According to research, well over 100 million people in America live with either prediabetes or diabetes.
Are you one of them? Please note that taking control of your health is vital to ensuring your condition stays in check.
Unfortunately, it is still too easy to let your busy life keep you from monitoring your body as you should. When you constantly postpone essential health tests and exams, you allow any damaging health problems you might be experiencing to worsen.
That is where testing for diabetes comes in.
People who go for routine blood tests to monitor their biomarker levels stand a better chance of avoiding many of the risks and complications associated with the disease.
Our focus is on the ten critical lab tests that any person with diabetes or prediabetes should undergo and ten additional key tests that anyone with diabetes should regularly take if they want to stay on top of things health-wise.
If you’d like to learn more, read on!
The Importance of Diabetes Control
People who are affected by diabetes understand that you need to keep a close eye on the numbers to treat the condition effectively.
Diabetes, unlike other diseases, is a condition that requires patients to monitor their internal levels and noting when they fluctuate. As a person with diabetes, you can’t always go by how you feel. Most of the time, lab tests will be needed to understand your current state so you can make healthier decisions.
You might be wondering why you need to invest the money and take the time to undergo regular testing. Well, the reason is quite simple. Undergoing standard tests can help you identify and prevent health complications and risks that commonly affect people with diabetes before they get out of hand.
If not properly managed or controlled, the condition could lead to long-lasting high blood sugar. When that happens, your body responds by producing less insulin while trying very hard to process excess glucose in the bloodstream. This, in turn, initiates change at the cellular level and inflammation and makes it harder for the body to create new blood vessels.
Apart from circulatory issues, other health concerns can arise when a patient fails to monitor and manage their condition, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Foot infection that requires amputation
- Dental problems
- Eye/vision problems, including blindness
- Hearing impairment
- Heart disease (people with diabetes are at a higher risk for suffering stroke and heart attack)
- Kidney issues that could ultimately lead to kidney failure
- Nerve damage or neuropathy causing pain and tingling in hands and feet
- Skin conditions
As you can see, having your symptoms treated early is the way to go. As a person with diabetes, you are advised not to ignore your signs as they can develop into complicated medical emergencies.
But with so many tests available today, how does one know which ones are vital for their specific condition? Here is a look at ten tests that can provide you with the answers you need for you to thrive.
10 Essential Diabetes Tests You Need to Know
Have you made up your mind to manage your condition from the inside out and take control of your life? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. At Ulta Lab Tests, we make it easy for our clients to find, undergo, and review their laboratory tests in a secure and safe portal without physician involvement or a doctor’s prescription.
While we encourage you to browse through the many different types of tests we offer, we have cut to the chase and isolated ten of the key tests that provide people with diabetes with the most valuable insights.
If you have diabetes or are prediabetic, these tests could help you understand your condition and closely monitor it.
1. Hemoglobin A1c
A Hemoglobin A1c test, also known as the A1c test, helps people with diabetes monitor their blood glucose levels.
The ADA (American Diabetes Association) recommends that diabetic people with stable glycemia undergo glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) testing at least twice a year. If your glucose control is terrible, you might have to reschedule the test every quarter.
2. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
The CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel) is one of our most popular tests.
This is a single test panel that analyzes twenty different biomarkers essential to tracking and treating a large variety of conditions. Categories analyzed by the panel include your endocrine and metabolic health, electrolytes and urinary health, kidney and liver health. The tests include:
- Albumin/Globulin Ratio
- Alkaline Phosphatase
- Bilirubin, Total
- Bun/Creatinine Ratio
- Carbon Dioxide
- Egfr African-American
- Egfr Non-African-American
- Protein, Total
- Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
Virtually all diabetes laboratory tests will include a blood glucose test, which is essential as it helps diagnose most carbohydrate metabolic disorders, such as:
- Pancreatic islet cell neoplasm
- Idiopathic hypoglycemia
- Diabetes mellitus
Please note that normal blood sugar levels in a healthy individual who’s fasted for about two hours are lower than 100mg/dL. Once you eat, the levels rise to about 140mg/d two hours later.
Are you worried about your results? If your levels are too high, chances are you are suffering from a condition known as hyperglycemia. If they are too low, you might have hypoglycemia. Whatever the case, it is still advisable that you consult your doctor as soon as possible so they can direct you on what to do next.
4. Microalbumin, Random Urine with Creatinine test
This test can help people with diabetes avoid diabetic nephropathy, a common diabetes complication characterized by overt proteinuria or the presence of access amounts of protein in the urine. Before this problem starts, the affected person will typically exhibit higher-than-normal levels of albumin excretion. The good thing about the condition is that if spotted early, its progression can be easily stopped.
Through the Microalbumin, Random Urine with Creatinine test, patients can quickly identify any tiny or abnormal increases in the amount of excretion produced by the urinary albumin. Moderate increases are known as microalbuminuria and are determined by albumin levels ranging from 30 milligrams to 300 milligrams a day. According to the National Kidney Foundation, anyone over 12 years of age with Type 1 diabetes and any Type 2 diabetes patients below 70 years of age should make sure they undergo this test at least once each year.
5. Lipid Panel
The Lipid Panel is an exhaustive laboratory test that identifies six different biomarkers. They include:
- Cholesterol/HDL ratio (calculated)
- HDL cholesterol
- LDL-cholesterol (calculated)
- Non-HDL cholesterol (calculated)
- Total cholesterol
Since diabetes is a known precursor to cardiovascular disease, diabetes patients must watch their lipid levels. The condition’s lipoprotein pattern is known as atherogenic dyslipidemia or diabetic dyslipidemia. It is characterized by moderately elevated triglyceride levels, small dense LDL particles, and low HDL cholesterol values.
