Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the level of glucose in the blood is too high as a result of problems with its metabolism. Different health techniques based on measuring blood glucose levels are carried out to diagnose diabetes. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of mortality, according to recent studies. This disease can be triggered by different causes and depending on each one, its prevention and diagnosis will differ. Therefore, in order to properly diagnose diabetes, we must know what type it is and its origin.
Another key player we must know in diabetes, besides glucose, is insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose to be absorbed by the body’s cells to use it as a source of energy. It is produced in the pancreas, an organ located in the abdominal cavity. In some cases, the body is not able to produce enough or any insulin and therefore, the glucose stays in the blood and does not get internalized by the body’s cells. Other times, the body doesn’t make proper use of insulin causing the same scenario. If this situation is prolonged, the excess glucose in blood can lead to diabetes.
Most health professionals often measure levels of plasma glucose on an empty stomach or the A1C test to diagnose diabetes. It is possible that in some cases, professionals may order a random plasma glucose test. This test consists of measuring the concentrations of glucose in the blood at certain times. It is usually done in the morning after fasting for at least 8 hours, this fasting improvise the reliability of the test.
The A1C test, also known as the glycosylated hemoglobin test, involves performing a blood test that indicates the blood glucose levels of the past 3 months. When this technique is used to diagnose diabetes, the doctor must take into account patient factors such as age, presence of anemia or other blood problems.
Pregnant women can be tested for oral glucose tolerance test, overload, or both. These tests help professionals know how the body uses glucose.
Oral glucose tolerance test: this technique measures blood glucose after fasting for at least 8 hours. First, the blood is measured on an empty stomach and then a liquid with glucose is drank. Then, blood tests are performed every hour.
Oral glucose overload test: a blood sample is taken 5 times in a span of 3 hours after having taken a sweet liquid containing glucose. If the glucose level is 135 to 140, it is possible that the test has to be repeated on an empty stomach.
Some main symptoms that are present when suffering from diabetes are: frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, weight loss, increased hunger, blurry vision and slow healing of wounds or infections. If you notice any of these signs, it is better to consult your doctor or specialist so he can perform the test mentioned above.