Can You Test For Diabetes At Home
People living with diabetes test their blood glucose levels at home all the time, so cant you do the same?
While the blood glucose testing equipment you can buy over the counter is useful for monitoring diabetes, it is not an effective diagnostic tool. For starters, your ideal blood sugar readings will be different depending on the time of day, your age, or other health conditions. It is in your best interest to get tested by a healthcare professional who can give you an appropriate target range and accurately interpret the results.
So while there is no harm in testing yourself at home, you should take any abnormal results to your doctor for further testing.
How Is Diabetes Treated
Diabetes can be treated in several ways. Diet, physical activity, and careful monitoring are important if you have diabetes, no matter which type of diabetes you have.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to take insulin for the rest of your life. Thats because your pancreas doesnt produce the insulin your body needs.
If you have type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to control your diabetes with lifestyle changes, such as diet, weight loss, and exercise. You may also need to take oral or injectable medications, including insulin or metformin, to manage your blood sugar levels.
If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, youll need to carefully track your diet to prevent your blood sugar levels from getting too high. This generally means watching your carbohydrate intake as well as limiting over-processed, low fiber foods, such as:
- sugary sodas
- fruit-flavored yogurt
- flavored coffee drinks
Your doctor will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan to help you control your blood sugar levels.
How To Reverse Prediabetes
The CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program helps people with prediabetes make lasting lifestyle changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
Working with a trained coach, youâll learn to eat healthy, add physical activity into your life, and manage stress. With other participants, youâll celebrate successes and work to overcome challenges.
If you have prediabetes, now is your time to take action.
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Why Is My Blood Glucose Level High How Does This Happen
The process of digestion includes breaking down the food you eat into various different nutrient sources. When you eat carbohydrates , your body breaks this down into sugar . When glucose is in your bloodstream, it needs help a “key” to get into its final destination where it’s used, which is inside your body’s cells . This help or “key” is insulin.
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas, an organ located behind your stomach. Your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts as the key that unlocks the cell wall door, which allows glucose to enter your bodys cells. Glucose provides the fuel or energy tissues and organs need to properly function.
If you have diabetes:
- Your pancreas doesnt make any insulin or enough insulin.
- Your pancreas makes insulin but your bodys cells dont respond to it and cant use it as it normally should.
If glucose cant get into your bodys cells, it stays in your bloodstream and your blood glucose level rises.
How Does Diabetes Lead To Amputation
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to poor blood flow . Without oxygen and nutrients , you are more prone to the development of cuts and sores that can lead to infections that cant fully heal. Areas of your body that are farthest away from your heart are more likely to experience the effects of poor blood flow. So areas of your body like your toes, feet, legs and fingers are more likely to be amputated if infection develops and healing is poor.
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How Often Do I Need To See My Primary Diabetes Healthcare Professional
In general, if you are being treated with insulin shots, you should see your doctor at least every three to four months. If you are treated with pills or are managing diabetes through diet, you should be seen at least every four to six months. More frequent visits may be needed if your blood sugar is not controlled or if complications of diabetes are worsening.
The Only Way You Can Find Out If You Or A Loved One Has Diabetes Is From Blood Tests That Measure You Blood Glucose Levels These Can Be Arranged Through Your Gp
A diagnosis of diabetes is always confirmed by laboratory results. Youll usually get the results of your blood test back in a few days. If you have symptoms that came on quickly and youve been taken into hospital, the results should come back in an hour or two.
A finger prick test using a home testing kit may show you have high blood sugar levels but won’t confirm you have diabetes.
