1C test is useful in diagnosing diabetes, and it measures the amount of glucose in the blood over a period of time. However, this test has high sensitivity and specificity. 

Random Plasma Glucose Test

A random plasma glucose test (RPGT) is a common blood test for diagnosing diabetes. This test measures blood glucose levels without fasting. During this blood test, doctors can quickly diagnose whether or not a person has diabetes. Random glucose testing is a vital component of diabetes management. The results are useful to assess how well a person is managing their condition. However, if your test results are 200 mg/dL or above, you have diabetes. 

Glucose Challenge Test

A Glucose challenge test (OGTT) measures the body’s response to glucose. It involves drinking a sugar-based solution, and blood samples are taken at one, two, and three hours. The results of the test are crucial for the diagnosis of diabetes. This test can help identify whether you have diabetes by measuring your blood glucose levels after a sugary drink. Moreover, one can perform the test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. 

Oral Glucose Tolerance 

The glucose tolerance test can be useful in diagnosing type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, or prediabetes. The procedure involves fasting overnight. Once you measure the fasting blood sugar level, you have to drink a sugary liquid and then check the blood sugar levels over the next two hours. If the result is high enough, your doctor may diagnose diabetes. If your test result is 200 mg/dL or above, you have diabetes. However, if the result is 140 – 199 mg/dL, you have prediabetes. 

Why Is Diabetes Testing Important?

Diabetes tests will provide valuable information about the person’s blood sugar levels. Another reason for diabetes testing is to monitor the effectiveness of diabetes treatments. 

The results of a blood glucose test will show whether the patient is responding well to medications, diet, physical activity, and stress. However, you may need to adjust the treatment on the basis of your results. 

These tests are essential to managing diabetes and preventing complications. Diabetic screenings can detect the disease early and help your doctor design an effective treatment plan. They can also help you determine the exact type of diabetes you have and the severity of the disease.