Diabetes Blood Test
Type 2 diabetes tests and diagnosis
A1C test (Glycated hemoglobin): The A1C blood test measures the average blood glucose (sugar) level for the past 2 to 3 months. It indicates the amount of blood glucose attached to the hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is the protein which carries oxygen in our red blood cells. If the blood glucose levels are higher, it means you have more glucose attached hemoglobin.
- On two separate tests, if the A1C glucose level is 6.5 % or higher, it means you have diabetes.
- If the A1C level ranges between 5.7 and 6.4 %, then its pre-diabetes, which means you have a high risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.
- Below 5.7 % are considered as normal levels.
In case you’re not able to get the A1C test done because of certain conditions, for instance, you’re pregnant or you possess a rare hemoglobin form (also called as a hemoglobin variant), which could turn the A1C test erroneous, then your doctor might utilize one of the following tests to diagnose your Type 2 diabetes (the blood glucose units are expressed in mmol/L (millimoles per liter) or mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter):
Random blood glucose test: Your blood samples would be collected at random. A random blood glucose level of 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL), or higher means diabetes, especially along with any of the diabetes symptoms such as excess thirst and frequent passing of urine.
Fasting blood glucose test: Your blood sample would be collected following an overnight fast. A fasting blood glucose level lower than 5.6 mmol/L (100 mg/dL) is considered as normal. The glucose level from 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L (100 to 125 mg/dL) is considered as pre-diabetes. And on two separate tests, in case it’s 7 mmol/L (126 mg/dL) or higher, it means you have diabetes.
OGT test (Oral glucose tolerance): In this type of test, first the fasting blood glucose level is measured after your overnight fast. After that, you have to drink a sugary fluid. And then your blood glucose levels are being tested for the next 2 hours periodically. The blood glucose level lower than 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL) is considered as normal. The level between 7.8 mmol/L and 11.0 mmol/L (140 and 199 mg/dL) is considered as pre-diabetes. The level more than 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL), after 2 hours means you have diabetes.
It is highly recommended to go for routine tests for Type 2 diabetes when you reach the age of 45 (especially for the overweight). In case the test results are normal, then go for the repeat test every 3 years. And in case the test results are showing pre-diabetes, then request your doctor to conduct another test.
The tests are also recommended for those people under 45 who are overweight and who are prone to various diabetes risk factors such as heart disease, inactive lifestyle, a gestational diabetes history, a Type 2 diabetes family history, or high BP (blood pressure).
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