Diabetes is mostly detected through blood tests or urine tests. However, symptoms like excessive urine, unusual thirst, slow healing of wounds may appear.
Diabetes can be detected through various examinations. A physician may suggest any of these tests to diagnose the disease in order to measure the level of glucose in the blood.
Ketones are substances which form in the absence of sufficient insulin into the pancreas. These tests are suggested to measure the presence of ketones.
Ketones are acidic in nature and the excessive presence of ketones in the blood or overflow into the urine may lead to complications and may require further investigations.
The most commonly tests done for diagnosing diabetes is urine tests. Urine tests helps in providing valuable information about the state of the body.
Semiquantatative urine tests
For the tests, a very small quantity of urine is required and it can be done within a very short period of time. This test is done with a chemically created paper or a plastic strip that changes the color according to the presence of sugar level in the urine. These plastic strips are available at most of the chemist stores. This test is done by dipping a strip in the urine and removed immediately. If the color of the strip appears to be dark blue, it indicates a higher presence of sugar level in urine.
In certain cases, the medicines, aspirin and vitamin c interfere in the proper reading of the strip. In such case, the physician enquiry about the medicine taken by the patient in order to diagnose the condition properly.
Quantitative Measurement in a Timed Sample urine Test
This test is followed up by the semi quantitative test if the previous test shows high or low readings of sugar level in the urine. In this test, a urine sample is collected over a predetermined time of 24hrs is tested to measure the level of sugar. The first merit of this kind of test is that the diagnosis appears to be more exact rather than the range of ketones and glucose is measured. The second merit of this kind of test is that the presence of chemicals and medications that was found in the semi quantitative tests is eliminated.
Though urine tests are used to measure diabetes, it appears harder to diagonise the disease confirmly and accurately than the blood tests. The level of sugar in the blood and urine may differ from one person to another. A person without sugar in the urine may also seem to have blood sugar.
This test is done to measure the level of sugar in the blood.
Finger-Prick Blood sugar screening
This test is a very quick single –step process. This is done by collection of a single drop of blood from a tiny prick on the finger-tip. This blood sample is placed on a chemically coated paper just like the semi-quantitative urine test process. Here, just an eye readable strip is not enough for the test, as it may not provide an accurate idea of the presence of the blood sugar level. In this case, the strip is examined through a small machine that reads the blood sugar level.
This type of test seems to be more fast, easy and inexpensive. Hence , it is done free-of -cost at many health fairs and camps. Some patients use auto lancer to minimize sore fingers after the finger prick blood sugar screening.
Random Blood Sugar Test
This test is considered as a part of several laboratory test of a routine or regular physical examination.
For this test, a small sample of blood is collected from the vein. The blood sugar level should be below 180 mg/dL if the test is done after food.
Glucose Tolerance Test
This test is done early in the morning without breakfast or any kind of food intake. This test is done after an interval of 8 to 10 hours between the last meals. The blood sample reflects the fasting glucose level in the blood.
The next test is done after the consumption of a soft drink or beverage with higher sugar content of 75g or atleast three times sweeter than a normal soft drink. After this, for the next three hours, blood samples are collected hourly to measure the glucose level. In case of diabetic patients, the body becomes unable to store the glucose and the level of blood glucose seems to be higher. Diabetes is confirmed if the blood sugar level at the 2- hour blood test is 180 mg/dL or above. The condition may be termed as impaired glucose tolerance or borderline diabetes, if the blood sugar at the 2 hour test is between 120-150mg/dL. If a person with impaired glucose tolerance have high blood glucose level after meals and their fasting level is within the normal range, they might not be diabetic but is more likely to develop diabetes in the future.
The Glucose Tolerance Test is done in good health without any illness or cold. It should be done even under the application of any medications or chemical process that may affect blood sugar level. This test is done during periods of dietary restrictions without a three day period of normal food consumption.
Glycated Hemoglobin Test
The glycoted hemoglobin test is also known as hemoglobin A –LC test. This test is done to measure the average level of blood sugar in the past 2-3 months.
The uncommon characteristic of this type of test is that it is not done to measure the blood sugar only at a point of time.
The presence of sugar level in the blood shows that red cells in the blood are exposed to glucose and some sugar remains attached to hemoglobin in the red cells for the entire cell life of 2-3 months is called glycated hemoglobin. The glycated hemoglobin indicates the presence of sugar in the blood.
This test is done by drawing blood from a vein in the arm to measure the level of sugar or examine the level of glycated hemoglobin level. The glycated hemoglobin indicates the risk of developing diabetes in the near future and its related complications.