Why Are Blood Tests Done To Screen For Diabetes
Many people who have diabetes don’t feel unwell in the early stages. By the time you get symptoms of diabetes, there may already be damage to important parts of your body. Treatment of diabetes can slow down further complications but cant usually repair this damage. This is why your healthcare provider might test you for diabetes even if you feel well.
Testing people for a condition like diabetes when they do not have any symptoms is called screening. Studies have been done to work out who is more likely to have diabetes so they can be screened.
Diabetes is more common in:
- Mori, Pasifika and Indo-Asian people
- older people
- people who have whnau/family members with diabetes.
These people should have regular screening tests for diabetes.
What Do My Urine Glucose Test Results Mean
Healthy individuals generally shouldnt have glucose in their urine at all. If the test shows the presence of glucose in your urine, you should discuss the possible causes with your doctor.
Urine testing doesnt test your current blood levels of glucose. It can only provide insights into whether or not glucose is spilling into your urine. It also merely reflects the state of your blood sugar over the prior few hours.
Blood glucose testing is the primary test used to determine actual glucose levels.
Get Tested For Type 2 Diabetes
Who needs it: Overweight or obese adults 40 to 70 , and some others.
The numbers: Fasting glucose under 100 mg/dL is normal .
Good to know: Fasting glucose tests are done on an empty stomach, A1C tests are not.
What is diabetes screening?
When you have diabetes, your body isn’t able to keep your blood sugar at a normal level, and it can get dangerously high, causing long-term health problems.
The most common way to screen for diabetes is a blood test called the fasting glucose test. If your fasting glucose is 100 to 125 mg/dL, and its confirmed by repeated testing, experts say that it may be a sign of prediabetes. Glucose above 125 mg/dL on two separate tests means you most likely have diabetes. So youll probably need more than one test before your doctor can be sure.
Another common test for blood sugar is called hemoglobin A1C. This blood test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen has sugar attached. Unlike the fasting glucose test, the A1C test gives a snapshot of your blood sugar levels over a much longer time . According to experts, an A1C of 5.7 to 6.4 percent is a sign of prediabetes, if confirmed by repeated testing 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests means you most likely have diabetes.
Why is it important?
Who needs it?
What to expect
Good to know
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Abnormal Blood Glucose and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Screening. Last updated April 2018.
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Type 2 Diabetes And Coronavirus
Having type 1 or type 2 diabetes does not increase your risk of catching coronavirus. Most people who get coronavirus will have mild symptoms and will not need to go to hospital.
However, if you have diabetes, your risk of developing severe illness with coronavirus is higher the effects will vary from person to person. In children, the risk of serious illness remains low.
Illness can make it hard to control your blood glucose levels. To fight the illness, your body releases stores of glucose in your cells into your bloodstream this is done to give you energy. However, diabetes means you can’t make enough or any insulin so your blood sugar levels rise. While you are fighting an illness, it, therefore, is harder to manage your diabetes, which puts you at greater risk of having major blood glucose highs and lows this can lead to serious conditions, including diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state .
Some people will develop serious illness from coronavirus with the risk of dying. There are factors that put you at greater risk of serious illness with coronavirus, including:
- Being of African, Afro-Caribbean, Asian or minority ethnic descent
- Being older
Type 1 Diabetes Or Latent Autoimmune Diabetes In Adults
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes may appear very similar to type 2 diabetes, though they tend to come on all at once in a short time span. Blood work may also still show glucose elevation when standard tests are performed, but your healthcare provider should be able to add on additional testing to confirm whether you have type 1 by looking at certain antibodies and proteins in your blood.
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Coronavirus : Advice For People Living With Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus and you should be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures, including significantly limiting face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible.
Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
If your test results show you have prediabetes, ask your doctor or nurse if there is a lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program in your community. You can also search for an online or in-person program. Having prediabetes puts you at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but participating in the program can lower your risk by as much as 58% .
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Checking Your Blood Sugar Level
Youâll be given a testing kit that you can use to check your blood sugar level.
This involves using a finger-pricking device and putting a drop of blood on a testing strip.
