Are There Any Home Tests For Diabetes?

buy home screening 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:
• Choice DM In-Home High Sugar Level Test Kit, Early Detection.
• Testmedica Diabetes Home Scan.
• Suresign Diabetes Urine Screening Test Kit.
• Boots Diabetes Home Test (Europe only).

Points To Consider
If you test positive, you should call your doctor immediately for more clinical tests. While home tests if you follow the instructions are generally accurate, they can occasionally produce false-negative or false-positive results (exercise, your medical history and taking a vitamin C supplement can interfere with the outcome). Before taking the test, you may also need to consider how you will feel if the result is positive. Do you have a close relative or friend nearby for support?

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:
There is only one A1C home test currently on the market and that is:
• Bayer A1C Now At-Home Self Check. Costs about $30.00
It can be purchased without prescription in pharmacies, online or in stores like Walmart and Walgreen.

Points To Consider
Older kits used to require sending the blood sample off to a lab for results, but this is no longer necessary with the Bayer home kit.

When to Seek A Doctor
1. If you think you have any form of diabetes.
2. If your blood glucose results come back higher than 130 mg/dl or your A1C level is higher than 6 percent.
3. If you experience several of the symptoms of diabetes including increased thirst, urination and unexplained weight loss.

Related Questions
Are there blood glucose monitors that don't require strips?
What is a normal blood sugar count?
Guide to buying blood glucose monitors and glucose monitors
Learn about the causes of diabetes and taking medications with insulin pens.
Recently diagnosed with prediabetes? See, can prediabetes be reversed?

• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

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