If you have diabetes, then which tests you should always do and why this test is necessary, it is very important for you to know about it today, because if you ignore all these tests, then your diabetes will never be under control. Let us know which are the tests and why is it necessary.

Most diabetics have a common misconception that managing the disease is all about getting their blood glucose levels checked out. While that is necessary, there is more to the aftermath of a type-2 diabetes diagnosis.
Diabetes, without proper management, can affect different parts of the body, including kidney function, eyes, and even your feet and teeth. That said, when you are building your diabetes management team, there are a few regular types of diabetes test, and allied health screening should be done every 3 months without fail.

We will explore all of them in detail and discuss the significance of these tests in managing diabetes in the long run.

What is the Normal Blood Glucose Level?
According to reports from the World Health Organization, the normal fasting blood glucose levels should be between 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) and 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L).

However, it should be considered if the levels exceed that normal range (both high and low).

In cases where the levels are high, depending on the numbers on the reports, your doctor will diagnose you with prediabetes or type-2 diabetes. Both require potent lifestyle and dietary changes, and medications to manage the condition.

What are the Diabetes Tests One Should Undergo?
A plethora of important blood tests is crucial for diabetes management. A few modes of health screening play a critical role as well. You need to understand that diabetes is a progressive disease, which means that if not managed well, the disease might end up affecting the physiological functions of an individual over time.

Keeping a check on these diseases every 3 to 6 months is thus essential for the well-being of the patient in the long-term management of diabetes.

Let us walk you through the most important ones:

1. HbA1C Test (Glycated Hemoglobin)
Getting an HbA1C test is crucial in assessing and managing diabetes. It is a type of blood test that measures the average blood glucose levels in a person with diabetes over the last 2-3 months. Instead of focusing on blood glucose levels at the moment, this gives the doctor an overall picture of how well the patient’s blood glucose levels have been managed over 3-4 months.

What is the normal level?
The normal HbA1C level for a non-diabetic is below 5.7%.

However, the levels can be over 6.5% for diabetes patients. Suppose you are on medication or even eating a healthy diet. In that case, chances are that your doctor will expect the levels to be around 6% or less, indicating that your blood glucose levels are being managed optimally.

What is the significance?
As mentioned, HbA1C test estimates the average blood glucose levels over the last 2-3 months.
Fasting Blood Sugar Test
This routine blood sugar test is advised to be done once every month in patients with unmanaged diabetes. The test is done after the patient has been fasting for 8-10 hours, typically in the morning before breakfast.

The test gives an idea about the person’s blood sugar level in the moment of fasting. Typically, the test would be paired with a post-prandial blood sugar test to check the body’s insulin activity.

What is the normal level?
The normal fasting blood sugar levels should be between 70mg/dL to 100mg/dL. Most diabetics will have levels over 120mg/dL or more during their diagnosis.

What is the significance?
It is a routine diabetes test that analyzes the blood glucose levels frequently, especially every month with a simple at-home testing kit or via blood tests in a lab.

3. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)
OGTT is another one of the important blood sugar analysis tests that measure the body’s glucose levels. The test takes up to two hours, so patients need to schedule the test with some extra time on hand.

During the test, the patient’s fasting blood sugar levels are tested first. After all, they are given a sugary drink containing 75 gms of glucose mixed in water. Once the patient has drank the solution, they have to wait 2 hours, and then another blood test is done to check the glucose levels at that moment.
What is the normal level?
The normal reports of an OGTT test should be less than 140mg/dL. However, if the levels are between 140 to 199 mg/dL, it indicates prediabetes, and over 200 mg/dL indicates diabetes. Your doctors will analyze the reports and adjust the medications you are on.

What is the significance?
Getting the OGTT test every 3 months helps analyze the blood glucose levels and looks into the effectiveness with which the glucose is being metabolized in the body. It gives the doctor an understanding of the body’s insulin response.

4. Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Diabetes enhances the risks of having heart disease. If not managed properly, the condition can lead to risks of heart attacks, heart failure, etc.

So, when looking into the quarterly blood glucose test, ensure that you include a blood pressure reading and lipid profile testing in the mix. Even if you aren’t getting the blood lipid profiling done every three months, ensure to include that as part of the annual health screening.

What is the normal level?
The normal blood pressure in an individual should be 120/80 mmHg. As for the cholesterol levels, you want to ensure that the good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) is more in your body and the bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides) is lower.

What is the significance?
Getting these two factors routinely tested ensures that diabetes patients aren’t at risk of developing heart disease due to their condition.
Foot Exam
The American Podiatric Medical Association reports that more than half of the people with diabetes will feel numbness and lack of feeling in the body’s extremities, including the feet and hands.

Getting a foot exam every 6 months to a year is thus crucial to prevent the risk of affected foot reflexes, etc. Also, ensure that you keep a check on any bruising, infections, or sores that could further worsen the condition.

What is the significance?
A professional’s routine foot exam ensures that diabetes hasn’t affected the foot function badly. It is an accessory test that most doctors will include in the diabetes management of their patients.

6. Eye Exam
Like the feet, diabetes has the potential to affect vision as well. Even if it’s not 3 months, getting tested annually is crucial. Diabetes has a tendency to affect the retina of the patient, which can eventually lead to other vision complications in the long run.

What is the significance?
During an eye examination, the ophthalmologist will check the eye health and ensure that the blood vessels supplying the eyes aren’t damaged due to diabetes.

7. Kidney Function Test
Uncontrolled or unmanaged diabetes has negative implications on the kidneys, especially debilitating its physiological functions to a point where most diabetes patients down the line might need to undergo dialysis.

To ensure that something similar doesn’t happen, getting a routine kidney function test every 3-6 months is mandatory for every diabetes patient. Your doctor might prescribe you a urine test to check for risks of proteinuria, infections, etc.

What is the significance?
The microalbumin test and albumin ratio to creatinine estimate the body’s kidney function, especially in diabetes patients. It allows the doctors to check if the patient’s kidney function is optimal or not.

8. Dental Exam
Gum disease, as a complication of diabetes, is often overlooked. But, much like how diabetes affects the feet, eyes, and kidneys, the implications are equally noticeable in the gums.

If you have diabetes and are experiencing pain or bleeding in the gums, getting a routine dental check every 3-6 months is crucial for optimal dental health. Regular brushing and flossing of the teeth and taking care of gum health are thus vital for diabetes patients.
What is the significance?
Dental examination ensures optimal gum and oral health that could be affected or at risk of damage due to diabetes in the patients.

Should I get an ECG if I have diabetes?
ECG or electrocardiogram is a necessity for diabetes patients since they are at risk of heart disease or other cardiovascular complications. It is considered optimal to get it done every 3-6 months or even annually.

Which is more accurate – HbA1C or FBS?
Fasting blood sugar estimates the blood glucose levels at a particular moment. HbA1C, on the other hand, analyzes the blood glucose levels on an average over the last 3 months. We’d recommend the latter as a more comprehensive test compared to FBS.

How often should I get my kidney function test?
Since kidneys are often at risk due to diabetes, your doctor will suggest getting routine kidney function tests done 3-6 months with blood glucose monitoring.

Diabetes is a progressive disease that requires consistent testing for optimal management. If you are diagnosed, and already under treatment, the tests mentioned in the article are a must-do for you every 3-6 months.

However, if you aren’t diagnosed yet but are experiencing symptoms like frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, etc., get tested with routine blood glucose monitoring tests to check if you have diabetes or not. Getting a quicker diagnosis is crucial to managing

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