Want To Buy A Diabetes Test? 6 Important Things You Need To Know

What Is Type 2 Diabetes

Want To Buy A Diabetes Test? 6 Important Things You Need To Know

Are you afraid you might have type 2 diabetes and want to confirm it with a diabetes test?

If so, you may have already considered buying a self-testing kit (online or from a pharmacy).

But are these kits safe and reliable? In this blog, you'll learn the 6 most important things you need to know about type 2 diabetes test kits.


A self-test for diabetes

Do you think you might have type 2 diabetes? And would you like to diagnose this yourself before you make an appointment with your doctor? Well, it's possible!

There are several ways to find out whether you have diabetes. Ideally, you go to a doctor and do a urine test and/or blood test to see if you are diabetic.

But several companies have been smart enough to develop a diabetes test kit to use at home. These diabetes self-test kits come in two flavors:


Urine test

In this blog, I'll discuss both tests. Because both tests bring up different questions.

Purpose of this article

You are probably not familiar with the phenomenon of diabetes and its associated problems.

So, in this article, I will answer 6 important questions about the diabetes test. These are crucial for determining your diagnosis.

#1 What do we use the diabetes self-test for?

Diabetes is also called diabetes mellitus in the medical world. The type of diabetes I am talking about is type 2 diabetes. You can pretty much only develop it through an unhealthy lifestyle (except for specific medication and diseases).

Diabetes type 2 is a disease where your body is unable to regulate your blood sugar levels correctly.

Typically, sugars are absorbed into the blood after you've eaten a meal and then transported to the cells of your body. Insulin is required for this because it opens the gates to the cells. This is how your body gets the energy it needs.

A beautiful mechanism of the human body. Unless you disrupt the process too often and leave your body unable to cope with all the sugars. If this happens, you will develop type 2 diabetes.

"The sugars keep circulating in the blood because your cells no longer react to insulin. In the long run, this will damage various organs."

One way to determine whether you have type 2 diabetes is with a diabetes test. As I mentioned earlier, you can test for diabetes using either a urine or a blood test.

#2 How is the glucose measured in each test?

The presence of too much sugar circulating in the blood can be determined by a blood test:

A small painless prick in one of your fingertips releases a drop of blood.

The blood is then measured by a glucose meter.

  • Which determines the amount of glucose in your blood

Important information

In healthy people, the fasting blood sugar value (i.e. the value for blood taken after 8 hours of fasting) fluctuates between 4 and 6 mmol/L. If you are above 6, chances are big that you have type 2 diabetes.

A second option is a urine test:

Healthy people don't have significant amounts of glucose in their urine. This is because the sugars can be processed by the body in the normal way.

But when the glucose concentration in the blood is way too high, the kidneys also pass glucose to the urine. Basically, this is an excellent way to get rid of the excess sugars. But, unfortunately, when this happens it does mean that you are sick.  And that's how the urine test determines whether or not you have type 2 diabetes.

Important information

When there are sugar molecules in your urine, chances are that you have type 2 diabetes. But this doesn't mean you know what your exact blood sugar level (or Hba1c value) is.

#3 How do you perform a diabetes test?

The diabetes tests must be performed differently to obtain the correct results. I'll discuss them separately below:

Blood glucose measurement
The at-home diabetes self-test is performed when you are fasting. Fasting means that you have not eaten or drunk anything (apart from water) for up to 8 hours.  This sounds very overwhelming but, in reality, it's not.

If you test your blood sugar as soon as you get out of bed, you have been fasting for 8 hours. This test is not reliable if carried out when you aren't fasting.

Before you start the test, prepare a tissue and a stopwatch, and make sure you read the test instructions.

Blood glucose measurement

Then you must do the following:

  • Wash and dry your hands
  • Disinfect the chosen fingertip with an alcohol wipe and prick the side of it with the lancing device supplied
  • Use the resulting drop of blood on the test strip. Make sure that both test surfaces are completely covered
  • Start that stopwatch immediately. After 30 seconds, you must wipe the blood drop from the test box
  • Wait another 30 seconds
  • Read the test result

After 30 seconds, you can check the result by comparing the color of the test zone with the colors on the chart. You must do this within 5 minutes; otherwise, the test results will not be reliable.

Urine glucose measurement

The urine glucose measurement is simpler and completely painless. You will find two test strips in the packaging. One is used to show ketones in your urine. The other is used to show glucose in your urine. Your urine should not contain any ketones or glucose.

