Diagnostic Tests for Type 2 Diabetes
Doctors will likely use more than one screening test to confirm a diagnosis for type 2 diabetes. The available diagnostic tests are:
HbA1C, also called glycated hemoglobin screening, measures your average blood glucose level for the past 3 months. More specifically, it checks the amount of glucose attached to the hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of the red blood cell. A hemoglobin has a lifespan of roughly 120 days or 3 months.
What happens during the test?
You don’t need to prepare anything for the test; there’s also no need for fasting. A healthcare practitioner will draw a blood sample from your arm and then check it for the average blood sugar level.
How do they diagnose type 2 diabetes using HbA1C?
The result of glycated hemoglobin screening comes in percentages:
- An HbA1C of lower than 5.7 percent denotes normal findings.
- A result of 5.7 percent to 6.4 percent indicates prediabetes.
- Finally, an HbA1C of 6.5 percent or higher on 2 separate tests means the person has diabetes.
What else should I know?
The HbA1C results can be inconsistent. Moreover, it’s not an appropriate test for pregnant women and those who have another form of hemoglobin (variants). Lastly, results could be inaccurate if the person being tested has anemia.
Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS)
Many Filipinos are familiar with fasting blood sugar. It’s perhaps the most well-known diagnostic test for type 2 diabetes because it’s straightforward, highly available, and inexpensive. Also called the fasting plasma glucose test, it checks for the blood glucose level at the time of the screening.