A normal blood test result will show you don’t have diabetes. But the result will also show if you have diabetes or are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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What Does It Mean If Test Results Show I Have Protein In My Urine
This means your kidneys are allowing protein to be filtered through and now appear in your urine. This condition is called proteinuria. The continued presence of protein in your urine is a sign of kidney damage.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Theres much you can do to prevent the development of diabetes . However, if you or your child or adolescent develop symptoms of diabetes, see your healthcare provider. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner steps can be taken to treat and control it. The better you are able to control your blood sugar level, the more likely you are to live a long, healthy life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/28/2021.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
The OGTT measures blood glucose after you fast for at least 8 hours. First, a health care professional will draw your blood. Then you will drink the liquid containing glucose. For diagnosing gestational diabetes, you will need your blood drawn every hour for 2 to 3 hours.
High blood glucose levels at any two or more blood test times during the OGTTfasting, 1 hour, 2 hours, or 3 hoursmean you have gestational diabetes. Your health care team will explain what your OGTT results mean.
Health care professionals also can use the OGTT to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in people who are not pregnant. The OGTT helps health care professionals detect type 2 diabetes and prediabetes better than the FPG test. However, the OGTT is a more expensive test and is not as easy to give. To diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, a health care professional will need to draw your blood 1 hour after you drink the liquid containing glucose and again after 2 hours.
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Can You Be Born With Diabetes Is It Genetic
You arent born with diabetes, but Type 1 diabetes usually appears in childhood. Prediabetes and diabetes develop slowly over time years. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy.Scientists do believe that genetics may play a role or contribute to the development of Type 1 diabetes. Something in the environment or a virus may trigger its development. If you have a family history of Type 1 diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. If you have a family history of prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes, youre at increased risk of developing prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes.
What Are The Signs Of Diabetes
Signs of diabetes include frequent urination, extreme thirst, dark urine, dry skin and nails, fatigue, bad cravings, poor body weight, and low energy. If you have any of these signs, you ought to make an appointment with your doctor to find out more about your health and how to prevent diabetes. A high blood sugar level must be the first thing that your medical professional checks throughout a diabetes screening.
Exist Foods That Control Diabetes?
An excellent diet plan that reduces blood glucose levels naturally includes eating more vegetables and fruits, moderate protein consumption, and getting routine workout. These types of diet plans can assist you reduce weight, keep cholesterol levels down and avoid other health issues that can be triggered by an inactive way of life. The types of carbohydrates that you eat are also essential since they have a direct impact on your blood sugar level levels. The following carbs are complicated carbohydrates and are suggested for anyone who wants to keep a healthy diet: whole grains, brown rice, whole-grains such as barley, and oats.
Should I Avoid Carbohydrates if I Have Diabetes?
What Snacks Can I Have on a Diabetic Diet?
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Diabetes Lab Tests Your Doctor Should Order Every Year
If you live with diabetes, you are probably familiar with getting poked and prodded for blood constantly.
But more than just testing ones blood sugar, people with diabetes require regular laboratory tests to monitor everything from ones hba1c to Vitamin D levels , to even the amount of protein in ones urine.
This article will outline the most important regular lab tests that people with diabetes should get, how theyre measured, and how to advocate for yourself to make sure theyre included in your care plan.
Are There Other Treatment Options For Diabetes
Yes. There are two types of transplantations that might be an option for a select number of patients who have Type 1 diabetes. A pancreas transplant is possible. However, getting an organ transplant requires taking immune-suppressing drugs for the rest of your life and dealing with the side effects of these drugs. However, if the transplant is successful, youll likely be able to stop taking insulin.
Another type of transplant is a pancreatic islet transplant. In this transplant, clusters of islet cells are transplanted from an organ donor into your pancreas to replace those that have been destroyed.
Another treatment under research for Type 1 diabetes is immunotherapy. Since Type 1 is an immune system disease, immunotherapy holds promise as a way to use medication to turn off the parts of the immune system that cause Type 1 disease.
Bariatric surgery is another treatment option thats an indirect treatment for diabetes. Bariatric surgery is an option if you have Type 2 diabetes, are obese and considered a good candidate for this type of surgery. Much improved blood glucose levels are seen in people who have lost a significant amount of weight.
Of course other medications are prescribed to treat any existing health problems that contribute to increasing your risk of developing diabetes. These conditions include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other heart-related diseases.
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Checking Your Blood Sugar
Can Diabetes Cause Headaches Or Dizziness
Yes, its possible to develop headaches or dizziness if your blood glucose level is too low usually below 70 mg/dL. This condition is called hypoglycemia. You can read about the other symptoms hypoglycemia causes in this article.Hypoglycemia is common in people with Type 1 diabetes and can happen in some people with Type 2 diabetes who take insulin or medications such as sulfonylureas.
Testing For Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
If diabetes is confirmed by the results of a blood test the type of diabetes you have is usually determined by factors like weight , age at diagnosis, family history and how quickly any symptoms came on.
The test results can also indicate if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes even if you dont have it now.
If youre being tested for type 1 diabetes then further blood tests can check your blood ketone levels. Following this you may be sent to hospital for further assessment.
What Oral Medications Are Approved To Treat Diabetes
Over 40 medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of diabetes. Its beyond the scope of this article to review all of these drugs. Instead, well briefly review the main drug classes available, how they work and present the names of a few drugs in each class. Your healthcare team will decide if medication is right for you. If so, theyll decide which specific drug are best to treat your diabetes.
Diabetes medication drug classes include:
Many oral diabetes medications may be used in combination or with insulin to achieve the best blood glucose control. Some of the above medications are available as a combination of two medicines in a single pill. Others are available as injectable medications, for example, the GLP-1 agonist semaglutide and lixisenatide .
Always take your medicine exactly as your healthcare prescribes it. Discuss your specific questions and concerns with them.
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Why Are Routine Lab Tests Important
Just like the famous saying, whats measured is managed, what gets measured with your diabetes is usually better managed as well.
Think of the example of blood sugar measuring. Without regularly measuring your blood sugar levels, you wouldnt be able to make those minor adjustments to your insulin dosages that can make all the difference between a higher hba1c and a lower one percentage as well).
This matters because you may not always be able to feel the difference between sitting at 140 mg/dL and 218 mg/dL, but over time, that can mean the difference between living a life with diabetes complications and one without them.
Likewise, its important to regularly measure the health of vital organs that can be affected by your diabetes, such as your heart, eyes, and kidney functioning, to better manage any issues right when they appear, as compared to later on in life when issues may become more serious and interventions more substantial.
Blood Tests Used To Diagnose Diabetes
We will explain below the different blood tests that could be used to diagnose your diabetes. Your doctor will ask you about any symptoms you have and will then decide which type of blood test to use.
Having blood tests doesn’t need to be worrying, theyre straightforward and shouldnt take very long. Depending on the test you have you may be required to fast beforehand. If you do need to fast, a healthcare professional will let you know in advance.
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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:
- Over age 45
- A family history of diabetes
- Are African-American, Asian-American, Latino/Hispanic-American, Native American or of Pacific Islander descent
- Have a history of gestational diabetes or delivering a baby more than nine pounds
If your blood glucose levels are normal, you should be tested about every three years. If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for diabetes every one to two years after that diagnosis.
How Does Diabetes Affect Your Heart Eyes Feet Nerves And Kidneys
Blood vessels are located throughout our bodys tissues and organs. They surround our bodys cells, providing a transfer of oxygen, nutrients and other substances, using blood as the exchange vehicle. In simple terms, diabetes doesnt allow glucose to get into cells and it damages blood vessels in/near these organs and those that nourish nerves. If organs, nerves and tissues cant get the essentials they need to properly function, they can begin to fail.Proper function means that your hearts blood vessels, including arteries, are not damaged . In your kidneys, this means that waste products can be filtered out of your blood. In your eyes, this means that the blood vessels in your retina remain intact. In your feet and nerves, this means that nerves are nourished and that theres blood flow to your feet. Diabetes causes damage that prevents proper function.
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Weighing Your Risk Factors