Screening for Diabetes

There are several tests available that allow physicians to screen for diabetes. The typical methods provide a measure of the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels. Normal fasting glucose levels are at or below 100 mg/dL. A fasting glucose level of 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL is a sign of pre-diabetes, and greater than 126 mg/dL indicates diabetes.

• Fasting plasma glucose test: Measures the blood glucose levels after an individual has fasted for six hours.

• Oral glucose tolerance test: The individual fasts for 12 hours and is then given concentrated glucose serum. After ingesting the serum, blood will be drawn every 30-60 minutes for up to three hours to track how the body is responding to the elevated levels of glucose in the body.

• Random plasma glucose test: A drop of blood (usually drawn by finger-prick) is placed on a special measuring strip which indicates the blood glucose levels. This test is administered by the physician without regard to the timing of the last meal.

• Insulin test: Blood test used to measure insulin levels in the body. Normal insulin levels are in the range of 5-20 mcU/mL.

• Urinalysis: Analysis of an individual’s urine to screen for glucose and ketones. This test in conjunction with a blood test is needed to confirm the presence of a diabetic condition.

The recent screening technology in development by VeraLight employs fluorescence spectroscopy to non-invasively measure advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) in the skin. AGEs are elevated in people with diabetes and can give a quantitative risk score for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Though none of the test tests are 100% accurate, the goal is to ensure patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes receive the appropriate treatment.

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