What Test Results Tell Me If I Have Diabetes Or Prediabetes
Each test to detect diabetes and prediabetes uses a different measurement. Usually, your doctor will use a second test to confirm you have diabetes.
The table below helps you understand what your test results mean if you are not pregnant.1 If you are pregnant, some tests use different cutoffs. Ask your doctor what your test results mean.
What Are The Possible Complications Of Type 1 Diabetes
Even with careful management, type 1 diabetes can put your child at risk of some serious complications that require prompt medical attention. These include hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar or insulin reaction, can happen when your childs blood sugar drops too low and their body doesnt have enough energy to function properly. Hypoglycemia can result from too high an insulin dose, a missed meal or snack, more physical activity than usual, or illness that causes vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, sweating, weakness, blurry vision, and rapid heartbeat.
- If your child has any of these symptoms, measure their blood glucose level and give them a fast-acting carbohydrate, such as fruit juice, hard candy, or raisins. Seek medical attention right away.
- If left unchecked, hypoglycemia can result in a medical emergency. Your child could lose consciousness or go into seizure.
Hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, happens when blood sugar is too high and builds up in the blood stream. It can be caused by not having enough insulin, eating too much food or the wrong kinds of food, getting too little physical activity, or illness.
Diabetes ketoacidosis can cause fluid to build up in the brain and lead to a loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, or kidney failure.
Your child should receive medical attention right away if they have any of these symptoms:
Key Points About Diabetes In Children
Diabetes happens when the level of glucose in the blood is too high.
- diabetes is a condition where the level of glucose in the blood is too high
- that’s because the body is not using the glucose properly
- in type 1 diabetes, the main problem is that the insulin-making cells in the pancreas are destroyed and not able to make enough insulin
- in type 2 diabetes, the main problem is that the body is not able to use the insulin effectively due to resistance to insulin
- both forms of diabetes are lifelong conditions – once diagnosed as having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your child will always have it
- you can minimise the long-term risks and complications for your child
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How Do I Take Care Of My Blood Glucose Meter
- Set the date and time when you get a new meter.
- Make sure the date and time are right each time you use your meter.
- Use the control solution as needed. This will let you know the meter and test strips are working right. Use it:
- When you get a new meter.
- When you get new test strips.
- When you think that the meter is not giving you the right blood glucose number.
Random Blood Sugar Test
This measures your blood sugar at the time youre tested. You can take this test at any time and dont need to fast first. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes.
|140 mg/dL or below||N/A|
*Results for gestational diabetes can differ. Ask your health care provider what your results mean if youre being tested for gestational diabetes.Source: American Diabetes Association
If your doctor thinks you have type 1 diabetes, your blood may also tested for autoantibodies that are often present in type 1 diabetes but not in type 2 diabetes. You may have your urine tested for ketones , which also indicate type 1 diabetes instead of type 2 diabetes.
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Is There Any Way To Treat Diabetes In Toddlers
If the diagnosis comes back positive for diabetes, treatment can begin immediately.
Your child may be assigned a diabetes treatment teamâincluding a doctor, dietitian, and diabetes educatorâwho will work closely with you to help keep your toddlerâs blood sugar level as normal as possible.
Although there is no cure for diabetes, with treatment and consistent care your little one can go on to have a normal life. Treatment depends on whether your toddler has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but the treatment plan may include:
Why Should A Person Get The A1c Test
Testing can help health care professionals
- find prediabetes and counsel you about lifestyle changes to help you delay or prevent type 2 diabetes
- find type 2 diabetes
- work with you to monitor the disease and help make treatment decisions to prevent complications
If you have risk factors for prediabetes or diabetes, talk with your doctor about whether you should be tested.
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How To Diagnose Children With Diabetes
Editor: Steve Freed, R.PH., CDE
Is there an ideal approach to screen and diagnose children and adolescents for prediabetes and diabetes?
