Blood Tests Used To Diagnose Diabetes
We will explain below the different blood tests that could be used to diagnose your diabetes. Your doctor will ask you about any symptoms you have and will then decide which type of blood test to use.
Having blood tests doesn’t need to be worrying, theyre straightforward and shouldnt take very long. Depending on the test you have you may be required to fast beforehand. If you do need to fast, a healthcare professional will let you know in advance.
A1c Has A Greater Pre
Even when preparation to glucose testing is optimal, plasma glucose values may still be misleading because of pre-analytical instability. In fact, tubes for blood collection do not always contain antiglycolytic substances, and even when they do, significant glucose consumption occurs in blood cells in the first 12 h after sampling because glycolysis is inhibited in its more distal steps by NaF or other preservatives. As long as the sample is not processed and plasma and blood cells are separated by centrifugation, a significant glucose loss is observed. In this regard, it must be emphasized that, quite often, blood samples reach the laboratory and are processed hours after withdrawal. Consistently, glucose concentration decreases 57% per hour and even more rapidly in cases of high ambient temperature . In such cases, glucose levels can show results lower than they are and diabetes diagnosis can be missed. It has been estimated that pre-analytical variability of FPG is 510%. On the contrary, pre-analytical variability of A1C is negligible. As for analytical variability, it is superimposable for glucose and A1C, being 2%.
Why Do Pregnant Women Need To Be Screened For Diabetes
During pregnancy, some women develop a type of diabetes known as gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes happens to about 48% of all pregnant women. It can lead to problems for both mother and baby if it is not treated. This is why all pregnant women should be screened for diabetes. Read more about gestational diabetes.
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Tests For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using blood tests. Youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your risk is higher for getting gestational diabetes , your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.
How Often Should I Get Routine Blood Work
Your doctor will typically recommend that you get routine blood work at least once a year, around the same time as your yearly physical.
But this is the bare minimum. There are several major reasons you may want to get blood tests more often than that:
- Youre experiencing unusual, persistent symptoms. These could include anything from fatigue to abnormal weight gain to new pain.
- You want to optimize your health. Knowing levels of various blood components, such as HDL and LDL cholesterol, can allow you to tweak your diet or fitness plan to minimize unhealthy habits . This can also maximize the nutrients you put in your body and more.
- You want to reduce your risk of disease or complications. Regular blood tests can catch the warning signs of almost any disease early. Many heart, lung, and kidney conditions can be diagnosed using blood tests.
Talk to your doctor first if you want to get certain tests more often than once a year.
- nutrient tests for levels of vital nutrients, such as iron or B vitamins
Some other tests that you may want include:
- enzyme markers if youre at risk for cancer or other conditions like liver cirrhosis, stroke, or celiac disease
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The Pros And Cons Of Diagnosing Diabetes With A1c
An International Expert Committee was convened in 2008 by the American Diabetes Association , the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, and the International Diabetes Federation to consider the means for diagnosing diabetes in nonpregnant individuals, with particular focus on the possibility to indicate A1C as an alternative if not a better tool . After reviewing the available literature and a thorough discussion on the advantages and the limits of previous diagnostic strategies and the considered alternative approach , a consensus was reached that the latter should be included among diagnostic tools for diabetes and, with the exception of a number of clinical conditions, should even be preferred in diabetes diagnosis in nonpregnant adults.
How Does A Doctor Test For Diabetes
ANSWER Getting diagnosed for diabetes begins with one of three tests. in most cases, your doctor will want to repeat a test that is high in order to confirm the diagnosis. Tests include: Your doctor may also suggest a zinc transporter 8 autoantibody test. This blood test — along with other information and test results — can help determine if a person has type 1 diabetes instead of another type. The goal of having this blood test is a prompt and accurate diagnosis, one that can lead to timely treatment. A fasting glucose test is a test of your blood sugar levels taken in the morning before you have eaten. A level of 126 mg/dL or higher may mean that you have diabetes. An oral glucose tolerance test entails drinking a beverage containing glucose and then having your blood glucose levels checked every 30 to 60 minutes for up to three hours. If the glucose level is 200 mg/dL or higher at two hours, then you might have diabetes. The A1c test is a simple blood test that shows your average blood sugar levels for the past two to three months. An A1c level of 6.5% or higher may mean you have diabetes.Continue reading > >
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Can This Be Diabetes
So since September I had off days where I would pee a lot. When I say a lot, I mean a lot like I had the urge to go every one hour and it was clear. The amount I urinated did not match with how much I drank. By late November and December it started to become a daily thing. The amount I urinated was not on par with how much I urinated in earlier months but I ended up having the urge every 2 hours and could only hold my pee up to 4 hours. I ended up going to my doctors because of this last week. Before I touch upon that date, I would like to also say that I have been experiencing excessive hunger and also an increase of pins and needles feeling in my legs and arms. Anyways, back to the doctor visit. During that visit I told them about what I have been experiencing and they ended up making me do a urine sample. My doctor said he couldn’t find any traces of sugar but they did find a trace of a uti. They prescribed me the medication that starts with a N . Now though I still experience hunger, and pins and needles . So I was wondering if I should go find another doctor and force them to do more tests on me? or is this all in my head?Continue reading > >
Why Are Glucose Tests Done
Doctors do glucose tests to check for low or high levels of glucose. Sometimes it’s done as part of a routine checkup to screen for problems, and sometimes because a child has not been feeling well.
