Why is it important to know how to test for diabetes? Well, diabetes doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can develop it. If you suspect you may have diabetes, get tested as soon as possible. If you don’t treat it, diabetes can cause serious medical problems such as heart attack, stroke and death.
Do I Have Diabetes?
There are risk factors and symptoms you can watch for, but the only way to know for sure if you have diabetes is to take the test. Talk to your doctor about how to test for diabetes if you suffer from a combination of any of the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
- Unusual feelings of fatigue
- Hunger and thirst increases
- Frequent urination
- Seemingly random weight loss
- Sores on the skin that don’t heal
The following risk factors can also increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes:
- Being overweight or obese
- Being over 45 years old
- Family history of diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history of heart disease or stroke
- Low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?
Diabetes, as well as the condition of prediabetes, is diagnosed using one of several tests to measure the levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
In most cases, if glucose levels are high enough to indicate prediabetes or diabetes, there will be a second test to confirm the results. However, a doctor may not perform a second test if results indicate very high glucose in the blood and the patient exhibits classic symptoms of high glucose levels.
How to Test for Diabetes
There are four types of diabetes tests typically used to make a diagnosis:
A1C Test. This diabetes test measures your average blood sugar levels during a period of two to three months. The result is expressed as a percentage, with an A1C below 5.7% considered normal and an A1C over 6.5% indicating diabetes.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test. Doctors measure blood sugar after at least eight hours of fasting. Diabetes is indicated by a result higher than 125 mg/dL.
Random Plasma Glucose Test. Blood sugar levels are tested at a random time, with no pre-test fasting. So, if the results of this test are over 200 mg/dL, the patient is diabetic.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. This test measures the body’s ability to process glucose by testing the patient once after an eight-hour fast and again two hours after drinking a special glucose solution. A final result of more than 200 mg/dL is indicative of diabetes.
If you’d like more information on diabetes or diabetes testing, you’ll find additional resources and information at Hotze Health and Wellness Center. You can browse articles at your own pace or call and speak to a medical professional any time.