Youâll be advised:
- how to test your blood sugar level correctly
- when and how often to test your blood sugar most women with gestational diabetes are advised to test before breakfast and one hour after each meal
- what level you should be aiming for this will be a measurement given in millimoles of glucose per litre of blood
Articles On Type 2 Diabetes Screening
Type 2 diabetes is a common and serious disease in the United States and worldwide. However, itâs thought that one-third of those with type 2 diabetes are unaware that they have this serious illness. Because often there are no symptoms with type 2 diabetes, early screening may help people avoid the more serious complications of this disease, including chronic hyperglycemia thatâs associated with long-term damage of the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and blood vessels. Persons with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes have a significantly higher risk for stroke, coronary heart disease, and peripheral vascular disease. Individuals with diabetes also have a greater likelihood of abnormal cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity.
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Capillary Blood Glucose Meters
Capillary glucose measurement is a popular method for determination of point glucose measurements at the time of office visits and is recommended for self-monitoring by patients. However, because of meter imprecision and the substantial differences among meters, their usefulness in screening and diagnosis is limited. Any glucose abnormalities detected with a capillary glucose meter should be confirmed with laboratory testing.
If You’re Diagnosed With Diabetes
What the GP will discuss with you during your appointment depends on the diagnosis and the treatment they recommend.
Generally, they’ll talk to you about:
- what diabetes is
- what high blood sugar means for your health
- whether you need to take medicine
- your diet and exercise
- your lifestyle for example, alcohol and smoking
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When Does A Person Need To Have Their Blood Glucose Measured With This Test
Prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes often have no symptoms at first. A person can have the condition and not know it. Healthcare providers usually order a fasting blood sugar test:
- As part of a standard annual physical examination to monitor a persons blood glucose over time.
- For pregnant women to ensure that pregnancy hormones are not causing diabetes.
- When a person has symptoms of diabetes, a family history of diabetes or risk factors for diabetes .
- When a person has had a previous blood glucose level that was higher than normal.
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How To Test For Diabetes
This article was medically reviewed by Shari Forschen, NP, MA. Shari Forschen is a Registered Nurse at Sanford Health in North Dakota. She received her Family Nurse Practitioner Master’s from the University of North Dakota and has been a nurse since 2003.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 41,941 times.
Studies show that diabetes can effect your entire body over time, but managing your blood sugar may help you prevent complications.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source Diabetes is a chronic health condition where your body either doesn’t make enough insulin to control your blood sugar or doesn’t properly use insulin anymore. Since it’s so important to start treatment right away, you likely want to know for sure if you have diabetes. Experts agree that it’s important to see your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms of diabetes so you can get tested.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
Patients may have no symptoms when their blood sugar is only slightly elevated, says Sarah Rettinger, MD, an endocrinologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California. By the time patients have higher blood sugar, they may feel thirsty, hungry, and may be urinating excessively. Some patients lose weight without any change in diet and exercise.”
- Are overweight or inactive, or have obesity according to your body mass index
- Are of a certain ethnicity, including Black American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
- Are a smoker
- Have had gestational diabetes
When Should I Call My Doctor
If you havent been diagnosed with diabetes, you should see your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms of diabetes. If you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should contact your provider if your blood glucose levels are outside of your target range, if current symptoms worsen or if you develop any new symptoms.
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Fasting Blood Sugar Test
A fasting blood sugar test provides a snapshot of your blood sugar level before you have eaten. The doctor measures the amount of sugar in your blood after youve fasted for at least eight hoursusually overnight.
A fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter indicates that you have prediabetes. A blood sugar level of 126 milligrams per deciliter or higher on two separate tests means you have diabetes.
Nhs To Diagnose Thousands Of People With Rare Diabetes
Genetic testing on the NHS will spot a rare form of diabetes in thousands of people unaware they are living with the disease, alongside a new training scheme for staff.
The test being rolled out across England can also spot whether people have passed the affected gene on to their children, while the health service is training hundreds of staff across the country to be experts in the rare condition.
Known as monogenic diabetes, around 12,000 people in England are thought to have the condition, which if left undetected can mean patients struggle to manage glucose levels.
If high glucose levels go untreated for a long period of time it can cause blindness, amputations and greater risk of a heart attack.
Most patients newly diagnosed with monogenic diabetes will be able to manage their condition better by taking tablets or by diet to control their glucose levels instead of having to endure often unnecessary and time-consuming insulin injections.
The test can also detect whether children have inherited the affected gene and will go on to develop monogenic diabetes, typically before the age of thirty.
