Uncontrolled diabetes can hamper your health badly even before you get to realize the changes that can happen in your body. Diabetes is an illness that needs regular check up and must be controlled as it can affect the blood vessels, nerves, eyes, heart, kidney, brain, feet and almost every organ of your body.
Regular tests are a must to ensure that your high sugar level is not affecting any of those organs and so that it can be closely monitored for a prompt treatment. Laboratory tests are used to detect diabetes and also to monitors the level of blood sugar on an ongoing management. The blood tests done to regularly monitor blood glucose are random blood glucose, fasting blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
Understanding your Blood Tests
Fasting Blood Sugar
This is a common test to calculate your blood sugar when you have been fasting over night and have not eaten for more than 10 hours. The test is perfect early in the morning, blood sample is taken and tested to make sure that your sugar level falls within the normal range.
Glucose level of 7mmol/L or higher indicates diabetes. Normal result would vary between 70-99 (mg/dl) or less than 5.5 mmol/L. If you have symptoms such as tiredness, thirst, need to passing urine quite often or repeated infection then you may undergo this test to detect in case you have diabetes.
Oral Glucose-Tolerance Test (OGTT)
The test is commonly done to detect gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Just like the fasting glucose test you give the sample without eating anything in the morning. Then you are asked to drink a fluid that contains around 75 grams of glucose and the next sample is taken within and hour or two.
You can be asked to take a OGTT if your fasting glucose is between 7mmol/L – 6.1 mmol/L. In case of pregnancy, you will have diabetes if your blood glucose level is 11mmol/L after the reports of sample taken after two hours.
Two-Hour Postprandial Test
This test is done after two hours of eating, usually a fasting blood sugar test is followed by postprandial test where “prandial” stands for meal. Normal result between 70-145 mg/dL or less than 7.9 mmol/L means you are not diabetic.
Random Blood Sugar
If you have any signs of diabetes you can be asked for this test regardless of when you had your meal. It can be done at any hour of the day and any range from 11.1mmol/L or above means you are diabetic. Normal result has to be between 70-125 mg/dL or less than 7.0 mmol/L, for confirmation do take a fasting blood glucose test the next day to confirm the results.
This test is also known as HbA1c that gives your doctor an estimate about your blood sugar level and the control for a period of previous three months. This ensure where the level of blood sugar has moved out of the targeted range or not.
Hemoglobin in present in red blood cells that is needed to transfer oxygen to the tissues, with age glucose molecules stick to hemoglobin so higher glycated level means high blood sugar which can be seen in the form of HbA1c reading. 5% or less means Normal HbA1c and above 7% means poorly controlled diabetes. This test should be done every 3 to 6 months.