Urine glucose measurement

Do the following when testing the urine:

  • Prepare the strips
  • Collect your urine in a clean glass
  • Put the test strip in the urine
  • Finally, check the colors of the test strip

The test strips will discolor in accordance with the amount of glucose and ketones in your urine. Compare this to the reference colors in the manual. If the test strips appear to show that your blood sugar is too high, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

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#4 How should you read the results?

Blood sugar is usually read as mmol/L. You don't need to understand what this unit means. As long as you know that the healthy fasting blood sugar level is between 4 and 6 mmol/L.

In the home kit for both the blood test and the urine test, the results are measured by means of a color table.

The color table on the side of the container indicates what color the test strip will be if you have too much sugar in your urine.

The color of the test strip indicates whether or not there are sugars and ketones in your urine.

Please note that having too much glucose in the urine does not necessarily indicate type 2 diabetes. It is quite possible that another problem with your kidneys is responsible for the presence of glucose in your urine.

When should you visit the doctor?

If you see unexpected or startling results in both the blood and the urine test, it is wise to visit the doctor. This is the only reliable way to determine what is going on.

#5 Are these tests reliable?

This is a tricky one. Many diabetes councils initially advised against self-testing kits.

However, they have since recommended that you do a periodic blood sugar test to see where you stand regarding type 2 diabetes.

In any case, it won't hurt to do a glucose test once in a while, as long as you see the test result as an indication.

Additional Information

Some people are unaware that they are type 2 diabetes sufferers. From a population survey conducted 6in the Netherlands in 2009 and 2010, this percentage appears to be 25% of people aged between 30 and 70 years old. Worldwide, the percentage is about 25 to 40% depending on where you take your measurements.

"Are these self-testing kits just as reliable as the regular tests? No, they are definitely not!"

If you are a borderline case, the result may be a false negative. This means that you do have type 2 diabetes, but the test results don't show it.

#6 A GP visit or a home test?

There is an argument to be made for both. If you experience different symptoms of diabetes and want to do a diabetes mellitus self-test, that's fine. But it's still advisable to visit the doctor and/or pharmacy.

Below, I have outlined three scenarios to illustrate whether a visit to the GP is necessary or not.

Option 1: GP visit required

"Does the self-test show that you have a high blood sugar level?"

Then you should visit the doctor or pharmacy. Even if you have no symptoms. Diabetes can be a stealth killer. You can be walking around with this disease for several years without ever realizing it. With all its consequences. During certain annual check-up weeks worldwide, you can get a free diabetes test. So it doesn't have to cost any money if you're lucky.

Option 2: GP visit required

"Even though you experience different symptoms, does the self-test indicate that there's nothing wrong?"

In this case, it's still wise to have this checked by the doctor. You may be one of the borderline cases that the self-test is not accurate enough to determine. To prevent an incorrect diagnosis, a visit to the GP is recommended.

Option 3: GP visit is not required

"If you have none of the symptoms and the self-test shows you're healthy, I think you already know the answer, don't you?"

I see no reason for you to go to the doctor.

Do you still want to do a diabetes test? The easiest way to get them is to buy them online, in a pharmacy or at a big chain like Walmart. But drugstores also sell them. 

How to never have to use a diabetes test

Has the GP determined that you have type 2 diabetes?

Then you are probably curious to know how you can cure this. The doctor has indicated whether you should take medication and whether you should adjust your lifestyle.

However, what most doctors do not know is what the right lifestyle for a type 2 diabetes patient is.

And that is where I come into the picture. To have a diabetes-free life, you will have to adjust your eating habits.

Because: you did not develop this disease because of a healthy diet.

Diabetes-Free Secret

It has recently been discovered that it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. Everything you need to do this can be found in your local grocery store.

You can reverse type 2 with one powerful principle. It's something I call"The Diabetes-Free Secret," I have written a number of pages about this secret that will change your life forever. You will learn:

  • Why you got type 2 diabetes
  • What mechanism you can use to reverse diabetes
  • The best tips to be diabetes-free within a few weeks

Enter your e-mail address below and I will send you the E-book for free.


Marloes Schuurman

PS: Have you ever used a self-test kit for your type 2 diabetes? How did it go? Leave a comment below

About the Author

Marloes Schuurman is a medical specialist and an expert in the field of type 2 diabetes.

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