Metabolic Health

How to Test For Diabetes

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Like other components that make up your blood, sugar levels can affect the functioning of your body adversely. The primary cause of concern for all diabetics is stabilizing their blood sugar levels. Failing to do so can result in weakness, vomiting, and in extreme cases organ failure. That is one of the main reasons If you are wondering why one should undergo regular tests, there are plenty of reasons.

Diabetics are often prescribed medication to manage their blood sugar levels. A lot of people have other illnesses along with diabetes such as coronary issues and high cholesterol levels. A lot of people believe in a strict regime of diet and exercise. The tests for diabetes can determine the effect of all the above-mentioned factors on blood sugar levels and chart a course that works best for maintaining good health. If you are thinking about how to get tested for diabetes, here are a few pointers to help you out. 

Who should undergo Diabetes Testing?

There are multiple causes of diabetes. Some of them are genetic, age, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, PCOS, race, and so on. If there is diabetes in your family history, it is wise to keep tabs on your blood work as well. Certain ethnicities are more susceptible to diabetes than others and should keep an eye on the symptoms that may show. 

The common signs of diabetes are:

  1. Having blurry vision
  2. Higher frequency of urinating
  3. Losing weight without trying
  4. Having numb or tingling extremities
  5. Feeling tired
  6. Having dry skin
  7. Slow healing sores, 
  8. Prone to more infections than normal,
  9. Higher thirst and hunger levels than usual. 

Constant pain in the soles of feet, legs, arms, and other body parts are also signs of abnormal sugar levels. Let us look at what is the test for diabetes for a particular type of diabetes. 

How & When to Test for Diabetes

Doctors recommend getting the tests done periodically. If you are wondering how to test for diabetes multiple times, you can test your sugar at home with a portable device as well. If you are using this device, there are a few things you should keep in mind to avoid false results. Check your sugar multiple times a day to ascertain the average as the levels change frequently owing to your meal timings and medications. 

Ensure that your device is of good quality and is properly calibrated. The needle should be firmly fixed and the machine should not glitch while using it. Ensure your machine, as well as your hands, are clean and completely dry. There is a list of approved diabetes tests that can help you understand the implications of blood sugar fluctuations and the levels. 

Tests for Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, Prediabetes & Gestational Diabetes

There are particular tests meant to identify where you stand on the diabetic spectrum. Let us take a look at these tests and what they are. Let us first take a look at tests for Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Prediabetes.

1. HbA1C Test

A1C is a blood sugar test that determines your average blood sugar over the past 3 months. It is one of the most important tests used to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes. When sugar enters your body, it gets attached to hemoglobin. A1C is the measure of the percentage of sugar attached to each red blood cell or hemoglobin. AN A1C below 5.7% is considered normal. Anything between 5.7% to 6.4% is prediabetes and above 6.4% is a clear indication of diabetes.

2. Fasting Blood Sugar Test

A lot of times, you may have observed that diabetic patients are asked to fast a night before they are to give blood samples. Generally, the patients are required to fast overnight so that the timings for their meals are not disturbed. A blood sugar level of 99 mg/dL or lower is normal. 100 to 125 mg/dL is a sign of prediabetes and 126 mg/dL or higher shows that you have diabetes. 

Fasting blood sugar test is prescribed by doctors to check for diabetes as well as to monitor sugar levels. They give your medical team a clear idea of what needs to be the further plan of action and give you an idea of what you can do to control your blood sugar levels.

Apart from these types of diabetes which can occur at any time during the span of life, there is another type called gestational diabetes. This occurs only when one is pregnant. The body goes through a lot of hormonal and physical changes. Since there is significant weight gain, the amount of insulin required increases however your pancreas can create only a certain level.

Many women suffer from gestational diabetes during the course of their pregnancy. Unfortunately, this type of diabetes does not have any symptoms. Gestational diabetes can lead to high blood pressure and a bigger baby that might lead to a C-section. The only way to know is to get yourself tested. Here are the tests that can help determine whether you have gestational diabetes or not.

3. Glucose Tolerance Test

This test is conducted by introducing measured quantities of glucose in the body and checking for absorption and assimilation of sugar, based on consecutive tests. You are asked to fast overnight. Once you go for your test, you are given a glucose liquid. Your blood is drawn after an hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, and so on. This gives an idea of the active functioning of the body and response to introduced glucose. 

4. Glucose Screening Test

The objective of this test is quite clear in the name. You are asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose and the blood sample is taken an hour later. This gives an idea of your blood sugar levels while you are being tested. The result is said to be normal if it is 140 mg/dL or lower. If it is higher, you are then recommended to take a glucose tolerance test. 

Constant vigilance is the only way to beat diabetes and become a part of the solution. You may follow a healthy lifestyle and an ideal routine, but testing will give you a clear picture of how it affects your body and how much more you need to do to attain the level of sugar that is desirable. Testing from time to time, especially for gestational diabetes, ensures you catch it before it is irreversible and before it does any actual damage to other bodily functions. The risks of not getting tested are too high. Like it is said, better to be safe than sorry. Reversing diabetes takes a lot of effort and discipline and the other health issues that come attached to it are worrisome as well. That is why getting tested is the best way to find the perfect balance and a suitable lifestyle for yourself. 

Book a Free Session

Bottomline

Diabetes can pop up unannounced when you least expect it. What if you could stop the arrival and change the course of your lifestyle before it is too late? Getting tested for diabetes before you have the symptoms is one way of staying ahead and ensuring you arrest this development in its nascent stage. Here are the tests commonly recommended by doctors to determine whether you have diabetes and what your blood sugar level is. 

Back to Top

1-on-1 call with our health counsellor