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Types of Diabetes Tests
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
- Published on :
Wondering whether or not you can tell if you have diabetes? Usually, the early symptoms of diabetes are a result of higher-than-normal glucose levels in your blood. Symptoms such as feeling excessively thirsty, urinating frequently, losing weight without trying, increased appetite, and experiencing a tingling sensation in your hands and feet might indicate diabetes. bold text However, it might take time for the symptoms to develop, and the doctor can detect the conditions in the earlier stages with the help of a diabetes test. The tests help detect different types of diabetes. Before we explore the details of the types of sugar tests, it is important to first understand diabetes.
Diabetes is a health condition wherein the body finds it difficult to either produce enough insulin or has an inability to make use of the produced insulin or a combination of both these. In such a situation, the body cannot obtain sugar from your blood to pass onto the cells, which subsequently results in high blood sugar levels.
Glucose is one of the primary energy sources and is a kind of sugar that is found in your blood. When there is a lack of insulin or any resistance to it, the blood sugar builds up in your blood and causes health problems. There are three main types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes: This is an autoimmune condition wherein the immune system mistakenly destroys the pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin, causing permanent damage. The exact cause of this health condition is unknown, but it can arise from genetic and environmental reasons. However, lifestyle factors don’t play a role.
Type 2 Diabetes: This type of diabetes initiates insulin resistance, wherein the body fails to efficiently make use of the insulin. This causes the pancreas to produce more insulin until it fails to keep up with the requirement, which subsequently results in high blood sugar. While the exact causes for type 2 diabetes also remain unclear, the contributing factors include genetics, sedentary lifestyles, and obesity.
Gestational Diabetes: This type of diabetes happens during pregnancy as a result of insulin-blocking hormones. Gestational diabetes only surfaces during pregnancy and is often seen in individuals with pre-existing diabetes and those with a family history of diabetes. Almost half as many individuals who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
According to a WHO report, as many as 422 million people worldwide have diabetes which makes it all the more important to have health insurance that covers diabetes. A comprehensive health insurance plan will not only cover medical costs that come with diabetes but also covers complications arising from it.
To help plan a budget that includes health insurance for diabetes, individuals can check the cost with the help of a health insurance premium calculator on Tata AIG’s website. Tata AIG is one of the premium insurance providers in India, with a network of more than 7200 hospitals offering cashless services.
List of Diabetes Test
There are different types of diabetes tests that doctors recommend to analyse the health condition of the patient and thereby recommend treatment. Here is a list of tests that patients will be asked to take for diabetes based on the type:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes diagnosis is relatively simpler. However, without treatment, it can lead to very high levels of blood sugar, and it is treatable by injecting insulin. Usually, for type 1 diabetes diagnosis, the doctor will first analyse the symptoms, such as extreme fatigue. Following this, the doctor would recommend type 1 diabetes tests such as:
FPG: A blood test to understand how the body is processing glucose
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test: During this test, the individual is asked to fast and drink a glucose solution, following which a medical professional will measure the blood sugar levels every hour for 2-3 hours.
A1c Test: This test indicates the blood sugar levels for the past three months. However, for individuals with type 1 diabetes, the results might be incorrectly low.
If the results for the above-mentioned tests are inconclusive, the doctor will ask for the following additional tests:
C-peptide: Which is a protein that the pancreas produces along with insulin, and a low level of C-peptide can indicate a low level of insulin.
Autoantibodies: In this type 1 diabetes test, your blood will be tested for autoantibodies to indicate if the body may be attacking itself.
Type 2 Diabetes
There are various types of sugar tests that the doctors will ask for to determine type 2 diabetes. These include:
Haemoglobin Ac1: This is one of the most common type 2 diabetes tests to analyse an individual’s average blood glucose levels over the span of three months. If these levels are higher than 5.7%, it reveals an unusually high amount of glucose over a consistent period.
Fasting Plasma Glucose: In this type 2 diabetes test, the individual is expected to fast for 8 hours and then give a blood sample.
Random Plasma Glucose: This is also a blood test, but the individual need not fast to give the blood sample
The primary difference between type 1 vs type 2 diabetes tests is that the former is an autoimmune reaction that develops in the early stages of life, whereas the latter is related to lifestyle factors and develops much later in life.
There are essentially only two tests to detect gestational diabetes in pregnant women:
Initial Glucose Challenge Test: In the tests performed between the 24th and the 28th week of pregnancy, the to-be mother is required to drink a glucose solution, and an hour later, her blood is tested to measure the glucose level
Oral Glucose Challenge Test: For this test, one is asked to fast for 8 hours, following which she is given the glucose solution. After that, her blood is collected to measure the glucose level every hour for at least two hours.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is a good idea to invest in a good glucometer (a kind of blood sugar monitor) to measure the sugar fluctuations in your body. A diabetes test kit makes it easier to monitor diabetes at home. Usually, a diabetes test kit comprises a device, lancets, a lancing pen, testing strips, batteries, and a case to carry these in.
Mediclaim insurance for individuals diagnosed with diabetes can ensure proper treatment for associated illnesses. The Mediclaim insurance will help meet the hospitalisation expenses, costs for tests, and even the recurring treatment costs.