Tagged as a life-threatening medical condition, type 2 diabetes is specifically attributed to the inefficient use of insulin in the body. The disease is commonly caused by insulin resistance – an occurrence where the body cells resist the effects of the hormone insulin. Other causes may include obesity, lack of exercise, and genetics. Aside from individuals age 45 years and older, type 2 diabetes has already recorded millions of infections towards children and teens at an early age.

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop slowly, making it difficult to know if you may have been infected already. Because of this fact, early diabetes screening must be performed to avoid acquiring more serious complications related to type 2 diabetes. Some of these complications include chronic hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), stroke, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and peripheral vascular disease.

Who Should Be Screened for Diabetes?

All patients who are at risk of type 2 diabetes should be examined. Commonly, people who are 45 years and older, most especially those who are obese, must be screened for the said disease. If these individuals are identified to possibly acquire multiple risks, frequent screening must be done. Other than that, patients with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels must be checked regularly to reduce their chances of getting cardiovascular disease. Type 2 diabetes screening helps in determining if a person is at high risk of catching this chronic condition.

Additionally, researches suggest screening children and teenagers 18 years and younger who are/have:

  • Overweight
  • Members of the household or relatives who have a history of type 2 diabetes
  • Demonstrate symptoms of type 2 diabetes, such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue, or blurred vision

Type 2 diabetes screening must be performed on risk patients every two years starting at an early age. This preventive measure inhibits the disease from developing more severe complications.

Risk Factors

  • Age – adults 45 years or older; children and teenagers 18 years and younger
  • Family history – parents or siblings with diabetes; relatives with the infection
  • Weight – overweight; obesity
  • Prediabetes – blood sugar level is higher than expected (not classified as diabetes yet)
  • Lack of physical activities – the absence of exercise
  • Medical history related to diabetes – gestational diabetes; impaired glucose tolerance

Diagnostic Testing

Two of the main tests done for type 2 diabetes screening are the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) and the hemoglobin A1C test. FPG test is used to measure the levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It gives accurate results and effectively provides a diagnosis if a person has diabetes or prediabetes. Meanwhile, the A1C test tells and measures the patients’ average level of blood sugar for the past 2 to 3 months.

Type 2 Diabetes Screening Results

Should the result come back negative, follow-up screening is recommended every three years. This precautionary measure is needed to fully prevent your risk of getting the disease. Meanwhile, for those who will get a positive result, further testing is most likely to happen to ensure the validity and accuracy of the diagnosis. You will also have to follow a new lifestyle program, which includes diet and exercise, along with your medication and regular check-ups.

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.