Are you at a risk of having Diabetes?

There is a higher risk of you developing diabetes if you have any of the following: 

  •  Your age is over 45 years, because your pancreas gland which produces insulin is also getting old.
  •  Being overweight. Check if your Body Mass Index (Weight in Kg/square of Height in cm) is above 25.
  •  Having a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  •  Race/ethnicity: Indians are highly prone to Type 2 diabetes.
  •  Diabetes during pregnancy.
  •  High blood pressure (more than 140/90).
  •  High “bad” cholesterol and low “good” cholesterol.
  •  Lack of physical activity/exercise.
  •  Pre-diabetes, about which will discuss later in this article.

When should you go for a diabetes test?

  • Everyone should get tested for Type 2 diabetes once they reach 45 years of age and every 2 years thereafter.
  • If you have common symptoms of diabetes: weight loss, increased urination, excessive thirst,  blurring of vision, delayed wound healing and general weakness.
  • If you had diabetes during pregnancy, then you have to check your blood sugars 6-12 weeks after delivery and every 3 years thereafter.

What all tests you can do?

You can do any of the following tests:

1) A1C study

The A1C test is also called the hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c). The A1C test measures your average blood glucose over 3 months. A1C can be used both to diagnose diabetes and to measure how well you are managing your diabetes if you have it. 

Diabetic: Hb A1c more than 6.5%

Pre-diabetic: HbA1c between 5.7% to 6.4%

There is no need to fast before doing this test. 

2) Fasting plasma glucose(FBS)

A simple blood test. It measures your blood glucose as a snapshot in that moment.     

Normal: Less  than 100mg/dl 

Pre-diabetic: 100-126mg/dl       

Diabetes: More than 126mg/dl                                           

You cannot eat or drink anything besides water for 8 hours before a fasting plasma glucose test.

3) Random plasma glucose test

Here, blood test is done without fasting. If the reading is more than 200mg/dl and you have symptoms of diabetes, then you are diabetic. 

4) Oral glucose tolerance test

This is a test find out how well the body utilizes glucose. You have to fast for 8 hours before doing this test, but can can drink water. On arrival at lab, a blood sample is taken as baseline fasting value. Then you are given 75g of glucose, usually dissolved in water. Your blood sample will again be taken after 2 hours. If your reading is 200mg/dl after 2 hours of drinking the liquid, then you are a diabetic.

What is Pre-diabetes?

When you have higher than normal blood sugar level that is not high enough to be classified as diabetic, you are pre-diabetic. 

Why does pre-diabetes matter?

Well, you have a high risk of developing diabetes, but by making changes to your food habits and by regular exercising, you can considerably reduce that risk. Studies have shown that people at risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the disease by  make changes in their diet and by doing regular exercise.