How to Diagnose Diabetes
According to the Center for Disease Control, over 29 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body stops naturally producing a hormone called insulin. Insulin converts the sugar, or glucose, we eat into energy. The glucose provides the cells in the muscles, tissues, and brain with the necessary energy to function. All types of diabetes prevent the body from processing glucose in an effective way, either due to the lack of insulin or a resistance to insulin. This leads to complications. If you recognize the symptoms and risk factors of diabetes, you can recognize that you might have diabetes and get tested.
Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes
Distinguish Type 1.Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile or insulin dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition most often diagnosed in children. However, it can be diagnosed during any point in a patient's life. When a patient has Type 1, the pancreas makes little to no insulin. In most cases, this is due to the body's immune system mistakenly attacking and destroying the insulin producing cell in the pancreas. Since the body is not producing enough insulin, the glucose in your blood cannot be converted to energy. This also means that the glucose will build up in your blood stream, causing problems.
- Contributing factors to Type 1 diabetes are genetics and the exposure to certain viruses. A virus is a common trigger in adult onset Type 1.
- If you are diagnosed with Type 1, you will likely have to use insulin.
Recognize the symptoms.The symptoms of Type 1 include frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual and rapid weight loss, irritability, increased fatigue, and blurry vision. The symptoms are severe and typically come on within a few weeks or months. These symptoms can also be mistaken for the flu at first.
- An additional symptom in children may include sudden and uncharacteristic occurrences of bedwetting.
- Women may also develop yeast infections.
Take the Glycated Hemoglobin (A1C) test.This test is used to determine Type 1 diabetes and prediabetes. A blood sample is taken and sent to a lab. The lab measures the amount of blood sugar attached to the hemoglobin in the blood. This reflects the patient's blood sugar levels over the past two or three months. This test results vary by the age of the person being tested. Children can have a higher percentage than adults.
- If there is 5.7% or less sugar attached to the hemoglobin, the levels are normal. If the percentage is 5.7% to 6.4%, the adult patient has prediabetes. If the patient is an adolescent or younger, the level range goes up to 7.4% for prediabetes.
- If the percentage of sugar is higher than 6.5%, the adult patient has diabetes. For adolescent or younger patients, a percentage of sugar higher than 7.5% means the patient has diabetes.
- Conditions such as anemia and sickle cell anemia have been known to interfere with this test. If you have these issues, your doctor may use a different test.
Get the Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test.This test is the most commonly used test because it is accurate and costs less than other tests. During the test, the patient goes without food or liquid other than water for at least 8 hours. The doctors or nurses draw blood and send it to get tested for glucose levels.
- If the levels are calculated below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), the levels are normal and the patient doesn't have diabetes. If the levels are determined to be between 100 and 125 mg/dl, then the patient has prediabetes.
- If the levels measure above 126b mg/dl, the patient likely has diabetes. If anything other than a normal amount is measure, the test will be repeated to make sure that the results are sound.
- This test can also be used to detect Type 2.
- This test is typically given first thing in the morning because the patient has to go without food for so long.
Do the Casual (Random) Plasma Glucose test.This test is the least precise of the tests but is effective. The blood is drawn from the patient at any point, regardless of how much or recent the patient has eaten. If the levels come back above 200 mg/dl, then the patient may have diabetes.
- This can also detect Type 2 diabetes.
Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes
Understand Type 2.Type 2 diabetes, once called adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, occurs most often in adults over 40. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body resists the effects of insulin or when the body stops producing enough insulin to maintain the glucose levels in the blood. With Type 2 diabetes, the liver, fat, and muscle cells stop using insulin in the proper way. This causes the body to need to make more insulin in order to break down the glucose. Although the pancreas does this at first, over time the pancreas loses its ability to produce enough insulin for meals. This causes the build up of glucose in the blood.
- Over 90 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2.
- Prediabetes is the early stages of Type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes can often be reversed with treatments through diet, exercise, and sometimes medication.
- The primary risk factor for Type 2 is being overweight. This is true for children as well, as the number of childhood or adolescent diagnoses of Type 2 diabetes increase.
- Other risk factors include sedentary lifestyles, family history, race, and age, especially ages 45 and older.
- Women who had gestational diabetes and those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are more prone develop Type 2.
Identify the symptoms.Type 2 symptoms do not show up as early as Type 1. It often isn't diagnosed until they do. The symptoms of Type 2 include those associated with Type 1. These symptoms are excessive thirst, frequent urination, increased fatigue, extreme hunger, unusual and rapid weight loss, and blurry vision. The symptoms unique to Type 2 are dry mouth, headaches, cuts or sores that are slow to heal, itchy skin, yeast infections, unexplained weight gain, and numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.
