Diabetes Testing


Diabetes Testing

Diabetes Testing

Page Contents
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetic Testing at P&S Chemist
Testing Your Blood Sugar Levels
The HB1AC Diabetic Test
Your Diabetes Test Results
If You are Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes
Living with Type 2 Diabetes




Type 2 diabetes is common, and quite a serious condition where the insulin your pancreas creates either does not work correctly to be effective, or your pancreas cannot produce enough insulin. This causes the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood to become too high. This can result in excessive thirst, needing to pee more frequently, and increased levels of tiredness. Diabetes also increases your risk of getting serious health issues with the eyes, heart, and nerves.

Type 2 diabetes is most common in people who are overweight, inactive, or have a family history of type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, it is a lifelong condition that can affect everyday life. You may find you will have to change your diet, take medication, and have regular check-ups, to ensure you are maintaining your health.



Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Despite the general public awareness of diabetes, it is often the case that, many people have type 2 diabetes without realising it. This is mainly because the symptoms do not generally make you feel unwell, symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:


  • Going to the toilet and peeing more than usual, particularly at night.
  • Feeling thirsty all the time.
  • Feeling very tired.
  • Losing weight without trying to.
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush.
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal.
  • Blurred vision.

The risks of developing type 2 diabetes increase, if you:

  • Are over 40, or 25 if you are of a south Asian background.
  • Have a close relative with diabetes, such as a parent, brother, or sister.
  • Are overweight or obese.
  • Are of Asian, African-Caribbean, or Black African origin, even if you were born in the United Kingdom.

If you have any of the symptoms listed above or maybe worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes, then speak to us at P&S Chemist as our HB1AC Diabetes Test can diagnose if you are diabetic, or your doctor, as a blood test will have to be done. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, and treatment begins, the better, as quick treatment reduces the risk of other health issues, the NHS website has more information on the health issues related to diabetes, which can be read here.



Diabetic Testing at P&S Chemist

Our diabetic testing is conducted by taking a small amount of blood, known as a blood-sugar test, as this method provides a quicker diagnosis or reading, and is routinely more accurate. All diabetic tests and readings are undertaken by experienced and qualified members of our pharmacy team, so you can be assured that you are in good hands.



Testing Your Blood Sugar Levels

If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, this is a test that you will become overly familiar with. If this is a new experience, do not worry, our healthcare team will show you how to do it correctly, otherwise, there is a risk of getting incorrect results. If you are having a diabetic test to see if you have type 2 diabetes, these are the key steps in how we will carry out your test.


  1. Ensure your hands have been washed with soap and warm water. Wet wipes should never be used to clean your hands as the glycerine in them can affect the diabetic test result.

  2. Take a test strip and place it into the meter to activate it, some diabetic meters have the test strips built in. Remove the cap from your finger prick device and ensure you put in a new lancet. Place the cap back on the lancet and 'set' the device by clicking or pulling the plunger.

  3. Choose which finger you are going to prick, please avoid using your thumb or index finger, the finger next to your thumb. The best testing method is to place the lancet device against the side of your finger, then press the plunger. Ensure you use a different finger and a different area each time you test.

  4. Hold the drop of blood against the test strip that you have placed into the meter. Most meters will beep once the test strip has been suitably filled.

  5. Check your finger. Use a tissue to stop the bleeding, then use the tissue to remove the lancet and dispose of it correctly.

  6. Your meter should by now, provide a result. Ensure that you note it down.

  7. You can use the same tissue to remove the test strip for suitable disposal. Many meters automatically turn off when you remove the test strip.

Diabetes UK has created a video published on YouTube and linked to their website about conducting a finger-prick test, this can be watched here.


The HB1AC Diabetic Test

This essential diabetes health check enables you to check your average blood sugar levels over a period of 3 months. Enabling you and our pharmacy diabetes team to spot diabetic trends over an extended period, thanks to the increased level of accuracy and reliability. If you have type 2 diabetes, you are entitled to get this test via the NHS at least once a year.

Being a much more sensitive test, this is an ideal way to find out quickly if you are suffering from type 2 diabetes and you will get your results immediately at our pharmacy.

