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How Do You Find Out If You Have Diabetes?

A Diabetes Test You Can Do Yourself

A Diabetes Test You Can Do Yourself

Are you urinating more often, feeling very thirsty, hungry, or tired? Maybe you’re losing weight. You may have type 2 diabetes. To find out, you can make an appointment with your doctor and have your blood tested for the condition. Or you can go to the drug store, buy a blood glucose meter, and give yourself a diabetes test. An estimated 40 percent of adults with type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it, which means they aren’t getting treatment that could protect them from very serious health problems down the road, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure. The best option is to go to a doctor if you’re having symptoms of diabetes. But if you’re reluctant to do that, for whatever reason, the next best thing is to buy an over-the-counter diabetes test kit. "If you have a family history of diabetes, are obese, or have high blood pressure, you should test yourself for diabetes, if your doctor hasn’t already done so," says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports' chief medical adviser. "By being a proactive person, you might save yourself a lot of grief in the future.” Blood glucose meters can be purchased without a prescription. Models in our Ratings of more than two dozen devices cost $10 to $75. They usually come with 10 lancets, but you might have to buy a pack of test strips separately, which can cost $18 and up; check the package to see what it includes. If the meter doesn’t come with strips, make sure you buy a pack made for that model or you’ll get inaccurate results. Most models come with batteries. Here’s what you need to do next: Fast overnight. Don’t have anything to eat or drink (except water) for at least 8 hours, then test yourself first thing in the morning, before breakfast. Follow directions. Read the manual to ma Continue reading >>

How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?

How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?

Out of the estimated 24 million people with diabetes, one third, or eight million, don’t know they have the disease. According to Martin J. Abrahamson, M.D., Medical Director and Senior Vice President at Joslin Diabetes Center, this is because people with type 2 diabetes often have no symptoms. However, a simple blood test is all you need to find out if you are one the millions with untreated diabetes. Who should be tested? The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that everyone aged 45 and over should be tested for diabetes, and if the results are normal, re-tested every three years. Testing should be conducted at earlier ages and carried out more frequently in individuals who have any of the following diabetes risk factors: You have a parent or sibling with diabetes You are overweight (BMI higher than 25) You are a member of a high-risk ethnic population (African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander) You had gestational diabetes or a baby weighing over 9 pounds Your HDL cholesterol levels are 35 mg/dl or less, and/or your triglyceride level is 250 mg/dl or above You have high blood pressure You have polycystic ovarian syndrome On previous testing, had impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting tolerance What tests are used for diagnosis? Fasting Plasma Glucose –This blood test is taken in the morning, on an empty stomach. A level of 126 mg/dl or above, on more than one occasion, indicates diabetes. Casual or Random Glucose - This blood test can be taken anytime during the day, without fasting. A glucose level of 200 mg/dl and above may suggest diabetes. If any of these test results occurs, testing should be repeated on a different day to confirm the diagnosis. If a casual plasma glucose equal to 200 mg/dl or Continue reading >>

Warning Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes

Warning Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes

Almost a third of people who have diabetes do not know it. That number comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, most people with prediabetes — a condition that puts people at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes — don’t know they have it. So my diabetes story, which began in ignorance, was not so unusual. I had prediabetes for a long time before the complications caused by high blood sugar led to a stroke. This is the reason I made a list of warning signs for Type 2 diabetes. Perhaps you or someone you love will see how important it is to get a simple blood sugar test. If this sneaky condition is caught early, you can avoid serious complications. The symptoms of Type 2 are well known but are easy to miss. Two of them are increased thirst and frequent urination. The word “diabetes” comes from the Greek word for “siphon.” If the beta cells in your pancreas are working, insulin is pumping into your blood to help your body digest carbohydrates like sugar and bread and noodles. But in Type 2 diabetes (or prediabetes) your cells are resistant to insulin, which leaves much of that glucose, or simple sugar, in the bloodstream. When blood glucose levels are above 250 mg/dl, the ability of the kidneys to reabsorb fluids is blocked, leading to the release of large amounts of liquid (and sugar) into the bladder. (A urine test would show high sugar content. This is why for thousands of years, diabetes was called the “sweet urine disease.”) This process uses lots of water, leading to increased thirst. Another sign of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes is fatigue. Since your muscle cells are resisting insulin, they are not getting fed the glucose from your blood supply. It makes you tired. The problem with using fatigue as a warnin Continue reading >>

