Diabetes is a chronic medical condition characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. This happens when the body is unable to produce enough insulin or use it properly. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels by moving glucose from the blood into cells where it can be used for energy.
There are two main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes: This occurs when the body\'s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This means that people with type 1 diabetes require insulin injections or an insulin pump to manage their blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes: This occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range.
Type 2 diabetes can often be managed with a combination of diet, exercise, and medication. Symptoms of diabetes may include increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing cuts or sores, and tingling or numbness in the hands or feet. Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to complications if left untreated, including nerve damage, kidney damage, cardiovascular disease, and vision loss. However, with proper management, people with diabetes can live long, healthy lives.
There are several lab tests that can help diagnose and monitor diabetes, as well as assess the risk for complications associated with the condition. Some of the common lab tests for diabetes include:
Fasting blood glucose test: This test measures the level of glucose in the blood after fasting for at least 8 hours. A fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dL or higher on two separate occasions is indicative of diabetes.
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test: This test measures the average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. An HbA1c level of 6.5% or higher is indicative of diabetes.
Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): This test measures blood glucose levels before and after drinking a sugary drink. An OGTT result of 200 mg/dL or higher after 2 hours is indicative of diabetes. Random blood glucose test: This test measures the level of glucose in the blood at any time of day. A random blood glucose level of 200 mg/dL or higher, along with symptoms of diabetes, is indicative of the condition.
Lipid profile: This test measures the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, which can help assess the risk for cardiovascular disease, a common complication of diabetes.
It's important to note that these lab tests are just one part of the diagnostic process for diabetes, and they should be interpreted in conjunction with other clinical information and symptoms. Your healthcare provider can help determine which tests are necessary for your individual situation.
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