Diabetes is an ongoing issue in the United States, and it can appear as early as childhood. Children with health issues such as obesity have a higher chance of developing diabetes in childhood and adulthood. Being able to notice these problems early and intervene can help children with prediabetes in the future. The American Diabetes Association has screened asymptomatic children over ten who are deemed overweight and pose two or more health risks: family history of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, non-white race, and maternal gestational diabetes. In addition, the ADA changed its guidelines, allowing more children with obesity issues to be screened if they had one or more of the health risks associated with diabetes. The three standard tests usually recommended for screening children for prediabetes and diabetes are fasting plasma glucose, 2-hour plasma glucose, and hemoglobin A1C.
- The most common tests that can screen and diagnose youth for prediabetes and diabetes are HbA1C, FPG, and 2-hour plasma glucose.
- Children that are not diagnosed with diabetes, with HgA1C higher than 5.7% and PFG higher than 100 mg/dL, meet the criteria for prediabetes.
- HbA1C was the most specific and helpful test to diagnose young children for diabetes.
Joan Prifti, PharmD. Candidate, LECOM College of Pharmacy
Why Early Detection Of T1d Autoantibodies Matters
Through ongoing research over the past20 years, researchers at TrialNet and JDRF have discovered that most people who develop T1D will test positive for 2 or more autoantibodiesduring childhood even if they dont develop symptoms of T1D until 5, 10 or 20 years later!
This is huge, for two reasons:
- First, there are several therapies in ongoing clinical trials that are successfully delaying or potentially preventing the full onset of T1D in children who test positive for 2 or more autoantibodies. Even if the delay is by only two years , thats still the difference between managing your childs blood sugars at age 5 versus age 3, or age 10 versus age 8.
- Second, if you know your child has a high risk of developing T1D based on early autoantibody results, you can monitor blood sugar levels more closely and start them on insulin much sooner. When we arent expecting a diagnosis of T1D, blood sugar levels can persist at well above 300 or 400 mg/dL for weeks along with life-threatening levels of ketones. Not only has research found thatDKA causes permanent damage to the brain, it also makes blood sugar levelsin the future more difficult to manage.
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Treating Type 1 Diabetes In Children
Children with type 1 diabetes should have an individualised care plan to treat their diabetes, prevent complications and educate them about their condition. They will need treatment to replace insulin by an injection or a pump, but effective diabetes care is about more than insulin there should be a holistic approach supporting their health, wellbeing and lifestyle:
Blood sugar monitoring: Careful checking of blood glucose levels is key to controlling diabetes. Regular finger-prick testing is one option, but for children, continuous glucose monitors can reduce painful pricking, improve sugar monitoring, and raise the alarm if the glucose is too low or high.
Insulin injections: Your child will need a basal level of slow-acting insulin throughout the day they will also need an extra bolus dose of fast-acting insulin around meals. Insulin pumps are often prescribed to provide better control and more flexibility around meals. Pumps also reduce the risk of hypos and provide more stable blood glucose levels.
Exercise: Activity is vital for childrens health and wellbeing. Its an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and its fun. All children, with or without diabetes, should enjoy at least an hour of exercise each day, that could be a sport like football or netball, dancing, games, swimming, or energetic play.
Notes For Buying Online
When browsing for glucose monitors online, youll notice that some versions, such as the Rite Aid TrueMetrix, are available for purchase over the counter, while CGMs, such as the FreeStyle Libre or Dexcom G6, are not.
This is because youll need a doctors prescription to get a CGM system. However, you dont need a prescription for the basic fingerstick meters weve included on our list. With a prescription, you may be able to buy a CGM from a medical supply store online.
If you do decide to purchase a glucose monitor or meter online, be sure you know the total costs up front, including any test strips, extra sensors, lancets, and accessories that may be sold separately. You might also consider setting up these accessories on an auto-ship basis so you dont run out.
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Weighing Your Risk Factors
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Diabetes And Endocrine Testing
Your doctor will most likely order blood tests to determine if your child has diabetes. Depending on your childs symptoms and family history, your doctor may order these tests:
- A1C test: Measures the amount of glucose in blood for the past couple of months. A high A1C level indicates diabetes.
- Oral glucose tolerance test: This measures your childs blood sugar levels two hours after drinking a glucose drink.
