We think that blood glucose tests for diabetes are a priority only for people with diabetes. Far from that, all latest findings suggest otherwise. Including four crucial blood glucose tests for diabetes in your regular health check-up can help you avoid a lifetime of trouble.
Let us see what these tests are, why they need to be done, and the best way to go about! First, here are a few findings by The Lancet & the International Diabetes Federation.
- 8.8% of adult Indians currently have diabetes. That equals to a number of 72,946,400!
- This number is likely to double in the next 10 years and by 2045, 151 million people would have diabetes
- 10.3% of the adult population in India already has prediabetes and they would eventually be diagnosed with diabetes
- Younger people are also getting diabetes at a higher rate
- Obesity, which is one of the major risk factors for diabetes, has increased by 20.4% in the last decade
- It is said that for every 100 people in India who are overweight, 38 of them will eventually have diabetes
- Other risk factors like poor dietary choices, use of tobacco & alcohol, and low physical activity are also very high in India
- The incidence of diabetes is highest in developed states like Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana, & Uttarakhand.
- Finally, other states are also close by as the number of people diagnosed by diabetes is increasing.
As we are heading towards development, we are prone to poor dietary choices, untimely eating, lack of physical exercise, and a host of other poor lifestyle choices that can lead to numerous health complications. That is why there are more and more cases of type 2 diabetes, heart problems, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes complications. It is for this reason that each one of us has to go for these crucial blood glucose tests for diabetes.
Blood Glucose tests for diabetes
Here are 4 crucial tests that both people with diabetes and non-diabetic people benefit from.
- Random Blood Glucose Test
- Fasting Blood Glucose Test
- Postprandial Blood Glucose Test
- HbA1c Test
Let us see what these tests are, where you can get blood tests for diabetes, and why they are very important to you!
What you need to know about blood tests for diabetes?
- All the above mentioned tests can be done at a diagnostic center, or via home sample collection
- For home sample collection, search the internet with “Diabetes blood test near me” to get a list of service providers
- Choose a diagnostic facility that is NABL accredited and has been recognized for its quality standards
- For random blood glucose test, blood sample can be given at any time of the day and there is no need for fasting
- For fasting blood glucose test, a fasting period of 8 hours is required. In this period, one shouldn’t eat or drink anything except for water
- Blood sample for postprandial blood glucose test is taken 2 hours after consuming food
- HbA1c test does not need any fasting and sample can be given at any time of the day
- One can also get their fasting and postprandial tests done at home using a diabetes blood sugar test kit. This includes a glucometer, a lancet, and test strips.
What is random blood glucose test?
This is among the first blood glucose tests for diabetes. This test is done to screen people for diabetes. If the test results are beyond range, then further diagnostic tests are advised. This test is called a random blood glucose test because the blood sample can be collected at any time irrespective of being on a fast or having had food.
This test determines the amount of blood glucose present in a person and a level of 200 mg/dL or above is indicative of diabetes.
Why is random blood glucose test important?
- A random blood glucose test is a clear indicator of the actions of insulin and the body’s use of glucose, which is a main source of energy
- Random blood glucose test is an important tool to detect prediabetes and diabetes
- This test is also important for people with diabetes as it is an indicator of a person’s diabetes control
- It helps people with diabetes detect the occurrence of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) and avoid it
- If random blood sugar is high, then they can coordinate with their diabetes doctors for a change in the diabetes medication
- They are also important for people with diabetes during times when they are ill as fever, infections, and other ailments tends to increase blood sugar levels
- They predict if a person is having undue fluctuations
How is a random blood glucose test done?
- A random blood glucose test can be done at home with the help of a glucometer, or at a diagnostic facility
- To do this test in a diagnostic facility, venous blood is drawn and tested
- For home testing, capillary blood from the tip of a finger is drawn
What is the range of a random blood glucose test?
- A random blood glucose level of 200 mg/dL or more is a blood test reading for diabetes
- Random blood glucose level of 140 mg/dL indicates prediabetes
- People with random blood glucose level above 110 mg/dL should get themselves tested periodically so that they can detect prediabetes and diabetes early on
What is Fasting Blood Glucose Test?
A fasting blood glucose test is a blood glucose test for diabetes. It is done after the participant is on an 8-hour fast. This test indicates the presence of prediabetes and diabetes and is often accompanied by a postprandial blood glucose test. This test is ideally done early in the morning as people fast overnight.
How to prepare for a fasting blood glucose test?
To get a fasting blood glucose test, a person should not eat or drink anything except water for a period of 8 hours. It is important to tell the doctor regarding the medications used currently and the presence of any preexisting disease as they tend to influence the test results. With a change in dosage before the test, correct results can be obtained.
How is a fasting blood glucose test done?
Fasting blood glucose test is done by drawing venous blood. After drawing the blood sample, it is sent for testing and the participant can consume food.
What is the importance of fasting blood glucose test?
- This test indicates the functioning of insulin in the body
- It determines the presence of prediabetes and diabetes
- This test determines the efficacy of diabetes medication in people with diabetes
- It indicates the development of any diabetes complications
What do test results mean?
- A fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dL and above is a blood test reading for diabetes
- Fasting blood glucose level between 100 to 126 mg/dL indicates prediabetes
- Fasting blood glucose level between 70 to 99 mg/dL indicates normal range
- Fasting blood glucose level below 70 mg/dL indicates low blood sugar levels
What is Postprandial Blood Glucose Test?
A postprandial blood glucose test is generally done in conjunction with a fasting blood glucose test. This test is done two hours after consuming food. This test is done to determine the amount of glucose present in the bloodstream after a meal.
How is a postprandial blood glucose test done?
A postprandial blood glucose test is done by drawing venous blood. This sample is then sent for testing. This test is done after a two-hour time period after consuming food in order to measure the impact of insulin on the absorption of glucose by the body.
Why is postprandial blood glucose test important?
Postprandial blood glucose is an important test in diabetes treatment. It:
- Determines how efficiently the body is able to absorb glucose
- Shows how well a person’s diabetes medication is working
- Postprandial blood glucose level is an important predictor of heart problems and cardiovascular diseases
- High postprandial blood glucose is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease
- It is useful in people with type 1 diabetes in order to determine the exact dosage of insulin
What do test results mean?
- Postprandial blood glucose level of 200 mg/dL or more is a blood test reading for diabetes
- Postprandial blood glucose level between 140 to 200 mg/dL is an indicator of prediabetes
- Postprandial blood glucose level below 140 mg/dL is normal
What is HbA1c test?
HbA1c test is a very important test for people with diabetes. This test is done to measure the concentration of blood glucose over the lifespan of a red blood cell, which is roughly 120 days. Hemoglobin is the part of a red blood cell that carries oxygen to the body and the average amount of glucose attached to it in a span of 120 days is measured in an HbA1c test.
How is an HbA1c test done?
Since this test does not require any fasting, an HbA1c test can be done at any time of the day. Venous blood is drawn from the arm and then the sample is sent for testing.
Why is an HbA1c test important?
- The level of HbA1c is a definitive diagnostic tool for diabetes
- HbA1c values give a clear picture of how a person’s blood sugar levels behave over a period of time
- It is a clear indicator of the risks of diabetes complications
- HbA1c level is used to determine the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes
- It indicates the efficiency of diabetes medications used
- HbA1c targets are set in diabetes management as reducing high HbA1c reduces the risk of many diseases
What do test results mean?
- HbA1c level of 6.5% or more is a blood test reading for diabetes
- HbA1c level between 5.7 to 6.4% is an indicator of prediabetes
- HbA1c below 5.7% is normal