Friday, 22 October, 2021

Diabetes: what are the tests to diagnose it?

What are the 3P’s of diabetes

Diabetes is characterized by a fasting blood sugar level greater than or equal to 1.26 g / l, checked twice. There are several tests to detect or monitor diabetes.

Each year, twenty million blood sugar tests are performed in France. The main objective of this examination is to detect prediabetes or even diabetes. Medically prescribed in the monitoring of pregnancy or the onset of severe fatigue, it is also carried out in many other circumstances: anesthesia checkup, health checkup, contraceptive checkup, emergency room … But there are other types investigations.

The gold standard test in a medical laboratory is a blood test measuring blood sugar or blood sugar level, which varies according to food intake. Its regulation involves the pancreatic hormones, insulin and glucagon, and is indicative of the good health of various organs (liver, kidneys and pancreas).

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Blood sugar greater than 1.26 g / l
“It is considered that there is presence of diabetes if the blood sugar is greater than or equal to 1.26 g / l on an empty stomach and greater than or equal to 2 g / l after a meal (postprandial glycemia)”, explains Prof. Jean- Jacques Altman, endocrinologist and head of the diabetology service at the Georges Pompidou European hospital, in Paris. In theory, it takes two measurements taken in a row to confirm the result. Blood glucose testing is recommended from the age of 45 and in the presence of risk factors, including a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and / or if there is a history of diabetes in the family.

Glycosuria: look for albumin and sugar in the urine
The test for glycosuria, which looks for albumin and sugar in the urine, is also helpful in detecting diabetes. “Quick, simple and inexpensive, it is mainly practiced by occupational medicine and as part of health check-ups. On the other hand, it is a little less reliable, since it is necessary to have at least 1.80 g / l in the blood for the strip to be positive “, comments Jean-Jacques Altman.

A test to detect gestational diabetes
The latest marker of diabetes is oral hyperglycemia (OGTT). This test is only done to detect gestational diabetes in pregnant women between 24 and 28 weeks gestation. The test involves absorbing 75 g of glucose before testing blood sugar in the medical laboratory several times over three hours. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed if a single measurement is greater than or equal to the thresholds defined by the World Health Organization (WHO): 0.92 g / l on an empty stomach, 1.80 g / l one hour after absorption of glucose and 1.53 g / l two hours later.

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Capillary blood glucose to measure blood sugar daily
Capillary glycemia, well known to diabetics, consist in taking a droplet of blood at the tip of the finger to then have it analyzed by a device (glucometer) which interprets the sugar level at a given time T. They are sometimes carried out during campaigns of diabetes screening. “A massively high result is not misleading. But that is not enough and this examination must be verified by a blood test ”, specifies Pr Altman. Indispensable for people with diabetes, capillary glycemia can be used to measure blood sugar levels daily (before and after meals) and to adapt the treatment accordingly. Patients can read and interpret their results on their own.

Glycated hemoglobin: a test to monitor the progress of your diabetes
Finally, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) indicates the reflection of blood sugar levels over the past three months. The test is prescribed for diabetics to monitor the progress of their diabetes, but is not officially recognized as a marker for the condition. The normal value is between 4% and 6%, the goal for a diabetic being to be below 7%. Because the higher the blood sugar, the more glucose is attached to the red blood cells.

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