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Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often appear suddenly and are often the reason for checking blood sugar levels. Because symptoms of other types of diabetes and prediabetes come more gradually or may not be evident, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended screening guidelines.7 The ADA recommends that the following people be screened for diabetes:
This test measures how much sugar is stuck to your red blood cells, which generally have a lifespan of three months. Therefore, this test gauges how high your blood sugar has been in recent months.
An A1c level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates you have diabetes. A result between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes, which indicates a high risk of developing diabetes. Normal levels are below 5.7 percent.
If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, it's recommended that you have your HbA1c measured at least twice a year. However, you may need to have your HbA1c measured more frequently if:
The HbA1c test can be carried out at any time of day and it doesn't require any special preparation, such as fasting. However, the test can't be used in certain situations, such as during pregnancy.
A blood sample will be taken at a random time. Blood sugar values are expressed in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Regardless of when you last ate, a random blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher suggests diabetes, especially when coupled with any of the signs and symptoms of diabetes, such as frequent urination and extreme thirst.
A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast. A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. If it's 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes.
This blood test is done two hours after you have eaten ("prandial" means meal).
Normal result: 70-145 mg/dL (less than 7.9 mmol/L)
For this test, you fast overnight, and the fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood sugar levels are tested periodically for the next two hours.
A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is normal. A reading of more than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) after two hours indicates diabetes. A reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L and 11.0 mmol/L) indicates prediabetes.
There are other tests you should have to find out about your risk factors for diabetes or the impact of high blood sugar
on your health, including:
• Cholesterol levels
• Lipid profile
• Blood pressure
• Eye exam
• Kidney screening
• Foot health checkups
Getting tested to find out your blood sugar levels will give you the information you need to prevent or control type 2 diabetes
Diagnosing Type 2 diabetes [online]. Accessed on URL: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Diabetes-type2/Pages/Diagnosis.aspx [As accessed on 20th October 2020].
Tests & Diagnosis- Type 2 diabetes [online]. Accessed on URL: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20031902 [As accessed on 20th October 2020].