In diagnosing diabetes, we rely on clinical assessments and signs from the patient’s body. We use a combination of diabetes tests, enhancing the diagnostic value and allowing a precise determination of the conditions present.
Understanding what the tests entail can allow you to prepare carefully before undertaking them. This article will help you learn more about what is involved when testing for diabetes.
What is the First Sign of Having Diabetes?
To understand the importance of a diabetes test and when to see a specialist, we need to understand what diabetes is and its early signs. Detection is the first stage and the earlier this occurs, the more effective the treatment will be.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder relating to how the body consumes and uses of sugar.
When the pancreas does not produce enough of the hormone insulin or when the body is resistant to insulin (no longer responds to its effects), it leads to a high level of sugar in the blood, causing dangerous complications for the body, especially the cardiovascular system.
Diabetes is a chronic disease for which there is no definitive treatment. Therefore, it is essential to detect the disease early so it can be controlled.
You should go to the hospital to diagnose diabetes when you notice the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision.
- Persistent tiredness.
- Increased appetite.
- Wounds or sores are slow to heal.
When To Check Your Blood Sugar?
If you are one of the following at-risk subjects, you should have regular diabetes checkups:
- People entering middle age, usually 50 years or older.
- People who are not physically active.
- People who are overweight or obese.
- Those with a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- Women who have had gestational diabetes.
Prediabetes is diagnosed when you experience one of the following disorders:
- Impaired fasting glucose (IFG): The fasting plasma glucose index ranges from 100 (5.6 mmol / L) to 125 mg / dL (6.9 mmol / L).
- Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT): The plasma glucose level measured at 2 hours from the 75g oral glucose test is between 140 (7.8 mmol / L) and 199 mg. / dL (11 mmol / L).
- The HbA1c index results ranged from 5.7% (39 mmol/mol) to 6.4% (47 mmol/mol).
Although a glucose disorder is not enough to provide a basis for a diagnosis of diabetes, it does give the implication that you are at risk of developing the disease in the future; this is known as prediabetes.
What Does a Diabetes Test Include?
When in doubt, you should visit a hospital to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition. After examination and depending on the specific case, the doctor will prescribe the most suitable diabetes tests.
These tests provide different types of results and there is some variation in their instructions concerning the timing and preparations required:
1. HbA1c test
In the quantitative HbA1c test, the index reflects the average blood glucose concentration for the past 3 months.
The HbA1c index is the basis for assessing the amount of glucose attached to red blood cells (hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells) in the patient’s blood.
This is also a test prescribed by doctors to diagnose and monitor the effectiveness of treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes.
These tests are not available everywhere, only international standard testing centers can guarantee the most accurate results.
The normal value of HbA1c is lower than 5.7%. But as blood sugar levels rise, so do the corresponding risks:
- HbA1c levels ranging from 5.7–6.4% indicate prediabetes.
- HbA1c levels ranging from 6.5% or more indicate that the patient has diabetes.
2. Random blood sugar test
As the name implies, a random blood glucose test is a test taken at a random time through a patient’s blood sample, this is unrelated to the patient’s meals.
A random blood sugar equal to or higher than 200 mg / dL (11.1 mmol/L) indicates the patient has diabetes.
3. Fasting glucose plasma test
How much fasting does a diabetes test require? For a fasting blood glucose test, blood glucose should be measured when the patient has fasted for at least 8 hours.
Before testing, patients should know ahead of time what matters to consider. The ideal time to conduct the test is early in the morning, before the patient has eaten, because at this time, for healthy people, blood glucose levels will decrease when the body does not receive enough external energy.
If the resulting glucose concentration increases at this time, it also means that there is a glucose metabolism disorder occurring in the patient’s body.
The results of the glycemic index will fall into one of the following cases:
- Fasting blood sugar <100mg / dL (5.6 mmol / L): normal.
- A fasting blood glucose level between 100 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL (5.6–6.9 mmol/L): This person has prediabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. It may require a second test to confirm the results.
- Fasting blood glucose level> = 126mg / dL (7 mmol/L): This person has diabetes.
4. Oral glucose tolerance test
Patients should also fast overnight for the oral glucose tolerance test, so that fasting blood sugar is measured accurately.
During the test, the doctor measures the patient’s blood sugar. Next, the doctor will give you a drink of sugar, usually about 200mL of water mixed with 75g of glucose. Then blood sugar is measured again, 2 hours after consuming the drink.
The results of the diagnosis of an oral glucose tolerance test are as follows:
- Result of glucose concentration <140mg / dL (7.8 mmol / L): Normal.
- Glucose results ranged from 140–199 mg / dL (7.8–11.0 mmol / L): Synonymous with prediabetes.
- Results for glucose concentration> 200 mg / dL (11.1 mmol / L): Indicates that the patient has diabetes.
5. Get a diabetes test through a urine sample
Usually, a doctor will not prescribe a urine test to diagnose diabetes. However, if they suspect the patient has type 1 diabetes they may use this method.
Ketone production arises when energy is taken from adipose (body fat) tissue instead of sugar in the blood. If this test finds a large number of ketones in the urine, it suggests that the body is producing too much and is not making enough insulin.
6. Get tested for gestational diabetes mellitus
Gestational diabetes is a possibility during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant mothers should not wait for signs of the disease to appear before seeking consultation. A doctor will assess your risk factors for diabetes as follows:
If a person is at moderate risk of gestational diabetes and has a high sugar urine test, they should screen for gestational diabetes between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy.
If a person is at risk of gestational diabetes, due to a family history of diabetes, being overweight or obese during pregnancy, or has had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, their doctor should check for diabetes every day from their first prenatal visit.
Where is Diabetes Tested and What does it Cost?
A diabetes test usually takes place after a blood sample is collected, it is then immediately sent to a testing center for analysis. The turnaround time for results can be as fast as 24 hours. But this depends on where the test is taken, so it can take up to a few days.
It is difficult to say what the cost of a diabetes test is. Because each testing center and hospital has a different technical machine and a team of specialized doctors, so there are differences in price.
In addition, this price depends on the initial diagnosis process, where the doctor advises and specifies the appropriate tests for each patient. However, you do not need to worry too much because the difference in cost is only a few hundred per test, not too severe when you’re proactively protecting your health and allowing the early detection of diabetes.
So, where in Ho Chi Minh City can you rely on the credibility of a diabetes test? There are many hospitals and testing centers that carry out diabetes testing. You should choose a reputable clinic to ensure the accuracy of the results and get the most specific treatment advice. The addresses you can refer to are as follows:
- Cho Ray Hospital, address: 201B Nguyen Chi Thanh, Ward 12, District 5, HCMC.
- The University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital, address: 215 Hong Bang, Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.
- 115 People’s Hospital, address: 527 Su Van Hanh, Ward 12, District 10, HCMC.
In addition, if you need more advice about preparing for the test, you can call the hotline 19001717 – Diag, to get information, support and quick appointments.
To limit the risk of diabetes, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly and try to lose weight if overweight or obese. If you are at risk of high muscle mass or suspected disease, you should test early at the hospital to determine your condition. Early detection and treatment helps control the disease and protects your health.
The site cannot and does not contain medical advice. The medical information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions based on this information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals.