Diabetes Services; screening and management
What is Diabetes Screening?
There are two simple tests used in diabetes screening, both are also outlined in our services menu under blood glucose monitoring;
- The fasting plasma glucose test involves checking the level of glucose in your blood while you are fasting. If your blood glucose level is higher than 125 mg/dL, you will need to be retested at another time to confirm a diabetes diagnosis.
- The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) involves drinking a sugary solution two hours before you have your blood drawn. If your test results are 200 mg/dL or higher, you will need to have a repeat test another day to confirm that you have diabetes.
Why do I need to be screened for Diabetes?
Sometimes there are few, or no symptoms therefore it is possible to have diabetes and not realise it.
The earlier that diabetes is diagnosed, the better the chance of reducing the risk of developing diabetes complications, treating it appropriately, and helping you to stay healthy.
Most diabetes screening recommendations focus on type 2 diabetes, since symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop suddenly and the disease is usually diagnosed soon after symptoms appear. People with type 2 diabetes can go undiagnosed for several years or more, making screening an important tool for recognising it.
Who should get screened? and how often?
Different organisations have different recommendations in relation to screening, however there is overall agreement that adults should be screened every few years, and more frequently if they are overweight and have one or more of the following risk factors:
- Family history of diabetes (a parent or sibling with the disease)
- Sedentary lifestyle
- African-American, Hispanic-American, Native-American, Asian-American, or Pacific Islander ancestry
- History of blood glucose problems
- History of gestational diabetes or a baby weighing over nine pounds
- High blood pressure
- Cholesterol problems
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- History of vascular disease
Do my children need to be screened?
Type 2 diabetes used to be considered an adult disease, but since overweight and obesity are on the rise in children, so is the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. The current recommendations by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) are that overweight children who also have two or more of the following risk factors should be screened for Diabetes:
- A family history of diabetes in a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, or grandparent
- Native-American, African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, or Pacific Islander ancestry
- Symptoms of insulin resistance
- Conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as acanthosis nigricans (a skin pigment disorder), high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, and polycystic ovary syndrome