Research shows that more than 100 million Americans live with either diabetes or prediabetes.
Do you fall into this category? If so, you know that taking proactive control of your health is critical to keeping your condition in check.
Yet, it's all too easy to let the busy pace of life prevent us from monitoring our bodies as we should. Yet, putting off necessary exams and tests allows plenty of time for damaging issues to worsen.
That's where diabetes testing comes in.
If you're diligent about undergoing routine blood tests to monitor your levels and make sure they're where they need to be, you can avoid many of the complications and risks that accompany this disease.
Today, we're sharing 10 key lab tests that everyone with diabetes should undergo. In addition, we'll also share 10 more tests that diabetes patients should take on a routine basis to stay on top of their general health.
Ready to learn more? Let's go!
The Importance of Diabetes Control
Those who are personally affected by the condition understand: Effective diabetes treatment requires taking a close look at the numbers.
More so than many other diseases, this one requires that patients keep a constant eye on their internal levels, noting every time they fluctuate. In most cases, you can't go by feeling alone. Rather, a lab test is required to receive the hard data you need to make healthy decisions.
Why should you take the time and invest the money into undergoing regular testing procedures? The answer is simple: Doing so can help you prevent the risk of complications that commonly affect people with diabetes.
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to long-term high blood sugars. In response, your body begins to produce less insulin, all the while struggling to process the excess glucose in your bloodstream. This initiates inflammation and changes at the cellular level and also makes it more difficult for your body to form blood vessels.
In addition to circulatory issues, other medical concerns that can arise when diabetic patients fail to manage and monitor their condition include.
- Heart disease and a higher risk for heart attack and stroke
- Eye and vision problems, including blindness
- Kidney disease that can lead to kidney failure
- Neuropathy (nerve damage) that can cause tingling and pain the hands and feet
- Dental problems
- Amputations due to infections in the feet
- Skin conditions
- Hearing impairment
- Alzheimer's disease
As you can see, it's smart to treat your diabetes symptoms now rather than ignoring the symptoms until they exacerbate into more complicated medical emergencies.
Yet, with so many lab tests available, how do you know which ones are the most important for your specific condition? Let's take a look at 10 that can provide you with the answers you need and help you thrive.
10 Key Diabetes Tests to Understand
Are you ready to take control of your health and manage your diabetes from the inside out? We make it simple to find, undergo, and review lab tests in a safe and secure portal without a doctor's prescription or physician involvement.
While you're welcome to browse the many different kinds of tests we offer, we've cut straight to the source and isolated 10 of the ones that offer the most valuable insight to diabetes sufferers.
If you presently have diabetes or at risk of becoming diabetic, these tests can help you understand and monitor your condition.
1. Hemoglobin A1c
Also known as the A1C test, a Hemoglobin A1c test helps diabetes patients monitor their blood glucose levels.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that patients with stable glycemia undergo glycated hemoglobin testing (HbA1c) a minimum of two times a year. If you have poor glucose control, you'll need to schedule this test every quarter.
2. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is one of our most popular lab tests.
This is one test panel that analyzes 20 distinct biomarkers that can help you track and treat your diabetes. The categories analyzed include your metabolic and endocrine health, liver health, kidney, and urinary health and electrolytes. The specific tests include:
- Glucose test
- Albumin/Globulin Ratio
- Alkaline Phosphatase
- Bilirubin, Total
- Protein, Total
- Bun/Creatinine Ratio
- Egfr African American
- Egfr Non-Afr. American
- Urea Nitrogen (Bun)
- Carbon Dioxide
Of course, any list of diabetes lab tests will include a blood glucose test. These measurements can help diagnose and treat many carbohydrate metabolic disorders, including:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Idiopathic hypoglycemia
- Pancreatic islet cell neoplasm
Keep in mind that normal blood sugar levels are lower than 100 mg/dL after fasting for around two hours. Once you eat, they rise to less than 140 mg/d two hours later.
Concerned about your results? If they're too high, this points to a condition called hyperglycemia. If they're too low, the condition is hypoglycemia.
Either way, it's smart to consult your physician to determine your next steps forward.
4. Microalbumin, Random Urine with Creatinine
A Microalbumin, Random Urine with Creatinine test, can help individuals avoid the risk of diabetic nephropathy.
This is a common complication of diabetes, characterized by the presence of excessive protein in your urine, or overt proteinuria.
Before this issue occurs, individuals will exhibit higher albumin excretion levels than normal. If you're able to identify the signs before they arise, you can help curb the progression.
Through this test, you can identify small, abnormal increases in the excretion of urinary albumin. A moderate increase is known as microalbuminuria, defined by albumin levels that range from 30mg to 300mg per day.
The National Kidney Foundation recommends that anyone over the age of 12 who has Type 1 diabetes, as well as all Type 2 diabetes patients younger than 70 years old, undergo this test at least once a year.
5. Lipid Panel
Our Lipid Panel is a comprehensive lab test that identifies six biomarkers as follows:
- Total cholesterol
- HDL cholesterol
- LDL-cholesterol (calculated)
- Cholesterol/HDL ratio (calculated)
- Non-HDL cholesterol (calculated)
As diabetes is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, it's important to keep a close eye on your lipid levels. The lipoprotein pattern in diabetes is known as diabetic dyslipidemia or atherogenic dyslipidemia. It's characterized by a moderate elevation in triglyceride levels, along with low HDL cholesterol values and small dense LDL particles.
