Diabetes Test to Help with Diagnosis

The diabetes test guidelines according to American Diabetes Association should be firmly adhered. They will help not only with the diagnosis but also to help prevent or delay the onset of the disease for catching it early is a key. Here are the guidelines:

  • It should be conducted at age 45 and above and every three years thereafter if the first shows results within normal limits.
  • Consider to have it more frequently and before age 45 for people who are overweight, belong to at-risk group like African-Americans, have delivered a baby over nine pounds, or have had gestational diabetes, have blood pressure above 140/90 mm Hg, HDL cholesterol level less than 35 mg/dL and a triglyceride level more than 250 mg/dL.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal in 1988 published a table showing how to interpret the findings:

What's a Good Hemoglobin (HbA1c) Result?
Non-diabetic Optimal Suboptimal Poor Control
4-6% <7% 7-8.4% >8.4%
<100% <115% 116-140% >140%

The diabetes test result is a little different from the glucose meter result. Here's an example. If the result of the HbA1c test is 9.5%, it is equals to 144 mg/dL (13 mmol/L on the glucose meter). If the result is higher than 8.4%, it means the diabetes is not under control.

Why is early diagnosis important? Well high blood sugar levels are poisonous to beta cells. When the diabetes test shows high level, it means the beta cells stop functioning properly. If this goes on a long time, these beta cells will die.

Once the number of functioning beta cells go down, there's no solution yet as to how to get the number up again. So take the diabetes test because by the time the diagnosis is full-blown diabetes, half of the beta cells are already not functioning.

On the other hand, if the diabetes test reveals a pre diabetes diagnosis, almost 100% of the beta cells are still working which means you can still take action to reverse some of the factors that are making your beta cells not to function properly.

In this situation, you will be able to keep your blood glucose level within normal limits because there's still enough pancreatic function left. The diabetes test will then allow you to correct the situation without having to inject insulin, take medication which might have serious side effects and best of all, without having to go through too much dietary restriction.

The A1C is not the only diabetes test. There are others as well like the fructosamine which calculates the average glucose in the blood over a period of time but shorter. Unlike the first that measures the glucose for three months, this one does the job of getting the average for the past two weeks. Why?

The diabetes test called fructosamine, does not measure the glucose attached to hemoglobin but to other proteins like the albumin. These proteins don't live long like the hemoglobin so its measurement covers only the average over the past two weeks.

This is a lot of information to digest so we will cover more the next day. This way we will have time to absorb the data. Meantime, let's get the show on the road by eating less and moving more. And congratulations for getting this far.

If you want more information about diabetes, please visit: Blogging for Diabetes and You

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