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What Signs Does a Diabetes Check Look For?
A doctor might recommend a diabetes check if they suspect that you have the condition. Diabetes is a family of diseases that hinders how the body uses sugar in the blood (glucose). Glucose is essential for health because it fuels the cells that make up a person’s tissues and muscles. It also serves as a source of fuel for the brain.
There are various causes of diabetes, leading to different forms of the disease. However, all types of diabetes lead to excess sugar in the blood, which can lead to a multitude of health issues.
What to expect when getting a diabetes check
A diabetes check can be used to diagnose the chronic forms of the disease: type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes and prediabetes are reversible forms of the disease. The latter occurs when a person’s blood sugar is higher than it should be but is not high enough to count as diabetes. Prediabetes is typically a precursor to the chronic form unless appropriate steps are taken to reverse its progression. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, and it can go away on its own once the baby has been delivered.
The signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes can occur suddenly, and they often prompt blood sugar tests. Symptoms of other types of diabetes tend to develop more gradually over time, so it might take a while before they are noticed. Things that can prompt a doctor to recommend a diabetes test include:
- Having a body mass index (BMI) that is higher than 25, particularly when it is accompanied by other risk factors like abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, or heart disease
- Anyone older than 45
- History of gestational diabetes
- Prediabetes diagnosis
Tests that a doctor might use to detect diabetes include the following.
Glycated hemoglobin test
These tests are used to estimate a patient’s blood sugar level for up to three months. They measure the percentage of blood sugar in the person’s hemoglobin. The higher a person’s blood sugar, the higher the concentration of sugar in their red blood cells will be.
Random sugar test
This involves taking a random blood sample to evaluate the patient’s blood sugar. Anything more than 11.1 mmol/L typically indicates that a patient has diabetes.
Fasting sugar test
This involves taking a blood sample after an overnight fast. Having blood sugar levels of more than 6.9 mmol/L after a fasting period is often a sign that a patient has diabetes.
Oral glucose tolerance test
This approach involves using a blood sugar test after a fasting period. The patient is given a glucose drink, and their blood sugar is tested periodically over the next couple of hours.
A urine test might be performed if a doctor suspects that a patient has type 1 diabetes. Tests are performed to look for ketones in the patient’s urine to determine if their body is using fat and muscle for energy instead of glucose.
Early detection goes a long way
Prediabetes can be managed, and early detection makes managing type 1 and 2 diabetes easier. Call or visit our Fairfax clinic to set up an appointment for diabetic screening.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Diabetes Check in Fairfax, VA.
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