- 1 out of 4 people that have Type 2 diabetes do not know they have it.
Take the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT).This test is given over a two hour period at the doctor's office. The patient's blood is drawn before the test. Next, the patient drinks a special sweet drink and waits two hours. Blood is then drawn over the course of the two hours and the levels are calculated.
- If the levels are less than 140 mg/dl, then the levels are normal. If they are between 140 and 199 mg/dl, the patient has prediabetes.
- If the levels are 200 mg/dl or above, the patient likely has diabetes. If anything other than a normal amount is measure, the test will be redone to make sure that the results are true.
Take the Glycated Hemoglobin (A1C) test.This test is also used to determine Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Blood is taken from a patient and sent away for testing. The lab measures the blood sugar percentage attached to the patient's hemoglobin in the blood. This illustrates the patient's blood sugar levels over the past few months.
- If there is 5.7% or less sugar attached to the hemoglobin, the levels are normal. If the percentage is 5.7% to 6.4%, the patient has prediabetes.
- If the percentage of sugar is higher than 6.5%, the patient has diabetes. Since this test calculates the blood sugar levels over a long period of time, this test is not redone.
- Certain blood conditions such as anemia and sickle cell anemia have been known to interfere with this test. If you have these or other blood issues, your doctor may have to use an alternate test.
Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes
Understand gestational diabetes.Gestational diabetes is only diagnosed in pregnant women. During pregnancy, a woman's body increases the production of certain hormones and nutrients that can cause resistance to insulin. This causes the pancreas to increase its insulin production. Most of the time, the pancreas is able to deal with making more insulin and the mother will have slightly elevated blood sugar levels, but it will remain manageable. If the body starts building up too much insulin, then the mother will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
- If you are pregnant, you should get tested between week 24 and 28 to see if you have it. There are no symptoms, which makes it hard to diagnose otherwise. If it goes undiagnosed, it can cause problems with the pregnancy.
- This type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. It can redevelop at Type 2 later in life.
Notice the symptoms.Gestational diabetes does not have any obvious signs or symptoms, but the mother is at risk if she lived with diabetes before the pregnancy. If you feel like you may be at risk, you can get screened before you get pregnant to see if you might have any early indicators such as prediabetes. The only way to know for sure, however, is to be screen during your pregnancy.
Get the Initial Glucose Challenge test.This test requires the patient to drink a syrupy glucose solution. Then the patient has to wait for an hour. Once the hour is up, the blood is tested for blood sugar levels. If the levels are below 130-140 mg/dl, then the patient's levels are normal. If it is higher than this, you are at risk for gestational diabetes but don't necessarily have it. You will need a follow-up test called the glucose tolerance test.
Take the Glucose Tolerance Test.This test requires you to fast overnight. First thing the next morning, blood sugar levels are tested through a blood test. Then the patient drinks another syrupy glucose solution. This drink has a higher level of glucose. The blood sugar levels are checked once an hour for three hours. If your last two readings are higher than 130-140 mg/dl, then the patient is diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
What three methods are used to diagnose Diabetes mellitus?
What are sings of diabetes?
To diagnose Type 1 Diabetes, look out for common symptoms like frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, and rapid weight loss. If you’ve noticed some of these symptoms, take the Glycated Hemoglibin (A1C) test to determine your blood sugar levels. For Type 2 Diabetes, the symptoms you should check for include tingling in the hands and feet, cuts that are slow to heal, a dry mouth, and headaches. To find out if you’ve got Type 2, visit your doctor and ask to take the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, which takes 2 hours.
- If you are concerned about your health, consult your doctor. They will administer the test they think is the best for your particular situation and help you determine if you have diabetes.
Sources and Citations
In other languages:
Deutsch: , Français: , Español: , Português: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Italiano: , Русский:
Video: Diabetes Symptoms & Treatments : Testing for Diabetes
5. Are you done having kids
How to Identify an Irish Setter
The Great Mom Debate: When Can Kids Start Using the Internet
How to Find the Skin Lifting Product That Fits YourNeeds
What to Expect During Your First Doctors Visit for Multiple Myeloma
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
5 DIY Dry Shampoo Recipes For Hurry Up Days
Stress Early in Pregnancy Linked to Fewer Baby Boys
Shirley Ballas Sparks Tension After Announcement That She Is Head Strictly Judge
May Must-Haves: We Narrow Down Your ShoppingList
Travel Tips for Atrial Fibrillation