Diabetes is a condition where the blood sugar level becomes higher than normal due to ineffective production or use of insulin by the body. Symptoms of diabetes are usually similar to minor health problems making it difficult to find out. Therefore, the tests used to detect diabetes are very important detection.
Fasting glucose test, also called Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) is done in the morning without eating or drinking anything for around 8 hours. Fasting before the test helps get more accurate blood sugar levels. Since it is more accurate, inexpensive and convenient, fasting glucose test is the most popular test for pre-diabetes and diabetes detection.
Also known as glucose tolerance test (OGTT), this test effectively measures the ability of the body to mobilize glucose or clear it out from the blood stream. It is recommended when diabetes is suspected in the person whereas the FPG test shows normal blood glucose level. For OGTT as well, a person should fast for at least 8 or 12 hours before the test. Then the person has to drink a sugary beverage containing 75 grams of carbohydrates. A couple of hours later, blood samples are taken at various intervals to measure glucose levels.
The A1C test measures the average amount of sugar in the blood for the past two to three months and does not show daily fluctuations. It measures the amount of glucose attached to the haemoglobin and red blood cells. The A1C test is used to detect pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, and is usually not used for type 1 diabetes or gestational diabetes. It is more convenient for patients than the traditional glucose tests because it does not require fasting and can be performed at any time of the day.
Random plasma glucose (RPG) test is sometimes used to diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes during a regular health checkup. If the RPG measures 200 micrograms per decilitre or above and the individual also shows symptoms of diabetes, then the doctor may go for more tests to detect diabetes.