Standing for Complete Blood Count, a CBC test is a must for anyone who has diabetes. In addition, it's also a helpful tool to screen for other health conditions, including:
- Bleeding disorders
- Certain cancers
This test evaluates your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Diabetes patients must remain mindful of their blood glucose levels at all times. To this end, an insulin lab test can be an ideal way to get an accurate view of where you stand.
If your levels are abnormally low, your physician may recommend that you begin taking insulin supplements in addition to your standard medication. This test can also be used to:
- Evaluate insulin production by your pancreas' beta cells
- Detect and diagnose an insulin-producing tumor in your pancreas' islet cells
- Determine the cause of low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia)
- Identify insulin resistance
8. C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
A C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test can help you identify the presence of harmful inflammation that can aggravate and worsen existing diabetes conditions.
There are myriad inflammatory conditions marked by increases in your CRP levels. These include:
- Bacterial infections
- Rheumatic fever
- Active arthritis
- Myocardial infarction
9. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
The oral glucose tolerance test is used to provide a routine diagnosis of diabetes in children and non-pregnant adults.
Before technicians take the specimen, adults are required to fast overnight and ingest a 75g load of glucose. Children must ingest 1.75 g/Kg of their ideal body weight.
10. Insulin Response to Glucose
If your physician suspects that you might suffer from hypoglycemia and insulin resistance, you can test your insulin response to glucose.
As with the oral glucose tolerance test, you'll also need to fast overnight with an Insulin Response to Glucose test. In addition, you'll also need to consume a high-carbohydrate diet for three days prior to your test.
After you provide a fasting specimen, you'll consume an oral glucose solution equal to 1.75 g/kg of your body weight, with a maximum dose of 75g. Then, you'll test again to track your response.
10 Tests for Diabetes Management
In addition to the above 10 tests, it's also important to stay on top of your routine health checks to take control of your diabetes symptoms.
Here are 10 tests that can help you manage your condition.
The GlycoMark test measures the level of 1,5 anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) in your blood.
This is a glucose-derived carbohydrate with a urinary excretion that varies inversely with mean blood glucose. Low 1,5-AG levels can be a clinical marker of postprandial hyperglycemia. They can also predict long-term mortality, notably in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and relatively low HbA1c levels.
2. Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase-65 Antibody
A Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase-65 Antibody test can help diagnose insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM, Type I diabetes). It's also used to help assess an individual's risk of developing IDDM, as well as to predict the onset of IDDM.
Research shows that a decreased expression of human adiponectin in serum can signal insulin resistance. This adiponectin assay quantitatively measures these levels.
How does this work? It appears that adiponectin works as a powerful insulin enhancer. It actually links adipose tissue to whole-body glucose metabolism. This test can determine where your current levels stand.
In medical terms, an insulinoma is a tumor (usually benign) that consists of specialized beta islet cells. These cells constantly secrete insulin, which can lead to hypoglycemia.
Our proinsulin test can help you detect and monitor the excessive hormone production that insulinomas can catalyze.
This test measures your levels of C-peptide. This is a substance made in your pancreas, along with insulin.
Why track these levels? Insulin and C-peptide are released from your pancreas at the same time and in almost equal amounts. Thus, a C-peptide test can reveal how much insulin your body is making.
A urinalysis contains 27 biomarkers. Technicians will analyze your urine these biomarkers, which range from bacteria and glucose to protein and yeast.
This makes it an important player in general health analysis. This test uses a dipstick to measure the various chemical constituents in your urine, measuring their relationship to different disease states.
Fructosamine is a compound created when glucose and protein combine.
This test measures the level of this compound in your blood. If you suffer from diabetes mellitus, you should aim for a serum fructosamine level that's similar to an ideal hemoglobin A1c level. Normal values will fall around 200 to 285 µmol/L.
8. Apolipoprotein A1 B
Looking to assess your risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)? If so, the Apolipoprotein A1 B test can help you gauge where you stand, revealing your HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Too-low levels of APO A1 in your serum are associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease.
9. LDL Particle Testing
LDL Particle Testing is known as the Cardio IQ™ Lipoprotein Fractionation, Ion Mobility test.
Why measure your ion mobility?
There's a direct correlation between an individuals' risk of premature heart disease and a shrinkage of LDL particles. Ion mobility measures the particle size and concentration of each lipoprotein. These can range from HDL3 to large VLDL.
10. Ia-2 Antibody
An Ia-2 Antibody test can help diagnose the following:
- Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)
- Type 1 diabetes
- Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)
In addition, it can also help assess the risk for the development of IDDM 3. Predict the onset of IDDM.
Diabetes Testing: Staying Ahead
You've got a big life to live. You shouldn't have to spend it on costly lab tests that could hinder your schedule and empty your wallets.
When you're looking for quick, direct access to the diabetes testing you need, we'd love to help. Our convenient three-step process delivers the critical medical answers you need in a matter of days. We offer these diabetes lab tests as part of our selection of 2,000 lab tests, and we provide explanations on each biomarker.
You can select your lab tests, order directly online, choose a convenient patient service center near you, and review your test results typically in 1 to 2 days after your blood is collected.
No more waiting until an appointment opens up at your doctor's office or taking multiple trips to different laboratories. Visit our website to learn more about how our process works.
Take charge of your health and get tested today at ultalabtests.com.