The condition makes up one in fifty diabetes cases, but it is difficult to diagnose or distinguish from the more common types of the condition type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
The NHS Long Term Plan is committed to increasing access to genomic testing and to improving diabetes care across the country.
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Am I At Risk Of Diabetes
You can ask your doctor about your risk for diabetes. You can also estimate your risk of getting type 2 diabetes by using the Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool . This is a simple way for you to check your risk.
You may be at increased risk of type 2 diabetes if you:
- are over 55
- are over 45 and are overweight or have high blood pressure
- have a family member with type 2 diabetes
- are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
- were born in Asia
- are not physically active
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Treated
Teens with type 2 diabetes often go to a pediatric endocrinologist for treatment. This kind of doctor treats problems affecting hormones, like diabetes. They also may see a dietitian, diabetes educator, or weight management specialist.
The goal of treatment for type 2 diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Treatment usually includes:
- eating a healthy, balanced diet
- getting regular physical activity
- checking blood sugar levels regularly
- losing weight, if recommended
- taking anti-diabetes pills or getting insulin . If blood sugars remain high, the doctor may add another medicine.
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Important Tests For Type 2 Diabetes
For centuries, diabetes testing mostly consisted of a physician dipping his pinkie into a urine sample and tasting it to pick up on abnormally high sugar. Thankfully, testing for type 2 diabetes is lot easier nowat least for doctors.
Urine tests can still pick up diabetes. However, sugar levels need to be quite high to be detected on a urine test, so this is not the test of choice for type 2 diabetes.
Current Guidelines For Screening And Diagnosis
In its 2009 position statement, Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, the ADA recommended screening with FPG to detect pre-diabetes or diabetes in nonpregnant adult patients who are > 45 years of age or who are < 45 years of age, have a BMI 25 kg/m2, and have an additional risk factor for diabetes . Repeat testing should be carried out at 3-year intervals.
The tests recommended for screening are the same as those for making the diagnosis, with the result that a positive screen is equivalent to a diagnosis of pre-diabetes or diabetes. summarizes the current screening and diagnostic criteria of the ADA. The term pre-diabetes has been assigned to those considered to be at higher risk for developing diabetes. Pre-diabetes is diagnosed by having one or both of the following: 1) an FPG of 100-125 mg/dl, which is also referred to as impaired fasting glucose or 2) a 2-hour, 75-g OGTT, with 2-hour plasma glucose levels of 140-199 mg/dl, which is also described as IGT. To get a diagnosis of diabetes, patients must satisfy one of the following criteria: 1) symptoms of diabetes AND an RPG 200 mg/dl, 2) an FPG 126 mg/dl, or 3) a 2-hour plasma glucose level 200 mg/dl during a 75-g OGTT.
Properties of each of the available tests are summarized in .
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What Do My Urine Ketone Test Results Mean
Monitoring ketone levels in urine is important if you have type 1 diabetes. Ketones are more commonly seen in the urine of people with type 1 diabetes than in people with type 2 diabetes.
If youre told to monitor your ketones, ask your healthcare team to help you develop a plan for what to do if you do detect ketones in your urine.
Normal or trace levels of ketones in urine are less than 0.6 millimoles per liter , according to the National Health Service .
An abnormal result means you have ketones in your urine. The readings are usually classified as small, moderate, or large.
Is Type 2 Diabetes Genetic
Over 75% of kids with type 2 diabetes also have a relative with the condition. But this could be due to similar lifestyles in the family rather than genetic factors. Like any condition, some people have a genetic predisposition towards both insulin insensitivity and type 2 diabetes, but the primary factor governing type 2 diabetes is lifestyle.
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What Do I Ask The Doctor
When you visit the doctor, it helps to have questions written down ahead of time. You can also ask a family member or friend to go with you to take notes. Print this list of questions and take it with you to your next appointment.
- Am I at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes?
- Do you recommend that I get tested for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes?
- What are the warning signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
- If I’m overweight, how much weight do I need to lose to lower my risk?
- What are some healthy ways to lose weight and keep it off?
- How much physical activity do I need to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes?
- What changes can I make to my diet to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes?
- Do my blood pressure numbers and cholesterol levels increase my risk for type 2 diabetes?
- Can you give me some information about preventing type 2 diabetes to take home with me?
- Can you refer me to a diabetes prevention program nearby?
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