GUEST COLUMNISTS: Taylor Arburtha-Clayton and Oyindamola Oyinlola
We know what can put a person at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes from last week’s article: “Type 2 Diabetes: Are You at Risk?”, but how do we screen for it, and what tests are involved? Out of the 214 Inland Empire residents in our needs assessment survey, 91% could not successfully identify what tests are involved for diabetic screening. If you have not been screened for Type 2 diabetes, the following tests may be performed:
• Random glucose test
This test measures your blood sugar at any time. A blood sugar level of 200mg/dL or higher indicates having diabetes.
• Glucose tolerance test
This test measures your blood sugar after (1) eating normal meals for 3 days, (2) fasting for at least 8 hours, and (3) drinking a liquid that contains 75 grams of glucose (that will be provided). At two hours a blood sugar (glucose) level of 140mg/dL or lower is normal, 140-199mg/dL indicates prediabetes, and a level of 200mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes.
• Hemoglobin A1C blood test
This test measures your average blood sugar level over the previous 2-3 months. An A1C below 5.7% is normal, 5.7%-6.4% indicates prediabetes, and 6.5% and over indicates diabetes.
If you have already undergone testing/screening for Type 2 diabetes, and if your tests are over a year old, they may be repeated. After the screening process, your physician should compare your current results with your previous results, and look for trends or changes in blood sugar levels. Early detection of Type 2 diabetes is essential in reducing the risk of serious complications, and increasing the chance of reversing the disease, if caught in its early stages.
Next week read about the complications of Type 2 diabetes if left untreated, undiagnosed, and not properly managed in our article “Type 2 Diabetes: Prevention, Management and Treatment”.