Tests for the Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes


Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type of Diabetes mellitus which is characterized by insulin resistance.  Type 1 on the other hand is characterized by the loss of insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. About 90 to 95 per cent of diabetic patients have Type 2 Diabetes.

Early type 2 diabetes diagnosis may give a patient a chance to reverse the onset.  It may be reversed by a number of medications that improve insulin sensitivity or reduce glucose production by the liver.  Type 1 diabetes is irreversible.

There were 3 types of tests recommended for the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. But in 2009, expert representatives of the American Diabetes Association, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation have recommended that another test be included for the diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes.  This test is the A1C test or glycated hemoglobin test.

Glycated Hemoglobin Test or A1C is a blood test that shows your average sugar level for the past two to three months.  It measures how much blood sugar is attached to the hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is the oxygen carrying protein in the red blood cells. A reading of 6.5 per cent or higher is indicates that a person has diabetes.  The normal level is 5.7 per cent and higher than that would considers the patient at a pre-diabetes level, putting the patient at a high risk of developing diabetes.

Using this test first as for type 2 diabetes diagnosis aids doctors to better treat their patients.  Knowing a patient is at a high risk prevents the patient from contracting diabetes by proper medication, recommending a sugar free diet or diabetic food and regular exercise regimen.

The other three tests for type 2 diagnosis only gives results that indicate whether the patient is already diabetic.  In this case drastic changes in lifestyle and medication are the only means to manage the disease with little or chance for a reversal.  The other three tests are Fasting Blood Sugar (FBG), Random Blood Glucose and Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGCTT).  FBG requires fasting for eight hours before blood a blood sample is taken, while Random Blood Glucose does not consider the time of the last meal. And OGCTT requires a patient to drink a sugary beverage and blood samples are taken before and after drinking.  The test lets the doctor know whether the pancreas is producing enough insulin.