About Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or the body stops producing enough insulin. Exactly why this happens is unknown, although excess weight and inactivity seem to be important factors.
- Being overweight is a primary risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.
- The less active you are, the greater your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- Family History-The risk of type 2 diabetes increases if a parent or sibling has Type 2 diabetes.
- Race-Although it’s unclear why, people of certain races — including African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans — are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
- Age-The risk of type 2 diabetes increases as you get older, especially after age 45, however, Type 2 diabetes is also increasing dramatically among children, adolescents and younger adults.
If you experience symptoms of severe increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, increased hunger, tingling of your hands or feet — your doctor may run a test for diabetes. To confirm the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, your doctor will order a fasting plasma glucose test.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
The fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) is the preferred method for diagnosing diabetes because it is easy to do, convenient, and less expensive than other tests, according to the American Diabetes Association.
What Do the Results of the Blood Glucose Test Mean?
Normal fasting blood glucose is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL for people who do not have diabetes. The standard diagnosis of diabetes is made when two separate blood tests show that your fasting blood glucose level is greater than or equal to 126 mg/dL.
However, if you have normal fasting blood glucose, but you have risk factors for diabetes or symptoms of diabetes, your doctor may decide to do a glucose tolerance test to be sure that you do not have diabetes.
Some people have a normal fasting blood glucose reading, but their blood glucose rapidly rises as they eat. These people may have glucose intolerance. If their blood glucose levels are high enough, they may be diagnosed with diabetes.
Casual Plasma Glucose Test for Diabetes
The casual plasma glucose test is another method of diagnosing diabetes. During the test, blood sugar is tested without regard to the time since the person’s last meal. You are not required to abstain from eating prior to the test. A glucose level greater than 200 mg/dL may indicate diabetes, especially if the test is repeated at a later time and shows similar results.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test for Diabetes
The oral glucose tolerance test is yet another method used to detect diabetes, but it is usually only done during pregnancy to diagnose gestational diabetes or for someone who is suspected of having Type 2 diabetes yet has a normal fasting glucose level. It can also be performed to diagnose pre-diabetes.
Hemoglobin A1c Test for Diabetes
Hemoglobin A1c test (also called the glycated hemoglobin test or HbA1c), is an important diabetes blood test used to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. This diabetes test provides an average of your blood sugar control over a six to 12 week period and is used in conjunction with home blood glucose monitoring to make adjustments in your diabetes medicines.
Understanding Your Diabetes Diagnosis
Diabetes can cause major health problems if you do not keep your blood sugar in check. However, you can stay healthy and feel good despite your diagnosis if you follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan and maintain a healthy lifestyle. By choosing foods wisely, exercising regularly, maintaining a normal weight, reducing your stress level and making other modest lifestyle changes, living with diabetes will be easier.