Diabetes is a debilitating condition that can result in several complications if ignored. The most common forms affecting people of all age groups include Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Anyone having symptoms of diabetes should get tested at the earliest. The same holds true for those having risk factors for diabetes.

Testing allows healthcare experts to detect the condition sooner and work with their patients to manage diabetes and prevent its complications.

Diabetes Tests: What are the different types?

The following tests can detect diabetes –

Random Plasma Glucose (RPG) Test

RPG is the primary screening test for Type 1 diabetes. A blood sample is taken at a random time, regardless of when you consumed food last. A random blood glucose level higher than 200mg/dL indicates diabetes. You need not fast overnight for the test.

Glycated Haemoglobin Test (A1C)

The A1C test suggests the average blood sugar levels over the past three months. The test specifically measures the percentage of blood glucose attached to the oxygen-carrying proteins in your red blood cells. An A1C test level equal to or greater than 6.5% on 2 separate tests suggests diabetes.

Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) Test

The FPG test measures blood sugar levels at a particular time. It is best to be tested for FPG in the morning after you fast for a minimum of eight hours. An FPG level of 126mg/dL or higher is indicative of diabetes mellitus.

Glucose Challenge Test

The Glucose Challenge Test determines how your body responds to glucose. This test is prescribed during pregnancy to screen for gestational diabetes. There are two steps in this test. First, you need to drink a sugary solution. An hour later, your blood glucose levels are measured. The findings of the Glucose Challenge Test suggest whether you might have gestational diabetes. In case the results are normal, you will need to undergo further tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Oral Glucose Tolerant Test

OGTT is typically performed to test gestational diabetes – the type of diabetes, which affects a woman during pregnancy. The test monitors her blood sugar after an eight hour fast. A phlebotomist will draw blood from your arm and advise you to drink the glucose solution. Next, you will have your blood drawn at an interval of 30-60 minutes for up to three hours to check how well your body is handling the glucose. High level of blood sugar in two or more than two instances of the blood test during OGTT indicates gestational diabetes.

Two-hour Postprandial Test

This particular test is carried out two hours after you have had a meal. The normal range varies between 70-145mg/dL.  Blood glucose levels higher than normal suggests you have diabetes.

Each of the tests to diagnose pre-diabetes and diabetes uses a different measurement scale. Normally, the same test methods need to be repeated on the second day to detect the condition. Your healthcare provider may suggest using a second test method to confirm diabetes.