How To Tell If You Have Diabetes

How To Tell If You Have Diabetes

Expert Reviewed If you believe that you may have diabetes, consult a medical professional immediately. Type 1 diabetes is when the islet cells of your pancreas can no longer produce insulin; it is a type of autoimmune disease that makes them no longer functional. Type 2 diabetes is more lifestyle-related (relating to lack of exercise and consuming too much sugar). It is important to know the signs and symptoms of diabetes, as well as to understand how it is diagnosed, in order to be treated as soon as possible if you do have the condition. 1 Be aware of the following signs and symptoms. If you have two or more on the list below, it is best to see your doctor for further evaluation. Common signs and symptoms of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes include:[1] Excessive thirst Excessive hunger Blurry vision Frequent urination (you wake 3 or more times in the night to urinate) Fatigue (particularly after eating) Feeling irritable Wounds that don't heal or heal slowly 2 Take note of your lifestyle choices. People who live a sedentary life (with little to no exercise) are at a heightened risk of Type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight or obese, or who eat more sweets and refined carbohydrates than is ideal are also at significantly higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.[2] Note that Type 2 diabetes is acquired in one's life, most often related to poor lifestyle choices, versus Type 1 diabetes which is a condition one is born with that most often presents in childhood. 3 See your doctor.[3] The only way to truly confirm whether or not you have diabetes is to see your doctor for diagnostic testing (in the form of blood tests). The numbers that come back on your blood tests will help to classify you as "normal," "pre-diabetic" (meaning you are at very high risk of soon develo Continue reading >>

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Monitoring Of Diabetes

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Monitoring Of Diabetes

According to the latest American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, about 8 million people 18 years and older in the United States have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Often type 1 diabetes remains undiagnosed until symptoms become severe and hospitalization is required. Left untreated, diabetes can cause a number of health complications. That's why it's so important to both know what warning signs to look for and to see a health care provider regularly for routine wellness screenings. Symptoms In incidences of prediabetes, there are no symptoms. People may not be aware that they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes because they have no symptoms or because the symptoms are so mild that they go unnoticed for quite some time. However, some individuals do experience warning signs, so it's important to be familiar with them. Prediabetes Type 1 Diabetes Type 2 Diabetes No symptoms Increased or extreme thirst Increased thirst Increased appetite Increased appetite Increased fatigue Fatigue Increased or frequent urination Increased urination, especially at night Unusual weight loss Weight loss Blurred vision Blurred vision Fruity odor or breath Sores that do not heal In some cases, no symptoms In some cases, no symptoms If you have any of these symptoms, see your health care provider right away. Diabetes can only be diagnosed by your healthcare provider. Who should be tested for prediabetes and diabetes? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you should be tested if you are: If your blood glucose levels are in normal range, testing should be done about every three years. If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for diabetes every one to two years after diagnosis. Tests for Diagnosing Prediabetes and Diabetes There are three ty Continue reading >>

Diabetes

Diabetes

Eye problems are among the most significant complications of diabetes, and eye problems from diabetes are the most common cause of blindness in people of working age. People who have diabetes are more likely to develop cataract than people who do not, and people who have diabetes may develop diabetic retinopathy. They are also more like to develop glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy is when the small blood vessels in your retina leak blood and fluid into the retina. Although this does not affect your vision in the early stages, if it is left untreated it may lead to sight loss. You can reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by keeping your blood sugar under control as much as you can. Screening for diabetic retinopathy With a few exceptions, the NHS arranges for all people who have diabetes and are aged 12 and over to be invited to have screening for diabetic retinopathy. This is to reduce the risk of sight loss, so it is important that you have the screening done if you are eligible. The screening involves putting drops in your eyes to make your pupils larger. You will then have photographs taken of the retina at the back of your eye. It is very important that you have this done regularly, as early detection of diabetic retinopathy means that treatment is more effective. Most people will need to have the screening done every year. If you have not been invited to have your retinal screening done within the past 12 months you should speak to your general practitioner (GP) about this. The retinal screening only checks to see if you have diabetic retinopathy. It does not check for other eye diseases such as cataracts or glaucoma. It is therefore important that you continue to have regular eye examinations with your optometrist to make sure that you can see clearly Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in people aged over 40 years. However, an increasing number of younger people, even children, are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The first-line treatment is diet, weight control and physical activity. If the blood sugar (glucose) level remains high despite these measures then tablets to reduce the blood glucose level are usually advised. Insulin injections are needed in some cases. Other treatments include reducing blood pressure if it is high, lowering high cholesterol levels and also using other measures to reduce the risk of complications. Although diabetes cannot be cured, it can be treated successfully. If a high blood sugar level is brought down to a normal level, your symptoms will ease. You still have some risk of complications in the long term if your blood glucose level remains even mildly high - even if you have no symptoms in the short term. However, studies have shown that people who have better glucose control have fewer complications (such as heart disease or eye problems) compared with those people who have poorer control of their glucose level. Therefore, the main aims of treatment are: To keep your blood glucose level as near normal as possible. To reduce any other risk factors that may increase your risk of developing complications. In particular, to lower your blood pressure if it is high and to keep your blood lipids (cholesterol) low. To detect any complications as early as possible. Treatment can prevent or delay some complications from becoming worse. Type 2 diabetes is usually initially treated by following a healthy diet, losing weight if you are overweight, and having regular physical activity. If lifestyle advice does not control your blood sugar (glucose) levels then medicines are used to help lower your Continue reading >>

Diabetes Warning Signs

Diabetes Warning Signs

Diabetes Warning Signs Because type 2 diabetes can lead to some serious health complications, it's important to be aware of any diabetes warning signs and get tested for diabetes, if you have these symptoms. Treating diabetes early, when treatment is most effective, can help prevent these diabetes complications. We'll explain the various diabetes warning signs and also warning signs of specific diabetes problems. Discover why it's important to listen to your body and alert your doctor if you notice any new signs or problems. Warning Signs of Diabetes Sometimes type 2 diabetes can develop without any warnings signs. In fact, about a third of all people who have type 2 diabetes don't know they have it. That's why it's important to talk to your doctor about your risk for diabetes and determined if you should be tested. Common warnings signs of diabetes include: Increased thirst Increased hunger (especially after eating) Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry) Fatigue (weak, tired feeling) Blurred vision Diabetic coma (loss of consciousness) If you have any of the above mentioned warnings signs of diabetes, give your doctor a call and schedule a diabetes test. With the right diabetes diet, regular exercise, and medications, if needed, you can manage type 2 diabetes and live an active, productive life. If you have symptoms of the following diabetes complications, it's important to seek immediate medical attention. Each brief discussion links to more in-depth information. Hypoglycemia and Diabetes As you'll learn in this health topic, hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, occurs when the level of sugar or glucose in the blood drops too low to fuel the body. Hypoglycemia is not a disease but a condition that results from a variety of causes. Hypoglycem Continue reading >>

7 Warning Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes

7 Warning Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes

1 / 8 What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes? More than 100 million American adults are living with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the number of people who know they have the diseases — which can lead to life-threatening complications, like blindness and heart disease — is far lower. Data from the CDC suggests that of the estimated 30.3 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, 7.2 million, or 1 in 4 adults living with the disease, are not aware of it. And among those people living with prediabetes, only 11.6 percent are aware that they have the disease. Prediabetes is marked by higher than normal blood sugar levels — though not high enough to qualify as diabetes. The CDC notes that this condition often leads to full-blown type 2 diabetes within five years if it's left untreated through diet and lifestyle modifications. Type 2 diabetes, which is often diagnosed when a person has an A1C of at least 7 on two separate occasions, can lead to potentially serious issues, like neuropathy, or nerve damage; vision problems; an increased risk of heart disease; and other diabetes complications. A person’s A1C is the two- to three-month average of his or her blood sugar levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors may use other tests to diagnose diabetes. For example, they may conduct a fasting blood glucose test, which is a blood glucose test done after a night of fasting. While a fasting blood sugar level of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is normal, one that is between 100 to 125 mg/dL signals prediabetes, and a reading that reaches 126 mg/dL on two separate occasions means you have diabetes. People with full-blown type 2 diabetes are not able to use the h Continue reading >>