A low glucose level is called hypoglycemia. A high level of glucose is called hyperglycemia. Diabetes is one thing that can cause high glucose levels.
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Urine Testing For Diabetes
Urine tests arent always used to diagnose diabetes. Doctors often use them if they think you may have type 1 diabetes. The body produces ketone bodies when fat tissue is used for energy instead of blood sugar. Laboratories can test urine for these ketone bodies.
If ketone bodies are present in moderate to large amounts in the urine, this could indicate your body is not making enough insulin.
What About Prediabetes And Diabetes
Sometimes, blood tests reveal a small amount of information or a sign that something may be wrong, but dont give the bigger picture or enough for diagnosis, says Dr. Gaman.
This is often seen in a glucose or blood sugar level. The blood sugar may be elevated, but it is a test designed to only look at the level at that given time.
The doctor will then order another test, usually a hemoglobin A1C to see the trend of blood sugar over the period of three months.
Depending on the results, the patient may have no risk of diabetes, prediabetes or be fully diabetic.
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Symptoms Diagnosis And Monitoring Of Diabetes
Nearly 33 million American adults have Type 2 diabetes and many dont know it. Type 1 diabetes often remains undiagnosed until symptoms become so severe that hospitalization is required.
Both of these facts speak to a larger truth: Left untreated, diabetes can cause many health complications. Thats why its crucial to know the warning signs and to see a healthcare professional regularly for routine wellness screenings.
Random Plasma Glucose Test
A random blood sugar test looks at blood glucose levels regardless of when you’ve last eaten for a snapshot of your blood sugar status. This test is usually performed when healthcare professionals want to take a look at your blood sugar without having to wait for you to fast and so it can be performed at any time. While a diagnosis of diabetes can be made with the help of this test, it is not usually used to diagnose prediabetes.
If your glucose is over 200 mg/dl, then a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is likely. Again, your doctor will usually perform this test on two different occasions before a confirmed diagnosis is made.
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The Standard For Nearly A Decade
The A1C is considered the frontline test for diabetes, having first been recommended by the American Diabetes Association in 2010, according to Dr. David B. Sacks, a member of the College of American Pathologists Clinical Chemistry Resources Committee.
The test is useful for long-term detection of blood sugar because glucose binds with red blood cells and remains affixed for up to 120 days, he said.
Chang Villacreses said that the A1C test has become the standard analysis because its much easier to administer than the glucose tolerance test, which requires people to spend a minimum of two hours in the lab.
Not everyone has that kind of time, she said.
The A1C test is much easier but not as accurate, said Chang Villacreses. We suggest that care of each patient has to be individualized.
For example, she said, follow up with the glucose tolerance test when people at high risk of diabetes because of age, weight, diet, inactivity, family history, or other risk factors test negative on an A1C test.
Thats a very practical solution and Id definitely support that, said Sacks.
He also suggested that doing a fasting glucose test which requires only a single blood test and a shorter fasting window in conjunction with the A1C tests could yield more accurate results.
With the glucose tolerance test, a blood sugar level of less than 140 mg/dL is considered normal. Between 140 and 199 mg/dL is considered prediabetes, and more than 200 indicates diabetes.
Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes
Anyone can develop diabetes. Thats why its important to get tested if you notice any of the signs or symptoms. These arent always easy to spot. In fact, type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed through blood tests for other conditions or health issues instead.
