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Diabetes Check Ups

Schedule For Diabetes Lab Tests And Exams

Schedule For Diabetes Lab Tests And Exams

In addition to your daily self-care, it's important to stay up to date with lab tests and physical exams. Keeping regular appointments with your doctor and getting tests on time will: Give you and your doctor important information about how well your diabetes care plan is working. Give you a chance to ask questions and share ideas or concerns you have about your care plan. Help your doctor find and treat any problems before they get worse. The following schedules give a general idea of how often to get exams and lab tests. Depending on your care plan, your schedule might be different. Talk to your doctor about the schedule that's right for you. Physical Exams How Often? Retinal eye exam Eye exam to look for signs of retinopathy (nerve damage to the eye). This exam is done by taking a picture of your eye with a special camera, without having to dilate the eye. Every 2 years if you have type 2 diabetes and don't have signs of retinopathy or have had type 1 diabetes more than 5 years. Every year if you have retinopathy. Foot exam Checks for foot problems so they can be treated early. Includes calluses, bunions, sores, and little or no feeling in your feet. Treating these problems early can keep them from leading to anything more serious. Every year if you have type 2 diabetes or have had type 1 diabetes more than 5 years. More often if you have any foot problems. Weight and blood pressure At every clinic visit. Lab Tests How Often? A1c (Glycosylated hemoglobin) Blood test to measure the amount of glucose attached to your red blood cells. It shows what your average blood sugar level has been for the past 2 to 3 months. As often as every 3 months. Urine check for microalbumin Urine test to look for small proteins (microalbumin), which can show early signs of kidney damage. I Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Monitoring: When To Check And Why

Blood Sugar Monitoring: When To Check And Why

Managing diabetes is one part investigation and two parts action. Unlike some other diseases that rely primarily on professional medical treatment, diabetes treatment requires active participation by the person who has it. Monitoring your blood sugar level on a regular basis and analyzing the results is believed by many to be a crucial part of the treatment equation. When someone is first diagnosed with diabetes, he is usually given a blood sugar meter (or told to go buy one) and told how and when to use it, as well as what numbers to shoot for. However, the advice a person receives on when to monitor and what the results should be generally depend on his type of diabetes, age, and state of overall health. It can also depend on a health-care provider’s philosophy of care and which set of diabetes care guidelines he follows. At least three major health organizations have published slightly different recommendations regarding goals for blood sugar levels. There is some common ground when it comes to blood sugar monitoring practices. For example, most people take a fasting reading before breakfast every morning. Some people also monitor before lunch, dinner, and bedtime; some monitor after each meal; and some monitor both before and after all meals. However, when monitoring after meals, some people do it two hours after the first bite of the meal, while others prefer to check one hour after the start of a meal. To help sort out the whys and when of monitoring, three diabetes experts weigh in with their opinions. While they don’t agree on all the details, they do agree on one thing: Regular monitoring is critical in diabetes care. Why monitor? Self-monitoring is an integral part of diabetes management because it puts you in charge. Regardless of how you manage your diab Continue reading >>

Diabetes Doctors: Which Specialists Treat Diabetes?

Diabetes Doctors: Which Specialists Treat Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that affects a person's blood sugar levels and can require various treatments. Understanding which doctors help treat diabetes can simplify the process, making it less stressful. This article helps people with diabetes to understand the key differences between the various diabetes specialists. It also covers some common guidelines to follow for visiting each of these experts, to ensure you get the most out of your treatment. Which doctors help with treating diabetes? There are a number of diabetes specialists who may be involved in treating someone with this common condition. As each of these specialists has a slightly different role, there are some key things to be aware of before seeing each one. General care physicians A general care physician will often help in the treatment of people with diabetes. Regular check-ups will usually be carried out once every 3 to 4 months. If there is anything outside their area of expertise, a general care physician will frequently send an individual to an endocrinologist first of all. Endocrinologists The most common specialists in the field of diabetes are endocrinologists. Endocrinologists specialize in the glands of the body, and the hormones that are produced from those glands. The pancreas is a gland that comes under the spotlight when managing diabetes. It produces insulin that helps regulate blood sugar. In the case of people with diabetes, insulin is either not produced or does not work properly. People with type 1 diabetes are put under the care of an endocrinologist most of the time. People with type 2 diabetes, who have fluctuating blood sugar levels, will also need to see an endocrinologist. Visiting a doctor for diabetes When visiting a doctor about diabetes for the first time, it is important tha Continue reading >>

Check Ups For Your Diabetes

Check Ups For Your Diabetes

Children and parents will be taught how to look after their diabetes by specialist nurses in the paediatric department. This is a very specialist subject , not covered in detail here. type 2 various education programs Adults also need to be taught about their diabetes. General advice includes information about a healthy diet, and advice as to how to reduce weight if overweight. Ask for an appointment with a dietician if you are having problems controlling your diabetes, or need to lose weight but can't. The education courses opposite are invaluable. Adults need to learn how to test their own blood sugar ; everyone should do this unless they are too old or poorly. A chiropodist should advise you how to look after your feet, and an optometrist expert in detecting retinopathy should check your eyes (and do this every year as below). Foot infections can spread rapidly. Great care is needed , especially if you have neuropathy (reduced feeling in your toes). examine feet every day for cuts or anything unusual. Avoid direct heat and hot water bottles (you may have reduced feeling). Check shoes fit well, and check inside of shoes every day for sharp objects. Do not use sharp instruments. No corn plasters...they contain acid. Everyone wants to know how often they should test their blood sugar. The table below is a guide. Remember urine checks detect a relatively high amount of sugar. Diabetes UK advise that every diabetic should test their own blood sugar. If you do not know how to test, by a kit and ask your nurse to show you how. However, there is no point in testing if you find your sugar levels are high and take no action. See type 1/type 2 on insulin page , or type 2 page.If your sugar is high, 'action' includes adjusting your insulin dose (perhaps the next day), eating le Continue reading >>

Summary Of Guidelines For Patients With Diabetes: Checklist For Your Doctor Visits

Summary Of Guidelines For Patients With Diabetes: Checklist For Your Doctor Visits

Every person with diabetes should visit a doctor at least every three months. Regular checkups allow your doctor to track your condition and, if necessary, make changes in your treatment plan. But what should happen during those checkups? Do you wonder why your doctor orders certain tests? Or what the numbers mean? The American Diabetes Associations guidelines cover all aspects of diabetes care, including doctors' visits. This summary of the ADA's recommendations will help you know what to expect from your next visit. If you still wonder why your doctor has ordered a test -- or not ordered a test -- be sure to ask the doctor directly. When tests should be done The ADA has different guidelines for what should happen on diagnosis, at each visit, every three months, and once a year. 1. When you are diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor should provide a pneumococcal vaccine for protection against pneumonia, unless you have already been vaccinated. This vaccination does not have to be renewed each year. When you turn 65, however, you should receive another vaccine if you haven't had one in the last five years. 2. At each visit, a doctor should do the following: Ask about your self-monitoring of blood sugar. Ask about frequency and severity of episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Check your weight. Measure your blood pressure. Carefully inspect your legs and feet (including between the toes) for sores. Ask about your medication use. Answer questions about the disease and educate you about self-care. Check on any diabetic complications, including symptoms of nerve damage such as numbness. Ask about your use of tobacco and/or alcohol. Ask you about any lifestyle changes and discuss the consequences. Talk to you about possible stress, de Continue reading >>

Why Does My Veterinarian Want To Test My Cat For Diabetes?

Why Does My Veterinarian Want To Test My Cat For Diabetes?

Cats are masters at concealing their illnesses. The signs of most cat health problems are very subtle in the beginning. Diabetes mellitus, once referred to as “sugar diabetes,” is no exception. Because cats are private and secretive some of the signs of diabetes may go unnoticed by their guardians. Many of the signs of diabetes are non-specific. Subtle increases in water intake and urine output may go undetected, especially in outdoor cats1. Cats and people are similar in that we may miss the early signs. Many people have undiagnosed, subtle diabetes that, left uncontrolled, will progress to serious diseases. Cats are similar. A mild elevated blood sugar level may be insignificant or may be a precursor for full-blown diabetes. How will my veterinarian test my cat for diabetes? While an elevated fasting blood glucose level is strong evidence of diabetes, even in people, repeated fasting tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis of diabetes–that test is called a glucose tolerance test. In cats, obtaining an accurate blood glucose level can be a challenge. The simple act of collecting blood from a cat can cause them to become agitated and result in an impact on blood sugar levels. Detection of glucose in the urine significantly increases the likelihood that diabetes is present, but not always. Blood sugar levels can be elevated to twice normal before glucose is detected in the urine1. Many cat owners are not familiar with another blood test called fructosamine--a test that measures a byproduct of glucose metabolism rather than glucose itself. It is of particular value in cats. A serum fructosamine level is used to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes in most feline cases. Serum fructosamine concentrations are probably the most reliable and easiest way of evaluating you Continue reading >>

Health Checklist: 9 Tests To Get

Health Checklist: 9 Tests To Get

What to expect: Your health care provider will test your blood to measure your average blood glucose level over the past few months. A high reading can indicate that your diabetes is not well controlled. Sometimes A1C results are shown as an estimated average glucose, or eAG, which is translated into the kind of mg/dl reading you see on your meter. Target: Generally less than 7 percent for A1C and less than 154 mg/dl for eAG. You may have lower or higher targets based on factors such as your age and other medical conditions. How often: Twice a year if your A1C is in your target range. If your A1C is off target or youre adjusting medications or other treatments, this test is recommended four times a year. What to expect: An ophthalmologist or optometrist will put drops in your eye to dilate the pupil and then use magnifying equipment to look at the retina, the tissue in the back of the eye that sends the images we see to the brain. This screens for diabetic retinopathy , which includes changes to the retinal blood vessels and can damage vision. How often: At time of diagnosis for people with type 2 and within five years of diagnosis for those with type 1 . If annual eye exams are clear for at least two years, then exams may be appropriate every two years. If any level of retinopathy is detected, an eye exam should be done at least once a year. Home care: Control your blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure to help lower the risk of retinopathy. What to expect: A cuff is wrapped around your upper arm and inflated to measure your blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease , stroke , and kidney disease . Target: Less than 120/80 mmHg is ideal, but people taking blood pressure medication should aim for less than 140/90 mmHg. If your blood pressure Continue reading >>

5 Important Tests For Type 2 Diabetes

5 Important Tests For Type 2 Diabetes

It takes more than just one abnormal blood test to diagnose diabetes.Istockphoto For centuries, diabetes testing mostly consisted of a physician dipping his pinkie into a urine sample and tasting it to pick up on abnormally high sugar. Thankfully, testing for type 2 diabetes is lot easier now—at least for doctors. Urine tests can still pick up diabetes. However, sugar levels need to be quite high (and diabetes more advanced) to be detected on a urine test, so this is not the test of choice for type 2 diabetes. Blood tests Almost all diabetes tests are now conducted on blood samples, which are collected in a visit to your physician or obstetrician (if you're pregnant). More about type 2 diabetes If you have an abnormal resultmeaning blood sugar is too high—on any of these tests, you'll need to have more testing. Many things can affect blood sugar (such as certain medications, illness, or stress). A diabetes diagnosis requires more than just one abnormal blood sugar result. The main types of diabetes blood tests include: Oral glucose-tolerance test. This test is most commonly performed during pregnancy. You typically have your blood drawn once, then drink a syrupy glucose solution and have your blood drawn at 30 to 60 minute intervals for up to three hours to see how your body is handling the glut of sugar. Normal result: Depends on how many grams of glucose are in the solution, which can vary. Fasting blood sugar. This is a common test because it's easy to perform. After fasting overnight, you have your blood drawn at an early morning doctor's visit and tested to see if your blood sugar is in the normal range. Normal result: 70-99 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) or less than 5.5 mmol/L Two-hour postprandial test. This blood test is done two hours after you have eate Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have diabetes, it is vital that you have your eyes checked regularly. Damage to the retina at the back of the eye (retinopathy) is a common complication of diabetes. If left untreated, it can become worse and cause some loss of vision, or total loss of vision (severe sight impairment) in severe cases. Good control of blood sugar (glucose) and blood pressure slows down the progression of retinopathy. Treatment with a laser, before the retinopathy becomes severe, can often prevent loss of vision. What is diabetic retinopathy? The term retinopathy covers various disorders of the retina, which can affect vision. Retinopathy is usually due to damage to the tiny blood vessels in the retina. Retinopathy is commonly caused by diabetes but is sometimes caused by other diseases such as very high blood pressure (hypertension). Note: people with diabetes also have a higher risk of developing other eye problems, including cataracts and glaucoma. How does diabetic retinopathy occur? Over several years, a high blood sugar (glucose) level can weaken and damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina. This can result in various problems which include: Small blow-out swellings of blood vessels (microaneurysms). Small leaks of fluid from damaged blood vessels (exudates). Small bleeds from damaged blood vessels (haemorrhages). Blood vessels may just become blocked. This can cut off the blood and oxygen supply to small sections of the retina. New abnormal blood vessels may grow from damaged blood vessels. This is called proliferative retinopathy. These new vessels are delicate and can bleed easily. The leaks of fluid, bleeds and blocked blood vessels may damage the cells of the retina. In some severe cases, damaged blood vessels bleed into the jelly-like centre of the eye (the vitreous Continue reading >>

Introducing Diabetes

Introducing Diabetes

Download a PDF version of this page: You should be seen by your diabetes care team or GP at least every year for an annual check-up or "Annual Review". In New Zealand the components of this thorough check-up are generally free to all people with diabetes, although services vary by District Health Board (DHB) In 2014, the Government intorduced the "Diabetes Care Improvement Package (DCIP)" which enables DHBs to formulate local diabetes services according to need. This replaced what we previously knew as the "Get Checked" program. Collecting information on diabetes and related complications in New Zealand Why do people with diabetes need to Get Checked? The main aim of the Annual Review is to detect long-term complications early, so that they can be treated in order to minimise the risks of severe ill health, poor quality of life, and an early death, as a result of the effects of diabetes. The development and progression of diabetes-related complications can be minimised by good blood glucose and blood pressure control. In addition, there are many other things that can be done to reduce the impact of complications. So there is nothing to be lost - and everything to be gained - by learning how (if) diabetes is affecting your body, and staying on top of the situation. What should you expect of an 'Annual Review'? The Annual Review should include the following: 1. At some stage before the appointment, blood tests and urine tests* should be performed for *Other tests may be requested at the discretion of your doctor; see " Laboratory Tests " for more information. 2. During the appointment, you should have a physical examination ( see below ), in particular, checking of 3. During the appointment, you should have the opportunity to discuss any problems or concerns that you may Continue reading >>

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

Print Medical experts haven't agreed on a single set of screening guidelines for gestational diabetes. Some question whether gestational diabetes screening is needed if you're younger than 25 and have no risk factors. Others say that screening all pregnant women is the best way to identify all cases of gestational diabetes. When to screen Your doctor will likely evaluate your risk factors for gestational diabetes early in your pregnancy. If you're at high risk of gestational diabetes — for example, your body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy was 30 or higher or you have a mother, father, sibling or child with diabetes — your doctor may test for diabetes at your first prenatal visit. If you're at average risk of gestational diabetes, you'll likely have a screening test during your second trimester — between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Routine screening for gestational diabetes Initial glucose challenge test. You'll drink a syrupy glucose solution. One hour later, you'll have a blood test to measure your blood sugar level. A blood sugar level below 130 to 140 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 7.2 to 7.8 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), is usually considered normal on a glucose challenge test, although this may vary by clinic or lab. If your blood sugar level is higher than normal, it only means you have a higher risk of gestational diabetes. You'll need a glucose tolerance test to determine if you have the condition. Follow-up glucose tolerance testing. You'll fast overnight, then have your blood sugar level measured. Then you'll drink another sweet solution — this one containing a higher concentration of glucose — and your blood sugar level will be checked every hour for three hours. If at least two of the blood sugar readings are higher than normal, you'll Continue reading >>

The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy: Checkups And Tests

The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy: Checkups And Tests

Most pregnant women see their doctors every month for a prenatal checkup. Women with health problems or high-risk pregnancies may see their doctors more often. Regular checkups are important during the first trimester of your pregnancy. Theyre also important during your second trimester. You need to continue monitoring the development and health of your baby. During the second trimester, many women will have a variety of tests done. Most women will have an ultrasound. Theyll also get blood work, urine tests, and a glucose tolerance test done. Some women may choose to get testing for complications in the development of their babies. Other tests may be recommended depending on a womans health and medical history. Be sure to tell your doctor if there have been any changes in your diet, lifestyle, or health since your last visit. Dont hesitate to call your doctor with questions or concerns in between visits. During your checkup your doctor will do a brief physical exam. A nurse or assistant will check your weight and take your blood pressure. Your doctor will decide whether any more tests are needed after getting your health history and performing the physical exam. Your doctor may also want to know your family medical history and any medications or supplements youre taking. Your doctor will also ask you about: Your doctor will measure the height of your uterus, also called the fundal height, measuring from the top of your pelvic bone to the top of your uterus. There usually is a relationship between the fundal height and the length of your pregnancy. For example, at 20 weeks, your fundal height should be 20 centimeters (cm.), plus or minus 2 cm. At 30 weeks, 30 cm., plus or minus 2 cm., and so on. This measurement isnt always accurate as fundal height may be unreliable in Continue reading >>

Diabetic Eye Screening

Diabetic Eye Screening

Diabetic eye screening is a key part of diabetes care. People with diabetes are at risk of damage from diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to sight loss if it's not treated. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of sight loss among people of working age. It occurs when diabetes affects small blood vessels, damaging the part of the eye called the retina. When the blood vessels in the central area of the retina (the macula) are affected, it's known as diabetic maculopathy. People with diabetes should also see their optician every two years for a regular eye test. Diabetic eye screening is specifically for diabetic retinopathy and can't be relied upon for other conditions. Why eye screening is needed Screening is a way of detecting the condition early before you notice any changes to your vision. Diabetic retinopathy doesn't usually cause any noticeable symptoms in the early stages. If retinopathy is detected early enough, treatment can stop it getting worse. Otherwise, by the time symptoms become noticeable, it can be much more difficult to treat. This is why the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme was introduced. Everyone aged 12 and over with diabetes is offered screening once a year. Diabetic retinopathy is extremely unusual in children with diabetes who are under the age of 12. The check takes about half an hour and involves examining the back of the eyes and taking photographs of the retina. When diabetic eye screening is offered Everyone with diabetes who is 12 years of age or over should be invited to have their eyes screened once a year. You should receive a letter from your local Diabetic Eye Screening Service inviting you to attend a screening appointment. The letter will include a leaflet about diabetic eye screening. People with di Continue reading >>

Post Birth Diabetes Testing

Post Birth Diabetes Testing

Gestational diabetes increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy. Statistics from Diabetes UK state that there is a seven-fold increased risk in women with gestational diabetes developing type 2 diabetes in later life. NICE state that up to 50% of women diagnosed with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years of the birth. A 2002 publication from Diabetes Care comparing 28 studies found that elevated fasting levels during pregnancy was the most common risk factor associated with future risk of type 2 diabetes: Cumulative incidence of type 2 diabetes increased markedly in the first 5 years after delivery and appeared to plateau after 10 years. An elevated fasting glucose level during pregnancy was the risk factor most commonly associated with future risk of type 2 diabetes. It is recommended that you should have a fasting glucose blood test at 6 weeks post-partum OR a HbA1c blood test after 13 weeks post-partum to check that you are clear of diabetes. It is no longer recommended that a repeat GTT is performed to check that the diabetes is clear (NICE guidelines Feb 2015). However it may still be offered in Scotland and Ireland or in hospitals which are not following the NICE recommendations. Many ladies have concerns over taking a fasting glucose test whilst breast feeding, or attending for blood tests whilst their newborn is still very young. If you have these concerns then you may want to opt for a HbA1c blood test after 13 weeks post-partum. You do not need to fast and it is one simple blood test that can be taken at your local GP surgery. High levels after giving birth You should eat a normal diet following the birth of your baby. Some hospitals will advise to continue testing blood sugar levels after giving birth. Be prepa Continue reading >>

8 Important Diabetes Tests To Get Regularly

8 Important Diabetes Tests To Get Regularly

Type 2 diabetes can affect every part of your body, from your eyes to your feet. A critical part of managing diabetes is getting routine tests and checkups that can spot problems early to help prevent complications. “Too often, if someone isn’t seeing the same doctor routinely, these important tests can get overlooked,” says Diana Aby-Daniel, PA-C, a physician assistant at the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. “Many diabetes complications are preventable if they’re found early with one of these routine tests.” The following eight diabetes exams and tests will help you get the health care you need: 1. A1C test. This key blood test measures your average blood sugar levels over the previous two or three months, which lets your doctor know how well your blood sugar is being controlled. You should get this test twice a year, if not more often, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). “Try to get your A1C results below or as close to 7 percent as possible,” says George L. King, MD, director of research and head of the section on vascular cell biology at Joslin Diabetes Center and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Talk to your doctor about the A1C goal that’s right for you. You can get this test through your primary care doctor. 2. Blood pressure checks. Diabetes makes you more likely to have high blood pressure, which can put you at increased risk for stroke and heart attack. Have your blood pressure checked every time you see your primary care doctor, Dr. King says. 3. Cholesterol test. Because having diabetes increases your risk of heart disease, it’s important to have a blood test to check your cholesterol as part of your annual exam or more frequently if your Continue reading >>

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