This test works by measuring the level of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) within your blood. If you have type 2 diabetes, your blood cannot process sugar properly. so, over time the excess sugar sticks to your red blood cells and builds up within your blood. A high HbA1c reading means you have too much sugar in your blood, diagnosing that you have type 2 diabetes, or if you are already diagnosed with diabetes, demonstrating you are at risk of developing diabetic complications.


Your Diabetes Test Results

Whether you are testing to discover if you are suffering from type 2 diabetes, or you are a type 2 diabetic and must test regularly. It is vitally important that you know your numbers, to understand what the results of your tests mean, and how to stop them from getting too high.

There is a healthy range for your blood sugar levels, and one that all diabetics should, ideally be aiming for, although please treat the graphic below as a guide. As your readings will change throughout the day, depending on what you have eaten and how active you have been. Plus, your individual target range may be slightly different.


Before Breakfast & Other Meals  

Below 4mmol/l


Healthy Target


Over 7mmol/l


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blood Sugar Level (mmol/l)


Ensure you record your readings, either noting them down in a diary, a notebook, or even your mobile phone calendar. As this will help you keep track of your diabetes, making it easier to manage. Many diabetic meters have software that enables them to transfer the data recorded to your mobile phone, plus there are also many helpful diabetic apps that you may wish to try. 


If You are Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes

If you get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes through our HbA1c test, you will need your results confirmed by a GP. This is routine and will enable your doctor to discuss your diagnosis and the treatment that they recommend. Generally, your doctor will discuss with you:


  • What type 2 diabetes is.
  • What high blood sugar means for your health.
  • Whether you need to take medicine.
  • Your diet and exercise.
  • Your lifestyle, for example, smoking and drinking.

At times, it can be difficult to process everything your doctor may tell you during your appointment. It can be useful to speak to family and friends who are diabetic about what the doctor told you, enabling you to form questions that you can ask your GP or our pharmacist about. The NHS website has a lot of information about help and support for those with type 2 diabetes, which can be found here.

Living with Type 2 Diabetes

Staying healthy with type 2 diabetes is crucial, a healthy diet and keeping active will help you to manage your blood sugar levels and will enable you to have greater control of your weight and general well-being. A common myth about type 2 diabetes is that you cannot eat particular types of foods, but this is not true. Essentially, type 2 diabetics can eat any food they choose, but they will have to limit certain types of food and should:


  • Eat a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables, and some starch-based foods like pasta.
  • Keep sugar, fat, and salt to a minimum.
  • Never skip a meal, ensure you have breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

If you have been instructed by your doctor to change your diet, make small changes each week, as this can be easier. If you are finding the changes to your diet difficult, a dietitian can help you with this transitional period, the cost of which may be covered through the NHS.

Physical exercise helps to lower your blood sugar level. This physical activity can take place anywhere and for the best results, build this physical activity into your daily routine and ensure what you are doing gets you out of breath, this could be:


  • Fast walking
  • Climbing stairs
  • Doing housework or gardening


You should aim for about 2.5 hours of activity per week. If you are finding this difficult, please see the Diabetes UK charity website as this has useful tips about getting and staying active, these tips can be viewed here.

Your weight is important. Losing weight, if you are overweight, will make it easier for your body to lower your blood sugar level, improving your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you need to lose weight, it is recommended for most people to do it slowly, aiming for 0.5 to 1 kg per week. For more information about healthy weight and weight loss for diabetics, see the Diabetic UK website advice here.

Eating a low-calorie diet (800 to 1200 calories a day), on a short-term basis of around 12 weeks, can help with the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, and some people have even found their symptoms go into remission. It is important to remember a low-calorie diet is not suitable for everyone with type 2 diabetes, such as those who need to take insulin. So, ensure you get medical advice prior to going on this type of diet. For more information on low-calorie diets and diabetic diets in general, please see the Diabetic UK website, here.

However you manage your type 2 diabetes, you should always ensure you attend every appointment regarding your diabetes and have regular diabetic check-ups, at least once a year, to ensure your blood pressure and cholesterol are okay.

Back to the Top of Page

Page last reviewed: 03/01/2023
Next review date: 03/01/2025