What is a diabetes screening?

A diabetes screening is a test used to determine if you have diabetes. Diabetes is a serious medical condition where the body does not produce enough insulin to effectively convert the food you eat into energy.
Approximately 1.4 million people are diagnosed with diabetes each year and as many as 30 percent of people who have diabetes do not know they have the condition until they experience serious complications. If left untreated, diabetes can increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease.
Early screening can help you manage or reverse your condition.

What can you expect during a diabetes screening?

The screening for Type 2 diabetes is a blood glucose screening, which is a finger stick that measures blood sugar levels after fasting for eight hours.To prepare for a blood glucose screening, you will need to fast without food or drink for 12 hours before the screening.

Who should have a diabetes screening?

Anyone who is at risk for developing diabetes should be screened. Risk factors for diabetes include:
  • Age — Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent in older people
  • Race — African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian Americans are more likely to develop diabetes
  • Family history — if a first-degree relative has diabetes, you are more likely to develop it as well
  • Overweight or obese individuals — people who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for developing diabetes
  • Sedative lifestyle — people who live an inactive lifestyle are more likely to develop diabetes
People over 45 years old and any adults who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol should also be screened regularly.

How often should you have a diabetes screening?

If you are over 45 years old, you should be screened every three years. If you have numerous risk factors for diabetes, you may need to be screened at a younger age and more frequently.

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