Diabetes if remains undetected for a long time can lead to serious damages in the nerves and blood vessels. In India, more than 77 million people  above the age of 18 years are suffering from diabetes (type 2) while nearly 25 million are at a higher risk of developing diabetes in near future. More than 50% of the population are unaware of the diabetic status , which leads to serious health complications, if not treated early.
So, if you are genetically predisposed to diabetes, doctors recommend routine health checkups to foster early detection. Your doctor can detect early stages of diabetes by performing different types of blood sugar tests. These tests can detect different types of blood sugar, including type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Diabetes or high blood sugar levels is a chronic condition and it may take time for the symptoms to appear. However, in many cases, signs may show up as:
- Constant thirst,
- Excessive urination
- Sudden weight gain or loss
- Urinating a lot, often at night
- Excessive hunger
- Blurry vision
- Tingling hands or feet.
- Having dry skin.
Many people with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes may not have signs in the early stages, so it is best to check yourself for the different types of diabetes tests.
Different Types of Blood Sugar Tests
There are various types of sugar tests that can assess glucose levels in the body. These tests include FPG, Oral glucose tolerance test, Hemoglobin A1c, and more. Each test provides valuable insights into an individual's blood sugar control and helps diagnose and manage conditions like diabetes. If a doctor suspects diabetes, he may suggest following types of blood test packages
The key types of blood test for sugar include:
FPG (Fasting Plasma Glucose)
Through fasting plasma glucose tests, the doctor will measure blood glucose level and diabetes. You will be asked to be on the fast or not to eat or drink for 8 to 12 hours before the test. The result of the tests suggests how well the body is processing glucose.
- Normal: 99 mg/dl or under
- Prediabetes: 100–125 mg/dl
- Diabetes: 126 mg/dl or higher
OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test)
Your doctor will draw blood once before breakfast , then ask you to drink a solution that contains glucose in this types of sugar test. Then again a sample of blood is taken at every 30 to 60-minute interval to see how your body is processing this glucose.
A glucose tolerance test measures how your body responds to excess glucose. While it’s commonly done to diagnose Type 2 diabetes, a modified version is used to test for gestational diabetes in pregnant women. According to the Americans Diabetes Association, people over the age of 45 should get type 2 diabetes blood tests done every three years. You can talk to our doctors if you’re at the risk of diabetes and discuss how to get the various types of blood sugar test done.
- Normal: 140 mg/dL
- Prediabetes: 140-199 mg/dL
- Diabetes: 200 mg/dL and above
A1C (Hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test)
This type of diabetes testing is an average of blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. Through this type 2 diabetes blood test your healthcare will measure how much sugar is attached to your RBCs. HbA1C Test can be commonly used to detect both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, as well as for monitoring blood sugar levels in diabetics.
- Normal: less than 5.7%
- Prediabetes: 5.7–6.4%
- Diabetes: 6.5% and above
RBS (Random Blood Sugar Test)
A random blood sugar test is done to measure blood sugar levels at any time of the day. It does not require you to fast. It can be done at healthcare’s disposal or a lab test at-home. A lab technician will collect a blood sample, the results of which will be available to you on the same day. You can also choose to do it at your home with a kit, specifically consisting of a glucometer. This is a diabetes test advanced for prediabetes.
- Normal: less than 200 mg/dL
- Diabetes: 200 mg/dL and above
PPBS Test (Post Prandial Blood Sugar Test)
Post Prandial Blood Sugar Test measures blood sugar levels two hours after taking food or a glucose solution. This test assists healthcare providers in determining how well the body regulates glucose levels and can provide vital information for diabetes diagnosis and management.
Following a meal, the body converts carbs to glucose, which is subsequently taken into the bloodstream. In those who do not have diabetes, the body produces insulin to assist in the movement of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, where it is used for energy. This process, however, is hindered in diabetics, resulting in high blood sugar levels.
The PPBS test is especially beneficial for monitoring blood sugar control and assessing the efficacy of diabetic treatment. By checking blood sugar levels two hours after eating, healthcare experts can establish how well the body is responding to the food and whether medication or lifestyle changes are required.
- Normal: Less than 140 mg/dL
- Prediabetes: 140-199 mg/dL
- Diabetes: 200 mg/dL or higher
If the blood tests do not conclude anything, your healthcare may order any of the following tests:
This protein is secreted by pancreas along with insulin. Inadequate levels of C-peptide in the blood also indicates low insulin.
Glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies:
The purpose of this diabetes test basic is to check for antibodies that can destroy enzymes in insulin-producing cells.
This is yet another test to check for proteins that have the ability to destroy insulin.
Insulinoma-associated 2 autoantibodies:
If your blood has these antibodies, it may indicate that the body is not able to generate cells that produce insulin.
Islet cell cytoplasmic autoantibodies:
These antibodies are associated with type 1 diabetes. More than 80% of people with these antibodies have type 1 diabetes or vice versa.
Zinc transport 8:
The test checks for the antibodies called zinc transport 8 that may kill insulin-producing beta cells.
Based on these advanced tests, your doctor may understand the potential cause of diabetes and suggest necessary lifestyle changes. He may also order a urine test to detect high sugar levels. Urine tests are mostly recommended to diabetic, so this is not the most sensitive test for diabetes. Other tests may include Cholesterol test and kidney function test as with high blood sugar levels, your kidney may be at the risk of damage.
Opting for the appropriate among the different types of blood sugar test can help you manage your diabetes symptoms effectively.
A Note From HealthcareOnTime
Understanding the various types of sugar test is vital in the early detection and management of diabetes. With more than 77 million people in India alone suffering from diabetes and an alarming percentage being unaware of their diabetic status, routine health checkups that encompass these tests become crucial.
Diabetes is a silent predator, often showing minimal or no symptoms in its early stages. The signs and symptoms may be subtle, such as constant thirst, excessive urination, or unexplained weight changes. Many individuals, especially those with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes, may not exhibit these signs early on. Therefore, relying on the different types of diabetes tests is essential.
Opting for the right blood sugar test is not only essential for diagnosis but also for effective symptom management. By knowing your blood sugar status, you can make informed decisions about your lifestyle, diet, and medication, all of which are critical aspects of living well with diabetes.
Don't become a part of the statistic of those who remain unaware of their diabetic status. Embrace the knowledge of the types of diabetes tests available and make them a part of your regular healthcare routine. Early detection can pave the way for early intervention, ensuring that you lead a healthier, happier life. So, if you are genetically predisposed to diabetes, make that appointment with your healthcare provider and discuss which of the different types of blood sugar tests are most suitable for you.
The information listed here is strictly for educational purposes and is not intended to offer personal medical advice. Do consult your physician for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. It’s not advised to disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information listed here. The Nutrition Source does not recommend or endorse any products.