Check Your Blood Sugar Levels with a Glucose/Diabetes Screening in MA & RI
Diabetes screening measures your blood glucose level, commonly called blood sugar level. The main screening test for diabetes is the fasting plasma glucose, or FPG. It is the easiest and fastest way to screen for diabetes. However, there are two other tests your doctor may use:
- A1C (also called hemoglobin A1C) measures the percentage of Glycosylated Hemoglobin (glucose bound to part of red blood cells) in the blood. In contrast to the FPG, the A1C shows average blood glucose levels over the past three months. Doctors don’t typically use it to screen for diabetes, but it’s an important test for people who have or are at risk of developing diabetes to see blood glucose control over time.
- OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test) is an FPG followed by drinking a glucose solution and repeating the blood test two hours later.
Your blood sugar level will change when you consume food or beverages, so it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions for fasting.
Whether you have diabetes or are at risk, come to Southcoast Health for a glucose/diabetes screening in southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island. Find a doctor near you to perform the screening and any other wellness and prevention services you may need.
Be Aware of Your Diabetes Risk with a Screening at Southcoast Health
For healthy adults, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends screening anyone 45 years of age and older. The ADA also recommends screening overweight or obese adults, regardless of age, who have other risk factors for diabetes. These risk factors include:
- African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander race or ethnicity
- Family history of diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Medical conditions with insulin resistance, such as PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
- Physical inactivity
- Women with a history of gestational diabetes or delivering a baby weighing more than nine pounds
What Glucose/Diabetes Screenings Offer
Catching diabetes early through a screening lets you take steps to stop or slow the development of the disease and its complications, including:
- Blindness and other eye problems
- Foot problems
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage
If your results are normal, your doctor may recommend repeating the screening in three years. Depending on your risk factors, repeating the test in one year may be reasonable.
The ADA defines diabetes as an FPG of 126 mg/dL or higher. The threshold for the A1c test is 6.5% or higher and for the OGTT it’s 200 mg/dL or higher. If you have a high result, your doctor will likely want to confirm it by repeating the same test on another day.