How To Tell If You Have Type 2 Diabetes

How To Tell If You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Many people have type 2 diabetes and don’t realise. This is because symptoms don’t necessarily make you feel unwell. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include: peeing more than usual, particularly at night feeling thirsty all the time feeling very tired losing weight without trying itching around your penis or vagina, or you keep getting thrush cuts or wounds that take longer to heal blurred vision You’re more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you: are over 40 (or 25 for South Asian people) have a close relative with diabetes (parent, brother or sister) are overweight or obese are of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin (even if you were born in the UK) When to see your GP See your GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of developing it. Your GP can diagnose diabetes. You’ll need a blood test which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it can’t be done at your GP surgery. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment starts, the better. Treating diabetes early reduces your risk of other health problems. Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed following blood or urine tests for something else. However, if you have any symptoms of diabetes you should see your GP straight away. To find out if you have type 2 diabetes, you usually have to go through the following steps: Speak to your GP about your symptoms. Your GP will check your urine and arrange a blood test to check your blood sugar levels. It usually takes about 1 to 2 days for the results to come back. If you have diabetes, your GP will ask you to come in again to explain the test results and what will happen next. If you’re diagnosed with diabetes What your GP will discuss with you during your appointme Continue reading >>

Reading Food Labels: Tips If You Have Diabetes

Reading Food Labels: Tips If You Have Diabetes

Food labels can be an essential tool for diabetes meal planning. Here's what to look for when comparing food labels. When you have diabetes, your diet is a vital part of your treatment plan. Of course you know what you're eating — a turkey sandwich, a glass of skim milk, a sugar-free fudge pop. But do you pay attention to the details, such as calories, total carbohydrates, fiber, fat, salt and sugar? Reading food labels can help you make the best choices. Start with the list of ingredients When you're looking at food labels, start with the list of ingredients. Keep an eye out for heart-healthy ingredients, such as whole-wheat flour, soy and oats. Monounsaturated fats — such as olive, canola or peanut oils — promote heart health, too. Avoid unhealthy ingredients, such as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. Keep in mind that ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. The main (heaviest) ingredient is listed first, followed by other ingredients used in decreasing amounts. Consider carbs in context If your meal plan is based on carbohydrate counting, food labels become an essential tool. Look at total carbohydrates, not just sugar. Evaluate the grams of total carbohydrates — which includes sugar, complex carbohydrates and fiber — rather than only the grams of sugar. If you zero in on sugar content, you could miss out on nutritious foods naturally high in sugar, such as fruit and milk. And you might overdo foods with no natural or added sugar, but plenty of carbohydrates, such as certain cereals and grains. Don't miss out on high-fiber foods. Pay special attention to high-fiber foods. Look for foods with 3 or more grams of fiber. When counting carbohydrates, if a food has more than 5 grams of fiber, you can subtract half of the total grams of fib Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Diabetes: Seven Signs You Could Have The Condition

Symptoms Of Diabetes: Seven Signs You Could Have The Condition

The symptoms are not always obvious, and many people could be suffering with the condition for years before they learn they have it. Every week 4,500 people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes across the UK. However, experts warn thousands could be living with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. The condition, which can be caused by being overweight and poor diet can cause blindness, limbs to be amputated - every week diabetes causes 150 amputations - and even kidney failure. It has even been linked to a reduce life expectancy if the condition it not managed well. People also need to ensure they look after their feet properly as high levels of blood glucose can cause foot problems. This can stop nerves working so people might not feel when they have cut their feet or burned themselves. The main symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are: Urinating more often than usual - particularly at night Excessive urination can be triggered by excess glucose in the blood which interferes with the kidney’s ability to concentrate urine. Feeling thirsty Kidneys have to work harder in people with type 2 diabetes. Puldisia is the term given to excessive thirst. Diabetes.co.uk said: “If you feel thirsty all the time or your thirst is stronger than usual and continues even after you drink, it can be a sign that not all is well inside your body.” If you feel thirsty all the time or your thirst is stronger than usual and continues even after you drink, it can be a sign that not all is well inside your body Feeling tired Feeling tired could be a symptom of many conditions - but it can be caused in people who have low blood sugar. Itching around the penis or vagina Thrush - a yeast infection - tends to affect warm, moist areas of the body such as the vagina, penis, mouth and certain areas Continue reading >>