6. Complete Blood Count (CBC)
The CBC or Complete Blood Count test is a lab test that all people with diabetes must undergo. The test is quite helpful as it is also used to diagnose other conditions, including:
- Bleeding disorders
- Certain types of cancer
The test evaluates your platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells.
People with diabetes are always reminded to check their blood glucose levels regularly. To that end, insulin lab tests are generally used to get a more accurate view of a patient’s blood sugar levels.
If your blood sugar levels are too low, your doctor might recommend that you start taking insulin supplements along with your regular medication. Insulin tests are also often used to:
- Identify insulin resistance
- Determine what’s causing hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels)
- Evaluate the production of insulin by beta cells in your pancreas
- Detect and diagnose insulin-producing tumors in the islet cells found in the pancreas
8. C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
A CRP or C-Reactive Protein test identifies harmful inflammation that could exacerbate and worsen current diabetes conditions. An increase in C-Reactive Protein levels marks many inflammatory conditions, and they include:
- Active arthritis
- Bacterial infections
- Myocardial infarction
- Rheumatic fever
9. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
This test is used to provide a diagnosis of diabetes in non-pregnant adults and children. Before taking a specimen, lab technicians require adult patients to fast overnight and only ingest 75 grams of glucose before the test. On the other hand, children are required to consume 1.75 grams per kilogram of their body weight.
10. Insulin Response to Glucose
If your doctor suspects that you are suffering from insulin resistance and hypoglycemia, they might suggest that you have an insulin response to glucose test performed.
Just like with oral glucose tolerance tests, you will be required to fast overnight.
After you’ve provided your post-fasting specimen, you will then be required to ingest an oral glucose solution that’s equal to 1.75 grams per kilogram of your body weight, with a max dose of 75 grams. You will then provide another specimen that will be used to track your insulin response.
Ten Tests for Diabetes Management
Apart from the tests listed above, it would help if you continued going for routine health checks to ensure you take complete control of your symptoms.
Here is a look at ten tests that you should consider regularly taking to manage your condition effectively.
The GlycoMark test is designed to measure 1,5-AG or 1,5 anhydroglucitol levels in your blood.
1,5-AG is a carbohydrate derived from glucose, and its urinary excretion varies inversely with your body’s mean blood glucose. Low levels of 1,5-AG can be a clinical marker of a condition known as postprandial hyperglycemia. Apart from that, they can also be used to predict prolonged mortality, especially in patients with relatively low levels of HbA1c and acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
2. Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase-65 Antibody
This test is sometimes used to diagnose IDDM or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. It is also used to predict the onset of IDDM and to assess a patient’s risk of developing the condition.
Studies show that decreased expressions of human adiponectin in serum could signify insulin resistance, and Adiponectin (an anorexigenic peptide) assays quantitatively measure these levels.
But how do they work? Well, studies suggest that the peptide functions as a potent insulin enhancer. The peptide links adipose tissues in your body to full-body glucose metabolism. The test can help determine where a patient’s levels currently stand.
Medically speaking, insulinomas are tumors (often benign) that consist of beta islet cells specializing in secreting insulin only, which could lead to hypoglycemia.
Our proinsulin tests are designed to help patients detect and monitor the excessive production of hormones that insulinomas catalyze.
The C-peptide test is used to measure C-peptide levels in your body. The substance is made in your pancreas together with insulin.
Why is tracking c-peptide levels important? C-peptide and insulin are both produced by the pancreas simultaneously and in almost similar amounts; that means that a C-peptide test could reveal the amount of insulin your body is producing.
Urinalysis tests contain 27 different biomarkers. Lab techs will analyze your urine for these markers, ranging from glucose and bacteria to yeast and proteins.
As a result, urinalysis plays an important role when it comes to general health analysis. A dipstick is used to measure the different chemical constituents found in your urine, measuring how they relate to other states of diseases.
Fructosamine is the compound that’s created when protein and glucose combine. The purpose of this test is to measure how much of the compound is present in your blood. People with diabetes who suffer from diabetes mellitus are advised to aim for serum-fructosamine levels similar to those of an ideal hemoglobin A1c level – the normal value typically ranges between 200 and 285 µmol/L.
8. Apolipoprotein A1 and B
If you’d like to know how at risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) you are, then an Apolipoprotein A1 and B test are what you need to take. This test can help reveal your triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels.
Abnormally low APO-A1 levels in your serum are generally associated with increased risks of CAD.
9. LDL Particle Testing
This test is also known as the CardioIQ Lipoprotein Fractionation, Ion Mobility Test.
What’s the importance of measuring ion mobility?
There is a direct correlation between a shrinkage in LDL particles and a person’s risk of developing premature heart disease. Ion mobility measures the concentration of each lipoprotein and particle size. These can range from large VLDL to HDL3.
10. la-2 Antibody
la-2 antibody tests are generally used to diagnose the following conditions:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)
Apart from that, it can also be used to determine a patient’s risk of developing IDDM3 and predict the onset of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
Diabetes Testing: Stay Ahead
You have a life ahead of you to live and do not deserve to spend it paying for costly laboratory tests that could empty your wallets and hinder your progress in life.
When looking for direct and quick access to diabetes testing options, look to Ulta Lab Tests. Our unique three-step process delivers some of the most critical medical answers that you need in just a few days. At Ulta Lab Tests, we offer a selection of over 2000 affordable and highly accurate lab tests and explain each biomarker so that you and your doctor have an easier time understanding the current state of your condition.
To get started, pick the type of lab test you want, add it to your cart, select the patient service center that’s nearest to you, order the test, and wait for your results to get back for review after you’ve been drawn. Results typically take about 1 to 2 days for most tests once your blood has been drawn.
No more waiting for appointments or making long trips to different labs. Take back control of your health from diabetes today with Ulta Lab Tests.