- Fasting plasma glucose test: This test is performed after your child fasts for eight hours.
- Random plasma glucose test: Your childs doctor may order this if your child is experiencing increased thirst, hunger or urination.
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Type 1 Diabetes In Children
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly destroy healthy cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin. Insulin ensures that sugar in the bloodstream gets into the body’s cells where it’s needed for energy without insulin, sugar builds up in the blood, which can be deadly.
It’s important to begin insulin therapy as soon as possible because high blood-sugar levels can cause permanent vision and nerve problems as well as damage to blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
Since the 1980s, the number of kids being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes has gradually crept up at a rate of about 3 to 5 percent per year. That may not sound like much, but it’s startling when you consider that twice as many kids are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes today than were diagnosed 20 to 25 years ago.
Although the condition can develop at any age, “we’re seeing it at younger ages than ever before and more toddlers and preschoolers are being diagnosed,” says Parents advisor Lori Laffel, M.D., chief of the pediatric, adolescent, and young adult section at Harvard Medical School’s Joslin Diabetes Center. Experts believe that environmental factors like children’s reduced exposure to germs may be partly to blame .
Testing Your Child’s Blood Sugar
Good diabetes management is important both for your childs day-to-day health and to help prevent any diabetes-related problems in later life. Regular testing of your childs blood sugar level is a key part of this.
Your paediatric diabetes team will give you a blood glucose meter, used to check your childs blood sugar levels. Normally, there are a few to choose from and your diabetes team will help you and your child make the right choice. Your meter comes with a finger-pricking device and an initial supply of lancets and testing strips . Your diabetes team will also explain to you how to get further free supplies of these on prescription from your GP.
Many parents worry or are anxious about testing their childs blood sugar levels. Pricking their fingers can be painful, especially at first, and no parent wants to hurt their child. Then theres the anxiety about what the levels will be. Youll be told your childs target levels to aim for, and it can be frustrating and even scary if youre not meeting these.
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Can Diabetes Be Prevented
At this time there is no known prevention strategy for type 1 diabetes, but type 2 can sometimes be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices.
If you have a family history of type 1 diabetes, you notice symptoms of diabetes in your toddler, or your little one has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you can prevent complications by:
Helping your little one maintain good blood sugar levels as much as possible
Helping your toddler follow a healthy diet
Encouraging your toddler to get active
Scheduling regular visits with your childâs healthcare provider or diabetes specialist .
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by making appropriate lifestyle choices, so encourage healthy habits in your toddler from an early age by:
Providing healthy meals and snacks. Give your little one a range of nutritious foods, focusing on fruit, vegetables, lean sources of protein and dairy, and whole grains, and avoiding giving sugary sweets and drinks, high calorie treats, and food high in fat.
Keeping your toddler physically active. Try to get your little one active for at least 60 minutes a dayâmake it fun and maybe even do it together. Staying fit and active together can have great health benefits for you too!
How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed In A Child
The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about your familys health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Your child may also have blood tests to check blood sugar levels.
When a child with diabetes has symptoms of hypoglycemia, the cause is most often an insulin reaction.
For children with symptoms of hypoglycemia who dont have diabetes, the healthcare provider may:
Measure levels of blood sugar and different hormones while the child has symptoms
See if symptoms are relieved when the child eats food or sugar
Do tests to measure insulin action
Your child may need to do a supervised fasting study in the hospital. This lets healthcare providers test for hypoglycemia safely.
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Blood Sugar Testing Explained
A person can check their blood sugar levels at any time with blood glucose testing.
People with gestational diabetes can test their blood sugar levels similarly to people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes at home with a blood glucose monitor. Using a drop of blood, a blood glucose monitor measures and displays the level of sugar in a persons blood.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes In A Child
Type 1 diabetes often appears suddenly. In children, type 1 diabetes symptoms may be like flu symptoms. Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:
- High levels of glucose in the blood and urine when tested
- Frequent urination
- Extreme hunger but weight loss
- Loss of appetite in younger children
- Serious diaper rash that does get better with treatment
- Fruity breath and fast breathing
- Yeast infection in girls
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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