what are the tests to diagnose Diabetes

Diabetes is characterized by a fasting blood sugar level greater than or equal to 1.26 g/l, checked twice. There are several tests to detect or monitor diabetes.

Every year, twenty million blood sugar analyzes are carried out in France. The main objective of this examination is to detect prediabetes or diabetes. Medically prescribed for the monitoring of a pregnancy or the onset of severe fatigue, it is also carried out in many other circumstances: anesthetic check-up, health check-up, contraceptive check-up, going to the emergency room… But there are other types of investigation.

The reference examination carried out in the medical analysis laboratory is a blood test measuring the blood glucose or blood sugar level, which varies according to food intake. Its regulation involves the pancreatic hormones, insulin and glucagon, and is indicative of the good health of various organs (liver, kidneys and pancreas).

A blood sugar level above 1.26 g/l

“We consider that there is diabetes if the blood sugar is greater than or equal to 1.26 g/l on an empty stomach and greater than or equal to 2 g/l after the meal (postprandial blood sugar)”, explains Professor Jean- Jacques Altman, endocrinologist and head of the diabetology department at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris. In theory, two measurements taken in a row are needed to confirm the result. Blood glucose testing is recommended from the age of 45 and in the presence of risk factors, including a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and/or if there is a history of diabetes in the family.

Glycosuria: look for albumin and sugar in the urine

Glycosuria testing, which involves looking for albumin and sugar in the urine, is also useful for detecting diabetes. “Quick, simple and inexpensive, it is mainly practiced by occupational medicine and in the context of health check-ups. On the other hand, it is a little less reliable, since it is necessary to have in the blood at least 1.80 g/l for the strip to be positive”, comments Jean-Jacques Altman.

A test to detect gestational diabetes

The latest marker of diabetes, oral glycemia (OGTT). This test is only performed to detect gestational diabetes in pregnant women between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. The examination consists of absorbing 75 g of glucose before checking blood sugar levels in the medical analysis laboratory several times for three hours. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed if a single measurement is greater than or equal to the thresholds defined by the World Health Organization (WHO): 0.92 g/l on an empty stomach, 1.80 g/l one hour after glucose absorption and 1.53 g/l two hours later.

Capillary blood glucose to measure your blood sugar daily

Capillary blood glucose tests, well known to diabetics, consist of taking a droplet of blood from the fingertip and then having it analyzed by a device (glucometer) which interprets the sugar level at a time T. They are sometimes carried out during blood sugar campaigns. diabetes screening. “A massively high result is not misleading. But that is not enough and this examination must be verified by a blood test”, specifies Professor Altman. Indispensable for people with diabetes, capillary glycaemia allows daily measurement of blood sugar levels (before and after meals) and adaptation of treatment accordingly. Patients can read and interpret their results on their own.

Glycated hemoglobin: a test to monitor the evolution of diabetes

Finally, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) indicates the reflection of blood sugar levels over the last three months. The examination is prescribed to diabetics to monitor the evolution of their diabetes, but is not officially recognized as a screening marker for the condition. The normal value is between 4 and 6%, the objective for a diabetic being to be below 7%. Because the higher the blood sugar level, the greater the amount of glucose attached to the red blood cells.