A screening or finger prick blood test can be done at a clinic or pharmacy to give you a snapshot of how high your blood sugar level is. However, a formal diagnosis requires a blood test and sometimes this will need to be repeated twice.
Ideally a blood glucose test should be done in the morning after not eating or drinking anything but water since the previous evening. This is called a fasting blood glucose test. A fasting blood glucose level:
A random blood glucose test is a test conducted at any time of the day in a non-fasting state. This can be used to diagnose diabetes if the blood glucose value is over 11.1 mmo/L and there are other symptoms of diabetes present. A random blood glucose test on its own cannot rule out diabetes unless your blood glucose level is <5.6mmol/l.
Often one blood test is insufficient to confirm a diagnosis of diabetes, and the test may need to be repeated again or a doctor or nurse may request an oral glucose tolerance test, which involves drinking a sugary liquid and monitoring how blood glucose levels change over the next few hours.
A blood test for HbA1c levels can also be used to diagnose diabetes, and a level of 6.5% or above can confirm diabetes.
Although there is no cure for diabetes, with careful monitoring and healthful lifestyle changes, people living with diabetes can avoid complications and enjoy a long, productive life. To reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, learn all you can about the condition.
A healthy diet is one of the best ways to control blood sugar and reduce the risk of developing complications. Remember that a person living with diabetes doesn’t need special products, and that choosing available healthy foods is the best approach.
For more advice, contact the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA on 021 422 1586 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Symptoms are a result of having too much glucose (sugar) in the blood and not enough in the cells of the body. Symptoms vary from individual to individual and elderly people may not present any symptoms. Some of the symptoms may include:
In uncontrolled diabetes, high levels of glucose over many years can damage many different parts of the body: