Determined The Importance Of Testing For Diabetes

Diabetes affects over 20 million Americans, so testing for diabetes is becoming an important part of your annual check-up. If you’re seriously concerned that you have a lot of the symptoms of Type I or II diabetes, you should ask your doctor to do a diabetes blood test as soon as possible. While this will give you accurate results, the fact that you have had the test will go on your permanent medical records, and you may find your insurance premiums go up even if the test is not positive. If this concerns you, then you might want to think of ways to test at home.

Symptoms of High Blood Sugar — Monitoring

While diabetes is becoming much more prevalent in the U.S. due to higher levels of sugar and stress, you’ll need to be sure of the common symptoms of high blood sugar before testing for diabetes. You’ll need to have at least three or more of the following before a doctor will consider testing, as they can also be attributed to less serious diseases:

  • Dry mouth and increased thirst levels
  • Rapid weight loss that isn’t due to a new diet or increased exercise
  • Blurry vision and itchy skin
  • Needing to urinate more than usual during both the day and night
  • Increased appetite, or a feeling of being constantly hungry
  • Fatigue that isn’t related to stress or a long day at the office

If you think that some of these symptoms may apply, you should keep a diary when they occur, as these will help your doctor to make a correct diagnosis. If they are due to diabetes, these symptoms will persist for weeks and months, rather than a few days as with a common cold or flu.

Medical Tests

If you approach your doctor about testing for diabetes, you may find that you have to schedule a further appointment depending on which test they decide to run. As a rule, you will have three main options:

  • Fasting blood sugar test – This test requires you to have kept your stomach empty of all food for at least 8 hours, and, fortunately, it is most effective in the morning. It’s one of the quickest tests and consequently one of the cheapest tests for diabetes, and you’ll get the results immediately
  • Oral glucose tolerance test – This test is best for determining pre-diabetes but takes longer to find out the results. Again, you’ll need to have abstained from eating for at least 8 hours, at which point you’ll take a baseline test. You’ll then be given a high glucose drink and your blood sugar levels will be measured after a two-hour gap. You will need to repeat the experiment under similar conditions another day to confirm a diabetes diagnosis
  • Random plasma glucose test – Unlike testing fasting blood sugar levels, this test can be taken regardless of when you last ate. Your blood sugar levels will be measured along with common diabetes symptoms such as needing to urinate frequently and an increased thirst. This will help your doctor detect diabetes but not pre-diabetes.

Watch this video for step by step guidance on how to test blood sugar level:

Testing for Diabetes at Home

If you’d rather perform your own blood sugar testing at home to put your own mind at rest or keep your medical records clean, you can do a couple of simple tests. You can pick up cheap machines for testing for diabetes that take a small drop of your blood and measure the blood sugar. However, you’ll need to look up the average numbers for someone of your height, weight and athleticism as all of these will have an impact on your acceptable blood sugar range. You may need to test on multiple days to get an idea of your typical levels.

More about Testing for Diabetes:

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