The American Diabetes Association estimates that over 34 million Americans have diabetes. Diabetes can affect all ages, races, and ethnicities, but studies show it is most common in Native Americans and individuals over 45.
While diabetes can seem scary, there are several ways to manage the disease successfully. Before you can do that, however, you need to get an official diagnosis.
Ulta Lab Tests offers a number of diabetes blood tests that can be used to diagnose, monitor, and treat diabetes. To learn about which test could be right for you, keep reading.
What Is Diabetes?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), diabetes affects how a person's body turns food into energy. Blood sugar and diabetes are directly related. The condition is often chronic and can require medication and other forms of medical intervention.
Most of the food we eat is broken down into sugar. That sugar, sometimes called glucose, is released into the bloodstream, which triggers the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is what helps convert blood sugar into energy.
When someone has diabetes, it means their body doesn't make enough insulin or can't use the insulin it makes. As a result, blood sugar levels in the bloodstream become elevated and cause serious problems like vision loss, kidney disease, and heart disease.
Risk Factors and Causes of Diabetes
The most common risk factors associated with diabetes include family history and being overweight.
The risk factors and causes of diabetes are often related to the type of diabetes a person is diagnosed with. There are three types: type 1, type 2, and gestational.
Type 1 diabetes only affects five to ten percent of the people who are diagnosed with diabetes. Doctors believe type 1 is caused by an autoimmune response. Children, teens, and young adults are most often diagnosed with type 1.
Type 2 diabetes affects 90 to 95 percent of those diagnosed with diabetes. The condition develops over the years and is typically diagnosed in adulthood. However, it can be prevented or delayed with lifestyle changes.
Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had a prior diabetes diagnosis. This type of diabetes typically goes away after a woman gives birth, but the condition can put the baby at a higher risk for health problems.
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
The signs and symptoms of diabetes can mimic other conditions, so you may need to get your blood sugar tested if you are experiencing frequent urination, extreme thirst, unexplained weight loss, blurry vision, or fatigued. Other signs include very dry skin, slow-to-heal sores, and an extreme appetite.
The symptoms can also vary depending on the type of diabetes you have. Type 1 patients often experience nausea, vomiting, and stomach pains, while type 2 patients often experience varying symptoms over some years. Gestational diabetes does not usually present symptoms.
Screening, Diagnosing, and Monitoring Diabetes
At Ulta Lab Tests, we offer a wide range of testing options to help you screen, diagnose, and monitor diabetes. Your doctor may order the following tests:
- Glucose. A glucose screening test measures your blood sugar levels at the time you're tested.
- Hemoglobin A1c. The A1c test measures your blood sugar levels over two to three months and averages them.
- Glucose Tolerance. A glucose tolerance test measures your blood sugar before and after you drink a liquid containing glucose.
- Urine Albumin and Creatine. If your doctor tests for urine albumin and creatine, they'll determine if there is an abnormal amount of protein in your urine.
- Insulin. An insulin test can determine how your pancreas produces beta cells.
- C-Peptide. This test can help your doctor determine the cause of your low blood sugar.
- Islet Autoantibodies. This test helps identify type 1 diabetes.
- Fructosamine. A fructosamine test monitors your blood sugar levels over time.
- eGFR. Also known as a glomerular filtration test, this test checks to see if your kidneys are functioning properly.
- Lipid Panel. A lipid panel is used to evaluate your heart health by looking at the cholesterol levels in your blood.
Once you have a diagnosis, you can order diabetes health lab panels. For example, some of the tests you could order include the following:
- DH-4. Diabetes Health - C-Reactive Protein, CBC, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, Glucose, Glucose Tolerance Test, Hemoglobin A1c, Insulin, Insulin Response to Glucose, Lipid Panel, Microalbumin
- DH-3. Diabetes Health - C-Reactive Protein, CBC, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, Glucose, Hemoglobin A1c, Insulin, Lipid Panel, Microalbumin
- DH-2. Diabetes Health - CBC, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, Glucose, Hemoglobin A1c, Lipid Panel, Microalbumin
- DH-1. Diabetes Health - Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, Glucose, Hemoglobin A1c
- DH-4. Diabetes Health Plus - Adiponectin, Apolipoprotein A1 B, C-Peptide, Fructosamine, Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase-65 Antibody, GlycoMark, IA-2 Antibody, Lipoprotein Fractionation, Ion Mobility, Cardio IQ, Proinsulin, Urinalysis
- DH-3. Diabetes Health Plus - Adiponectin, C-Peptide, Fructosamine, Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase-65 Antibody, GlycoMark, Proinsulin, Urinalysis
- DH-2. Diabetes Health Plus - Adiponectin, Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase-65 Antibody, GlycoMark, Proinsulin
- DH-1. Diabetes Health Plus - Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase-65 Antibody, GlycoMark
Once you're aware of the condition you're dealing with, you and your doctor can develop a detailed treatment plan. In many instances, diabetes can be self-managed with medication and diet.
Frequently Asked Questions About Diabetes Blood Tests
If you're having diabetes blood tests drawn, you probably have some questions about the process and the tests. Let's take a look at the most frequently asked questions.
What is the recommended blood sugar range?
The recommended blood glucose range is 80-130 before a meal and less than 180 two hours after a meal.
Why does blood sugar matter?
It's important to keep your blood sugar under control. When levels stay high for too long, it can cause damage to arteries and veins. That damage could result in a heart attack, stroke, vision problems, or even death.
What is A1c?
A1c, also called Hemoglobin A1c, is a two to three-month average of your blood sugars. The test indicates your blood sugar levels and can help those with diabetes determine how well they manage their condition.
Can stress increase blood sugar levels?
Stress, as well as illness, can elevate blood sugar. So if you're feeling particularly stressed and already require insulin when you aren't, you may require more medication during those times.
When is the best time to test your blood sugar?
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you will likely need to check your blood sugar two to three times a week. If you've been recently diagnosed, monitoring your levels two to four times a day may be necessary.
Living with diabetes doesn't have to affect the quality of your life if you know how to manage the condition and stay on top of your blood sugar levels.
Learn More About Lab Testing From Ulta Lab Tests
There are several benefits to ordering diabetes blood tests from Ulta Lab Tests. First and foremost, our tests are highly accurate and reliable. With your secure and confidential results, you'll be able to make informed and proactive decisions about your health.
It's also important to know that you won't need a physician's referral or health insurance to ordering testing through us. Simply order your lab tests today, and you'll have most test results back within one to two days.
Take control of your health today by ordering your diabetes tests from Ulta Lab Tests.