Diabetes: Which test to take up when?
Diabetes, a disorder in the body because of an unhealthy lifestyle, genetics, or the improper functioning of the immune (defense) system. Diabetes causes a rise in glucose (sugar) levels, resulting in adverse effects. These abnormally high levels of glucose are checked by various tests.
Which tests to choose and why?
1. HbA1c test:
Most widely used test that can diagnose and monitor diabetes.
- Since there is high amount of glucose in the blood in diabetic patients, most of it attaches to hemoglobin molecule of red blood cells (RBC) present in blood.
- The levels of this marker rise significantly with the onset of diabetes and HbA1C test senses this rise. Patient’s glucose levels for the last 3 months can also be detected.
- HbA1c is advantageous for pre-diabetic patients and hence early word of caution could be given to them.
2. Fructosamine test:
This test works on different principles when compared to the HbA1c test.
- Here the glucose moiety attaches to a protein known as albumin.
- The reaction proceeds further giving rise to Fructosamine; the marker that is detected here.
- Changes in blood glucose sugar level are detected faster by this test, and gives us the record of past 21 days.
- Particularly useful for anemic patients, elderly people and pregnant woman.
3. Blood Glucose test:
A basic test that aids in knowing the current sugar levels.
- Fasting blood sugar tests are done, in which patients are told not eat anything for 8 hours prior to testing.
- Also, postprandial testing is done, 2 hours after a meal to assess the action of insulin.
- Random blood sugar test can be done at time of the day to reveal the blood sugar levels at that point.
- These tests are more so useful for monitoring purposes and to check the efficiency of drugs that control diabetes.
4. Insulin Test:
Unlike the other tests mentioned above, this test measures insulin level and not glucose level.
- Insulin is a hormone required by the body to use glucose.
- During diabetic conditions insulin secretion by cells of pancreas become low or is stopped completely.
- So, this test will help in understanding the functioning of pancreatic cells and our body’s response to insulin.
Different merits yet similar results
With the merits of each technique exhibiting different roles and results, all these tests are fairly unique and provide specific information. So with the onus on patient history and medical condition the right testis prescribed by your medical practitioner to look for the ideal result.