Are There Any Home Tests For Diabetes?
| Are There Any Home Testing Kits For Diabetes?
Yes, there are home tests for diabetes (which also work for testing for prediabetes). If you suspect you or a loved one is showing signs of diabetes then you may wish to test at home before contacting your doctor. There are two main types of home tests which are available without prescription through pharmacies, online pharmacies and stores like Walmart. These are urine test strips and home A1C Kits. However, it should be noted, neither kit is FDA approved for self-diagnosis, but rather for ongoing blood sugar monitoring. If you are worried about diabetes, contact your doctor for appropriate testing.
1. Urine Test Strips: Testing Blood Glucose Levels
Urine tests are not invasive, meaning no blood sample is needed. Most kits contain 1 to 3 specially coated strips which, when inserted into a urine sample, turn a particular color according to the level of blood sugar detected. Usually you are instructed to wait for 2 hours after your last meal before testing to ensure the results are not artificially high. Some tests are even sensitive enough to indicate prediabetes - an elevated level of blood sugar which isn't quite high enough (yet) to be considered full-blown diabetes (see diabetes diagnosis). The results are available in 60 to 90 seconds. Most kits cost under $10 or £8.
Products on the market include:
Points To Consider
2. A1C Home Tests
The hemoglobin A1C test is relatively new but very popular test. It can give an indication of your average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months (urine strips only test your sugar level at that very moment). Your doctor can carry out this test in his office. A home kit is available, and while many people use it for self-screening, the manufacturer states it should only be used to monitor blood sugar levels in those already diagnosed with diabetes. It is slightly more invasive test which means you need to give a pinprick size sample of blood. The kit comes with a monitor and a lancet (device for drawing blood). Once the blood is drawn it is inserted into a small blood collector which is then inserted into a 'shaker'. A cartridge is inserted into the monitor and the shaker is pressed against the cartridge to deliver the sample of blood. Don't worry if this sounds complicated, it's much easier than it sounds. After 5 minutes you will be given an A1C result. A non-diabetic person should have an A1C result between 4 and 6 percent. Prediabetes is 5.7 to 6.4 percent and diabetes is 6.5 percent or higher. The A1C tests are used by many patients already diagnosed with diabetes as a way of monitoring blood glucose levels. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends diabetics keep their A1C result under 7 percent. Even a 1 percent drop in the value could lower a patient’s risk of developing diabetes complications by up to 40 percent. For some statistics on this see diabetes facts.
Products on the market:
Points To Consider
When to Seek A Doctor
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions
Back To Homepage: Womens Health Advice
WOMENS HEALTH ADVICE: ABOUT QUESTIONS ON FEMALE HEALTH