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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Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...