Diabetes Screenings for Adults

Testing for diabetes can prevent further health complications such as premature death, but it can also protect fetuses.

Diabetes screenings can also help identify pre-diabetes which can prevent it from going into type 2 diabetes. There are several steps to take once an individual is diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Some examples would be losing weight, eating healthier and incorporating an exercise routine.

There are several different testing methods that your physician can use that is determined by your personal circumstances, the risk factors involved and other variables. Specific tests can diagnose the illness while other exams will pre-diagnose diabetes or gestational diabetes.

If the results show that there is diabetes, then the patient is required to undergo another screening to determine to form of diabetes. If there is an insurance plan in place, then it is possible to pay a little to free of charge for a diabetes screening or through a medical research trial.

Types of Diabetes

Type 1 and type 2 are the only types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes screening typically happens when a person displays only symptoms of diabetes. This type of diabetes can occur due to an individual’s genetic makeup and is commonly found in young adults and children. However, it is possible that type 2 diabetes can occur with these age groups.

Besides these types of diabetes, it is possible for diabetes to find diabetes in pregnant women, which is known as gestational diabetes. It is a possibility for the unborn children to contract diabetes from the mother. Even if the child is not born with diabetes, the child will have a higher risk of developing diabetes or pre-diabetes in adulthood. Diabetes can also occur in infants and is known as monogenic diabetes.

Factors for Getting Screened for Diabetes

Individuals should not self-diagnose for diabetes like using an over-the-counter blood glucose meter. A primary care provider is the one qualified to diagnose diabetes. Those who are experiencing symptoms of diabetes should undergo screening for a genuine diagnosis. Thereafter it is possible to begin treatment quickly. Some symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased urination
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Hunger and thirst
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Sores that do not heal

If you meet certain factors, then it might be necessary for you to go through a diabetes screening. Some of these factors are if you are obese or overweight, between the ages of 19 and 44 and 45 years of age. Additionally, women who have had gestational diabetes should get screened.

Children who are between the ages of 10 and 18 can go through a diabetes screening. Treating the symptoms of diabetes in a timely manner can help reduce the chance of diabetes developing further. This is the reason why participating in frequent diabetes screenings should be done.

Other harmful variables for diabetes are if you are diagnosed with cystic ovary syndrome, have a stroke or heart disease. Acanthosis nigricans is also a risk factor for diabetes and they are typically seen as dark patches in the folds or creases of the skin. If you have gestational diabetes, it is important to receive a screening within the three months of the birth of your baby to make sure that you do not have type 2 diabetes.

Methods for Screening Diabetes

The most common diabetes screenings are the A1C test and the Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test. The A1C test is used to test the average amount of glucose in the blood over a three-month period. The test is named after the hemoglobin A1C, the test will be performed based on age or any other qualifications your primary care provider will use to make an assessment. Additionally, the hemoglobin A1C test is also known as the glycosylated hemoglobin and HbA1C test.

One other important factor to note is that the A1C test is not effective people with anemia. Individuals from the Mediterranean, Southeast Asian or African descent who take the test will have unreliable results.

The FPG test is used to provide a detailed measurement of the exact glucose level in your blood at a certain moment in time. It is known as the fasting plasma glucose test because the results of the test are more reliable in the mornings after fasting for at least eight hours. Another diabetes screening test that is uncommonly used is the Random Plasma Glucose (RPG) test. This type of screening is used for a patient that exhibits diabetes symptoms.

For pregnant women who want to participate in a screening, the simplest screening method is to have a glucose challenge test. The pregnancy needs to be at 24 to 28 weeks in order to undergo the screening. This type of test involves getting blood draw an hour after drinking a liquid that contains glucose.

If the results show that the blood glucose level is too high, then the physician could recommend an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). This exam reverses the steps of the glucose challenge test. Your blood will first be drawn and then you will drink the liquid containing glucose.

Afterward, blood will continue to be drawn for two or three hours every hour. If your blood glucose level is high in both tests, then the physician will diagnose you with gestational diabetes. OGTT can be used to detect pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Types of Diabetes Screenings

The results from these screenings will show you whether you will have diabetes, not what types of diabetes you have been diagnosed with. In order to determine the type of diabetes that you have, your physician will have to use certain types of screening methods.

The doctors will review a certain type of antibody that is known as autoantibodies. These autoantibodies attack healthy cells and tissues. When these autoantibodies are detected, the people who have them will typically have type 1 diabetes. When results show that there are no autoantibodies, then that person is diagnosed with having Type 2 diabetes.