Always talk to your doctor about any symptoms youre worried about, even if youve been tested. If youre not offered a test, you can ask for one .
If you feel very unwell or your symptoms have come on quickly seek an urgent appointment with your GP or call NHS 111.
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Urine Test For Blood Sugar
Urine does not normally contain glucose. The kidneys filter our blood, keeping substances the body needs, while getting rid of waste products. Your kidneys constantly reabsorb glucose so that it doesn’t enter your urine. However, if the glucose level goes above a certain level, the kidneys can’t reabsorb all of the glucose. This means that some glucose will ‘spill’ through the kidneys into the urine.
A simple dipstick test can detect glucose in a sample of urine. In a dipstick test a doctor or nurse uses a special chemical strip which he/she dips into a sample of your urine. Colour changes on the strip show whether there is glucose in the urine sample. If you have glucose in your urine, you are likely to have diabetes.
However, some people have kidneys that are more ‘leaky’ and glucose may leak into urine with a normal blood level. Therefore, if your urine contains any glucose, you should have a blood test to measure the blood level of glucose to confirm, or rule out, diabetes.
Fasting Is Not Needed For A1c Assessment And No Acute Perturbations Affect A1c
Plasma glucose levels are not stable but rather vary throughout the day, mainly in postprandial periods. Although it is believed that fasting glucose levels are reproducible across days, a number of acute perturbations of glucose homeostasis have been described. Acute stress can increase endogenous glucose production substantially and impair glucose utilization. People who are worried about blood sampling or experience a stressful situation in the hours preceding blood sampling can have an increase in fasting glucose concentration. On the contrary, exercise can decrease glucose levels, and an evening or early-morning session of physical exercise can affect the level of fasting glycemia. Moreover, most individuals do not pay attention to the request or are not asked to consume a diet with at least 200 g carbohydrate in the days before testing glucose. Some individuals do not abstain from food in the 8 h before testing, thus arriving to the laboratory in the postabsorptive rather than fasting condition. In addition, smoking or taking certain medications can adversely affect fasting glucose. The lack of appropriate preparation for glucose testing makes FPG less reliable for diabetes diagnosis, with results sometimes falsely elevated and sometimes apparently normal. On the contrary, A1C is not influenced by acute perturbations or insufficient fasting. Indeed, A1C can be measured anytime, irrespective of fasting or feeding.
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Normal May Or May Not Vary By Age
For some tests, such as the hemoglobin test, normal results vary by age. For children, for example, a hemoglobin level of about 11 to 13 grams/deciliter is normal, while for men, a value of about 14 to 17 g/dl is normal, and for women, 12 to 15 g/dl is normal. But for other tests, such as LDL cholesterol, a level less than 100 milligrams/deciliter is considered optimal regardless of age. That being said, your age and other risk factors for heart disease may influence how your doctor reacts if your blood test shows a higher-than-optimal LDL cholesterol level. If you are a man over 45 or a woman over 55 and you have heart disease or diabetes, your doctor will likely advise you to take steps to lower your LDL cholesterol if it is higher than 100 mg/dl.
What Is A Blood Test
By taking and testing a small sample of a persons blood, doctors can check for many kinds of diseases and conditions. Blood tests help doctors check how the bodys organs are working and see if medical treatments are helpful.
To help your child get ready for a blood test, find out if they need to fast or should stop taking medicines before the test. Explain what to expect during the test. If your child is anxious about it, work together on ways to stay calm.
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Will I Need To Do Anything To Prepare For The Test
You will probably need to fast for eight hours before the test. If you are pregnant and are being checked for gestational diabetes:
- You will drink a sugary liquid one hour before your blood is drawn.
- You won’t need to fast for this test.
- If your results show higher than normal blood glucose levels, you may need another test, which requires fasting.
Talk to your health provider about specific preparations needed for your glucose test.
Random Blood Sugar Test
This measures your blood sugar at the time youre tested. You can take this test at any time and dont need to fast first. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes.
|140 mg/dL or below||N/A|
*Results for gestational diabetes can differ. Ask your health care provider what your results mean if youre being tested for gestational diabetes.Source: American Diabetes Association
If your doctor thinks you have type 1 diabetes, your blood may also tested for autoantibodies that are often present in type 1 diabetes but not in type 2 diabetes. You may have your urine tested for ketones , which also indicate type 1 diabetes instead of type 2 diabetes.
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