Diabetes screening service

Diabetes Screening Service

Introduction

Diabetes screening tests are a good preventative method for catching the development of diabetes at an early stage.

Our service looks at your HBA1c levels and blood glucose levels.

Diabetes Screening Service

Diabetes screening tests are a good preventative method for catching the development of diabetes at an early stage.

Our service looks at your HBA1c levels and blood glucose levels.

Diabetes Prevalence 

4 million people are living with diabetes in the UK

Since 1996, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has risen from 1.4 million to 3.5 million.

Taking into account the number of people likely to be living with undiagnosed diabetes, the number of people living with diabetes in the UK is over 4 million.

Diabetes prevalence in the UK is estimated to rise to 5 million by 2025.

Type 2 diabetes in particular has been growing at the particularly high rate and is now one of the world’s most common long-term health conditions.

Prediabetes (Borderline Diabetes)

The number of adults with prediabetes is growing.

In the UK, around 7 million people are estimated to have prediabetes and thus have a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes, also commonly referred to as borderline diabetes, is a metabolic condition and growing global problem that is closely tied to obesity.

If undiagnosed or untreated, prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes; which whilst treatable is currently not fully reversible.

What are the risk factors for prediabetes? 

You should be tested for prediabetes if you:

- Are overweight or obese

- Have a close relative (parent or sibling) who currently has or has had diabetes

- Have high blood pressure, low HDL ('good' cholesterol) or high triglycerides

- Are over the age of 40

While pre-diabetes may affect anyone, of any age, gender or racial type, some groups are genetically more prone. These include:

- Afro-Caribbean

- South Asian

- Native American

How does HbA1c differ from a blood glucose level? 

HbA1c provides a longer-term trend, similar to an average, of how high your blood sugar levels have been over a period of time.

Blood glucose level is the concentration of glucose in your blood at a single point in time, i.e. the very moment of the test.

However, fasting glucose tests provide an indication of your current glucose levels only, whereas the HbA1c test serves as an overall marker of what your average levels are over a period of 2-3 months.

What is HbA1c Test?

HbA1c, also known as haemoglobin A1c or A1c, is a term related to diabetics. This test shows the average blood sugar level over the past weeks/months.

This test can also assist in diagnosing diabetes.

HbA1c is glycated haemoglobin, which is glucose joined with haemoglobin present in the red blood cells.

Haemoglobin refers to a protein present in RBCs (Red Blood Cell).

For diabetic patients, the HbA1c level is crucial, as the higher it is the greater the risk of diabetic complications.

How does it work?

The level of sugar in your blood cells refers to glucose. The glucose joins the haemoglobin present in these blood cells. HbA1c measures how much the level of glucose dilation with haemoglobin.

The life of Red Blood Cells is around three months, so the HbA1c test measures the average glucose level of the previous three months.

If the level of glucose in your blood cells has been higher over the past weeks/month, your HbA1c will be greater.

How is this test useful?

Haemoglobin A1c test shows the average plasma glucose in your bloodstream over the period of past two to three months.

It also reflects the level of glucose stuck onto your RBCs for that period of time.

HbA1c test does not require any pre-test preparation or fasting and can be performed at any time of the day.

The A1c test is becoming one of the most preferred tests for measuring and detecting diabetes in the recent times. This test is preferred by most doctors because of its reliability.

Knowing what your intended Haemoglobin A1c is important.

People with haemoglobin related diseases, like amnesia, might not get an accurate level through the test.

Diagnosing normal, prediabetic and diabetic 

The haemoglobin A1c test can display you as diabetic, pre-diabetic or normal under the following levels:

HbA1cMmol/molPercentage
NormalBelow or up to 40 mmol/mol≤ 6%
PrediabeticBetween 42 to 47 mmol/mol6% to 6.4%
Diabetic48 mmol/mol or above≥ 6.5%

 

What is an appropriate HBA1c level?

HbA1c below 42 mmol/mol (6.0%): Non-diabetic

HbA1c between 42 and 47 mmol/mol (6.0–6.4%): Prediabetes

HbA1c of 48 mmol/mol (6.5%) or over: Type 2 diabetes

If your HbA1c test returns a reading of 6.0–6.4%, that indicates prediabetes. Our pharmacists will work with you to suggest appropriate lifestyle changes that could reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

How to reduce your HBA1c Levels

Go low-carb

If you don’t already eat low-carb then firstly, why not? Secondly, going low-carb can have a big impact on your HbA1c. Cut out processed foods and those high in starches and stick to healthy, real foods. Our Lipotrim® Weight Management Programme has helped people put their type 2 diabetes into remission.

Avoid eating after 8pm

There is anecdotal evidence that eating after 8pm causes an overnight spike in blood glucose levels, which won’t help your HbA1c levels at all.

Get good sleep

It can be easier said than done but getting good quality sleep can help you feel less hungry the day after and less inclined to crave sweeter foods. It can also prevent insulin resistance.

Control your portions

Eating sensible portion sizes and having the confidence to leave food on your plate when you’re full can help you manage your weight and your blood sugar.

Avoid high-carb alcohol

Some beers, ciders and cocktails can be surprisingly high in sugar. Stick to lower-carb alcohol choices.

Regular exercise

You don’t need to overexert yourself, but regular exercise – whether gentle or high-intensity – will help to improve your insulin sensitivity and overall blood sugar control.

Know how to de-stress

We all get stressed for a number of reasons, particularly when it comes to diabetes. Not letting stress get the best of you will prevent your management from coming undone.

Be restaurant savvy

Restaurants can be challenging to adhere to your hard-dietary work. Don’t undo it all by eating something high-carb if you don’t want to. Ask the server to replace the carbs in a meal with a side salad. You could also look up the restaurant’s menu in advance to research which meals are more low-carb friendly.

Avoid snacking

If you get the urge to snack, hold out until your next meal and add some filling, healthy fats, such as avocado, nuts or seeds.

Diabetes Screening Service:

Our Screening service includes a health check which measure:

- Height

- Weight

- Body Mass Index

- Blood Pressure

- Glucose Test

- HBA1c Test

Following your screening our team will discuss your report with you and we will provide you with an electronic copy of your health report with your results including support and advice.

Service details

Price: Small charge

Frequency: When required...

Availability

This service is available in / from the following pharmacies:

 

Select your preferred pharmacy to visit their page and enquire about this service or just pop in when it suits you.

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