This blood test measures short and medium term sugar levels in the blood as well as microalbumin which is an indicator of kidney damage.
Diabetes Mellitus is caused by a reduced or absent production of insulin by the pancreas.
A deficiency of insulin causes the level of glucose in the blood to rise and can, if untreated, lead to coma.
One of the first symptoms is thirst and the need to pass water more frequently.
By using diet restrictions, insulin and other drugs, doctors try to lower the blood sugar level.
To assess the effectiveness of therapy, doctors check the urine for sugar and also the blood Glucose levels after fasting and after meals. These tests inform the doctor if the blood sugar level is under control at the time of the test.
The Glycosylated Haemoglobin blood test gives an idea how well the blood sugar level has been controlled in the previous 6-8 weeks - the approximate half life of red blood cells.
Haemoglobin is the oxygen carrying component of red blood cells. A small part of it is bound to glucose to form glycosylated haemoglobin. In normal people 3-8% of haemoglobin is glycosylated, but in people with uncontrolled diabetes the levels of glycosylated haemoglobin can be any where between 8-20%.
Microalbumin Albumin is a protein that occurs in the blood stream. Normally, the kidneys filter it out of the urine, but when kidney disease occurs they can no longer do this as efficiently. Regular testing for the presence of microalbumin is important as it is one of the first indicators of early kidney disease - at a stage where kidney function can be preserved.
The random blood glucose test can be taken at any time of day. It measures the level of sugar in your blood and is an indicator of how well your body is metabolising sugars to store in your cells as glycogen.
As the test is random, the reference ranges are higher than that of a fasting sample as the test could have been performed shortly after eating.
Raised levels could indicate pre-diabetes or diabetes.
HbA1c or Haemoglobin A1c is also known as glycosolated haemoglobin and is a longer term measure of glucose levels in your blood than a simple blood glucose test. Glucose attaches itself to the haemoglobin in your red blood cells, and as your cells live for around 8 - 12 weeks, it gives us a good indication of the level of sugar in your blood over a 2 - 3 month period.
This is an important measure for diagnosing type 2 diabetes as well as understanding how well blood sugar levels are being contolled in someone with diabetes.
We will send you your Diabetes Check Monitoring finger-prick blood, urine and sample collection kit which contains everything you need to take your blood, urine and sample in the comfort of your own home. If you are unsure about completing a finger-prick blood sample collection you will have the opportunity to select a clinic-based venous blood sample collection or choose to go our London laboratory during the checkout process.
Your Diabetes Check Monitoring includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your blood, urine and sample directly to our laboratory for analysis. If you live in an area where you cannot rely on the post or you simply want to ensure that your sample arrives at the laboratory the following day, you may wish to send your blood, urine and sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.