If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to get regular blood tests to monitor your blood sugar levels.
There are a number of different blood tests that can be used to diagnose and manage diabetes, and the best one for you will depend on your individual situation.
Many people use home kits for testing and managing diabetes, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who want occasional extra accuracy and reassurance by going to a lab.
In this article, we’ll take a look at four of the best lab blood tests for diabetes and discuss what they can tell you about your health.
Please know a great idea is to always consult with your doctor first. If you have insurance, they may help you cover the costs, and hopefully with not too much paperwork.
If you just want to conveniently order a blood test for diabetes online, so you can get a quick blood draw from the lab nearest you, then keep reading!
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Criteria For “Best” Lab Blood Test for Diabetes
Test for Major Markers of Diabetes:
In evaluating the best tests, we prioritized two types:
- People who have never been diagnosed with diabetes and need a comprehensive test to diagnose diabetes
- People who have been diagnosed with diabetes and need a simple test to measure their blood levels.
We selected blood test vendors that have been certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). We also considered their third-party assessments and Better Business Bureau ratings for each service.
We looked for websites that give comprehensive descriptions of exams, provide clear results, allow you to follow your health as you order more tests and get fast results.
Best Price: Walk-In Lab
- Price = $28-$30
- # of Labs in US = 3700
- # of Reviews = 16,605
- Average Rating = 4.8/5
- Better Business Bureau Rating = A
The test works by measuring the hemoglobin A1c level.
A1c levels are considered to be the benchmark test in managing diabetes, if you are already aware of the condition.
If you need frequent blood testing, Walk-In Lab offers the best price.
Walk-In Lab also has a stellar reputation. The Better Business Bureau gave the Walk-In Lab an A grade after it had been approved for more than 12 years.
Best Comprehensive Test: Ulta Wellness
- Price = $66
- # of Labs in US = 2000
- # of Reviews = 2728
- Average Rating = 4.9/5
- Better Business Bureau Rating = A+
Ulta Wellness has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) after being accredited for eight years.
They’ve only had two complaints during the last 8 years, both of which were handled swiftly.
Ulta Wellness offers a Diabetes – Basic test which measures 21 metabolic biomarkers and A1c levels.
According to our research, 21 biomarkers is the highest number of biomarkers.
Best For # Of Locations: Health Labs
- Price = $69
- # of Labs in US = 4500
- # of Reviews = 15,500
- Average Rating = 96%
- Better Business Bureau Rating = A+
After 11 years, the Better Business Bureau has given Health Labs an A+ grade.
With over 4500 testing facilities in North America, Health Labs also has the most sites.
The Health Labs service tests for 14 different metabolic biomarkers for about the same price as Ulta Wellness. However, with more locations you may find a lab near you more easily.
Best For Prediabetes: True Health Labs
- Price = $169
- # of Labs = 2000
- # of Reviews = N/A
- Average Rating = 5/5
- Better Business Bureau Rating = A+
If you are looking to diagnose diabetes, True Health Labs offers a comprehensive package:
- Hemoglobin A1C
- HDL Cholesterol
If you compare True Health Labs with Walk-In Lab or Ulta Wellness, it might seem at first glance that Walk-In Lab and Ulta Wellness test for more biomarkers.
However, Walk-In Lab and Ulta Wellness test for more “metabolic” biomarkers. This is great information if you already know you have diabetes and want to manage it precisely.
If you are looking to diagnose diabetes, then looking at triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin and glucose levels is more appropriate.
Third Party Resources:
- Better Business Bureau for Ulta Wellness
- Better Business Bureau for Walk-In Labs
- Walkin Lab verified reviews
- Better Business Bureau for Health Labs
- Better Business Bureau for True Health Labs
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes – is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond properly to the insulin that is produced.
The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that helps the body use or store glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar that comes from the foods we eat.
Insulin resistance occurs when the cells do not use insulin properly. This can lead to high blood sugar levels and diabetes.
There are four major types of diabetes: type I, type II, gestational diabetes, and prediabetes.
- Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body does not produce insulin.
- Type II diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, and occurs when the body does not use insulin properly or when the pancreas does not make enough insulin.
- Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born.
- Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
People with pre-diabetes are at risk for developing type II diabetes.
Please note: sometimes we receive emails from people asking about getting an oral glucose tolerance test. This test is not for determining your blood sugar level but rather to test for Celiac’s disease. It has nothing to do with diabetes.
Who Is At Risk For Diabetes?
Anyone can develop diabetes, but some people are more likely than others.
Risk factors for type II diabetes include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a family history of diabetes
- Being physically inactive
- Having a history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than nine pounds
- Being diagnosed with type I, gestational, or prediabetes
- Having high blood pressure or high average blood sugar level
- Having abnormal cholesterol levels
- Using certain medications, such as corticosteroids or diuretics
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
Symptoms of diabetes can include:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Urinating a lot, especially at night
- Feeling tired all the time
- Losing weight without trying
- Itching around the genitals or anus
- Blurred vision
Diagnosed With Diabetes – What Next?
If you have diabetes, it is important to work with your healthcare provider to create a treatment plan that best meets your needs.
Your diabetes treatment plan may include medications, diet and exercise changes, and regular blood sugar monitoring.
Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Make sure they are within recommended ranges.
You may want a blood test through Walk-In Lab or Ulta Wellness. This will give you a more comprehensive view of your metabolic health and allow you to manage your diabetes more precisely.
If you are looking for a blood test specifically designed to diagnose diabetes, the best option is the Pre-Diabetes Panel from True Health Labs. This panel includes a variety of tests that can help you identify your risk for developing type II diabetes and take steps to prevent it.
If you are at risk for diabetes, getting regular blood sugar screenings is important. Walk-In Lab offers several affordable options for blood sugar testing, including the Diabetes Screening Panel and the Hemoglobin A1C Test.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
Diabetes can become serious. Besides medications, there are a bunch of things you can do at home to help manage diabetes and live a normal life.
Take up physical exercise every day to get more productive. Regular exercise can help reduce diabetes symptoms. It is recommended that you perform moderately active exercise — brisk walks or aerobic exercise. Do 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week.
Incorporate healthy carbohydrates in your diet. These include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats.
If you are a smoker or use tobacco products in any form, quit smoking and tobacco products as soon as possible. Tobacco smoke can damage blood vessels and make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Read here for info about supplements for varicose veins.
Manage stress levels. Stress can affect blood sugar levels and make diabetes harder to control. Try yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to reduce stress.
Talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for insulin if you need help controlling your blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association is another great resource as well.
There are many things you can do to manage diabetes and live a normal, healthy life.
Working with your healthcare provider to create a personalized treatment plan is an important step in achieving this goal. You may also want to look at vitamins for bladder health.
In addition, monitoring your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels on a regular basis is essential for maintaining good health.
And, if you are at risk for developing diabetes, getting regular screenings is critical. Walk-In Lab offers several affordable options for blood sugar testing, including the Diabetes Screening Panel and the Hemoglobin AIC Test.
So don’t wait – get started today!