Diabetes Discovery – Via The Eyes

Diabetes Discovery – Via The Eyes

Did you know that an eye exam can be the first clue to detecting diabetes and other hidden health concerns? Finding health issues early can give patients a better chance at preventing damage through early treatment and management. A routine eye exam can show so many things. Some can be downright life changing – and life-saving – for that matter. One doctor found out first-hand when she did the same thing she does every day – she looked into a patient's eyes. But this was no ordinary exam. When Kathleen Clary, OD, peered into her 48-year-old patient’s eyes, she saw blood and other fluids seeping out of fragile and miniscule vessels in her retinas. The retina is the light and sight-sensing back part of the eye – and without it, you don't see. “As soon as I noticed the leaking fluids and the hemorrhaging, I suspected that they might be symptoms of diabetes,” recalls Dr. Clary, who practices in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Ashburn, Virginia. “In my 12 years of experience as an eye doctor, that kind of bleeding usually signals that a buildup of sugar in the patient’s bloodstream has begun to break down the capillaries that feed the retina. The result is often what we call diabetic retinopathy – a condition in which continuing damage to retinal tissue from diabetes can lead to impaired vision or even blindness, if left untreated.” The eye exam was the very first clue the patient had that she might have diabetes. Dr. Clary talked with her patient about what she saw and explained what it could mean. “I want you to have your blood sugar level checked right away by your family doctor,” she told her patient. “Tell the doctor you need to be evaluated for diabetes with a fasting blood sugar test, because your optometrist noticed some retinal bleeding. Continue reading >>

Early Symptoms Of Diabetes

Early Symptoms Of Diabetes

What are the symptoms of diabetes? Although the signs of diabetes can begin to show early, sometimes it takes a person a while to recognize the symptoms. This often makes it seem like signs and symptoms of diabetes appear suddenly. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your body, rather than simply brushing them off. To that end, here are some type 1 and type 2 diabetes symptoms that you may want to watch out for: If you’re experiencing frequent urination your body might be telling you that your kidneys are trying to expel excess sugar in your blood. The resulting dehydration may then cause extreme thirst. Along the same lines, the lack of available fluids may also give you dry mouth and itchy skin. If you experience increased hunger or unexpected weight loss it could be because your body isn’t able to get adequate energy from the food you eat. High blood sugar levels can affect blood flow and cause nerve damage, which makes healing difficult. So having slow-healing cuts/sores is also a potential sign of diabetes. Yeast infections may occur in men and women who have diabetes as a result of yeast feeding on glucose. Other signs of diabetes Pay attention if you find yourself feeling drowsy or lethargic; pain or numbness in your extremities; vision changes; fruity or sweet-smelling breath which is one of the symptoms of high ketones; and experiencing nausea or vomiting—as these are additional signs that something is not right. If there’s any question, see your doctor immediately to ensure that your blood sugar levels are safe and rule out diabetes. So what are the low blood sugar symptoms you should look out for? It’s important to realize that the signs of… Polyuria occurs when your body urinates more frequently—and often in larger amounts—than Continue reading >>

10 Silent Diabetes Symptoms You Might Be Missing

10 Silent Diabetes Symptoms You Might Be Missing

Diabetes has plenty of early signs, but they're subtle enough that you might not notice. Syda Productions/shutterstock "It's not like you wake up one day and all of a sudden you're thirsty, hungry, and [going to the bathroom] all the time," says Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, a certified diabetes educator in Illinois and a spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. "It picks up gradually." Indeed, "most people are unaware that they have diabetes in its early or even middle phases," says Aaron Cypess, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and staff physician at Joslin Diabetes Center. Just because you're not keyed in doesn't mean you're immune from problems associated with diabetes, he adds. The longer you go without controlling diabetes, the greater your risk for heart disease, kidney disease, amputation, blindness, and other serious complications. "We recommend that people with risk factors for diabetes, such as a family history or being overweight, get evaluated on a regular basis," Dr. Cypess says. If you've been feeling off, talk to your doctor about getting a simple blood test that can diagnose the disease. And pay attention to these subtle diabetes symptoms and signs. Try these simple tricks for living well with diabetes from people who actually have it. Iryna Kolesova/shutterstock When you have diabetes, your body becomes less efficient at breaking food down into sugar, so you have more sugar sitting in your bloodstream, says Dobbins. "Your body gets rid of it by flushing it out in the urine." So going to the bathroom a lot could be one of the diabetes symptoms you're missing. Most patients aren't necessarily aware of how often they use the bathroom, says Dr. Cypess. "When we ask about it, we often hear, 'Oh yeah, I guess I Continue reading >>

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