Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Testing for Diabetes and a Little Catch Up

So my posts have been, *ahem* lacking, for a better word over the past two months. To summarize, school consumed most of my time as well as working a part-time job, so blogging was put on the back burner for a bit. I promise to try to blog more and give you some exciting tidbits from my classes!

First up is some testing for diabetes mellitus or type II diabetes. Unfortunately, diabetes is becoming extremely prevalent throughout the world. It's estimated that 1 in 3 people born after 2000 will have type II diabetes at some point in their lifetime. With these statistics, knowing proper diabetes testing is incredibly important as lab professionals will be running this test quite frequently.

One diagnostic test is the fasting plasma glucose. Patients must fast for 8-10 hours prior to testing to ensure an accurate result that is not affected by a sugary meal or drink. The blood sample must be collected in a grey top tube (potassium oxalate and sodium fluoride preservatives) to ensure active glycolysis doesn't break down the sample, which would cause the results to be falsely decreased.  The reference interval for fasting plasma glucose is 4.1-5.9 mmol/L. Any result over 7.0 mmol/L would be diagnostic for type II diabetes.

Another test that is used to monitor diabetes as well as diagnose, is HbA1C (hemoglobinA 1c).  This looks for the amount of glycated hemoglobin present in a patients blood which will let the physician know how well the patient is monitoring their blood glucose levels. Glycation of hemoglobin occurs when the concentration of glucose is increased in the blood and the sugars covalently bond to hemoglobin to form a ketoamine (HbA1C). This is directly proportional to plasma glucose levels. Since red blood cells have a life span of ~120 days, you can see how well the patient has been managing their blood glucose over a 3 month period.  Typically, you would want a patient with diabetes to have a ratio of 7% HbA1C or less. This would indicate their diabetes is being managed effectively while this would be out of the normal range for someone without diabetes. The non-diabetic range is 4-6%.

This was just a taste of what I had to know for my chemistry test on Monday. I'm hoping that I can manage a decent mark because I have been so stressed over my midterms lately. Hope if you're in school, you are through your midterms by now!

To reward myself for completing the last of my tests before the finals, I treated myself to some froyo!

-K

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