Decoding Your Lab Report (Continued)
Name That Test
Glucose test are generally used to diagnose all forms of diabetes. They are:
- FPG –The Fasting Plasma Glucose test is the primary indicator of diabetes, but it is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of medication or dietary therapy in those already diagnosed with diabetes.
- OGTT –The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test can diagnose prediabetes, diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Women not considered part of the high-risk group for developing gestational diabetes may first be given a screening test called the glucose challenge test or GCT. If a problem is identified in the GCT, the OGTT is then performed for further information.
- Random Plasma Glucose --This test is a screening test for diabetes when a patient has had food or drink and therefore can't do the FPG or OGTT.
- Insulin –this test helps evaluate insulin production; diagnose an insuloma (a tumor of the insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas, causing low blood glucose levels); and helps determine the cause of hypoglycemia
- C-Peptide –also known as Insulin C-peptide, this test monitors insulin production by the beta cells in the pancreas and helps determine the cause of hypoglycemia
- TSH --thyroid disorders are common in people with diabetes, especially women, because one autoimmune disease (diabetes) often begets another (thyroid disorders). TSH screens and helps diagnose these disorders.
- T4 –When TSH is abnormal, a T4 test may be ordered to help evaluate thyroid gland function; help diagnose hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism; and screen for hypothyroidism in newborns.
Related tests: T3; Thyroid Antibodies
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Some people have trained diabetes alert dogs that bark and lick their face in the middle of the night when their child is experiencing dangerously high or low blood sugars. I don't have a dog to wake me up. When I sleep past the alarm and forget to test my son's blood sugar, I turn to my go-to guy - a hallucinatory stone-faced murderer. Completely zonked hours after I wanted to wake up and check Charlie, I found myself walking along the...