It’s difficult to treat diabetes on your own because it’s a fatal disease. If you have diabetes, your doctor will help you develop a treatment plan that is to match the specific needs that you should follow. Additionally, you may require the services of a foot doctor, nutritionist, optometrist, and a diabetes expert (called an endocrinologist). Diabetes treatment is a mix of drugs, exercise, and food to keep your blood sugar levels in check (and at a target set by your doctor). Keep an eye on your food intake and timing to avoid the “seesaw effect” of rapidly shifting blood sugar levels, which can necessitate fast adjustments in medication dosage, especially insulin.
It is common for the symptoms of type 1 diabetes to arise unexpectedly, which is why it is necessary to monitor your blood sugar levels often. ADA screening recommendations are based on the fact that symptoms of other types of diabetes and prediabetes develop more slowly or may not be readily apparent. ADA advises screening for diabetes in the following people:
- Anyone with a BMI over 25 (23 for Asian Americans), regardless of age, who has other risk factors, such as high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels, a sedentary lifestyle, those with a family history of polycystic ovarian syndrome, or cardiovascular disease, and someone with diabetes.
- Anyone over the age of 45 should have a baseline blood sugar test, followed by a three-year follow-up if the findings are normal.
- Females who have had gestational diabetes must be tested for diabetes at least once every three years if they haven’t done so already.
- Everyone with prediabetes should have a blood test every year.
Different types of diabetes tests:
Prediabetes, type 1, and type 2 tests:
- AA1C test for glycated hemoglobin. If you’ve been fasting for the past two or three months, you can use this test to determine your average blood sugar level over the past two or three months. It measures blood sugar linked to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells, using a sensor on the device. The greater your blood sugar levels, the more sugar-attached hemoglobin you’ll have. As long as your A1C result is 6.5% or high on two separate tests, you have type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is known as an A1C between 5.7 percent and 6.4 percent. A score of 5.7 or less is deemed normal.
You may be diagnosed with diabetes if your A1C levels aren’t consistent, the test isn’t available, or you have specific factors that can make the A1C test erroneous, such as being pregnant or having a hemoglobin variation. Using a blood test, you can determine your typical glucose level for up to a few months. In red blood cells, it measures the rate at which glucose binds to hemoglobin, a protein that delivers oxygen. A person’s hemoglobin will have more sugar attached to it when their glucose levels are high.
- Fasting blood sugar test. An overnight fast is essential before a blood sample is taken. Fasting blood sugar should be less than 100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/L). In the United States, prediabetes is defined as having a fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9mmol/L). 126 mg/deciliter (7 mmol/liter) or higher blood sugar levels have been found in diabetics, according to two separate assays.
- Tolerance test for oral glucose. Fasting overnight is required for this test. Blood sugar levels are examined for the next two hours after drinking a sweet liquid.
Having a blood sugar level below 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is considered normal. As soon as the blood sugar level exceeds 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol), diabetes has been diagnosed. Precisely speaking, prediabetes is defined as blood sugar levels between 7.8 and 11.0 mmol/L.
- Random blood sugar test. A random blood sample is taken. There’s no need to worry about the timing of your final meal if your blood sugar is 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or above (11.1 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)).
Gestational diabetes test:
With the use of blood tests, gestational diabetes can be diagnosed. As early as 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy, you’ll likely get tested for HIV. Your doctor may test you early if your risk for gestational diabetes is higher (because you have more risk factors). Diabetes type 1 or type 2 in pregnancy can be detected by elevated blood sugar levels in early pregnancy.
Glucose Screening Test:
- When it comes to the Initial Glucose Challenge test. To test your glucose tolerance, you’ll need to drink some sugary syrup and then do a glucose challenge test. Once your blood sugar level is stable, you’ll be checked again. If the result is below 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol), it is considered normal however, this can vary between clinics and laboratories.
- In this case, your risk of gestational diabetes will be increased since your blood sugar level is higher than usual. To determine whether or not you have gestational diabetes, your doctor will conduct a second test.
- Following-up glucose tolerance tests. Follow-up tests will measure your fasting glucose level. Your blood sugar level will be examined every hour for three hours after that.
- According to the American Diabetes Association, if you have gestational diabetes and two of your three-hour blood sugar readings are high than the normal limits, you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Important to check the blood glucose level
Testing your blood glucose level is crucial because the results help you decide what to eat, how much exercise you should do, and whether or not you need to take any medication or insulin adjustments.
A blood glucose meter is the most popular approach to measure your blood glucose level. This way of testing only requires you to prick your finger and add the blood to a test strip. The meter will then display your glucose level at that particular moment in time. In case you have diabetes, your doctor will tell you how often to check your blood sugar.
When blood glucose level is low
Being under the normal range of blood glucose levels ( less than 70 mg/dL) results in hypoglycemia. It is your body’s way of telling you that it needs sugar.
Hypoglycemia symptoms include:
- Weakness or trembling.
- Perspiration on the skin.
- Rapid heartbeats.
- Unexpected hunger.
- To have a pallid complexion.
- A numbing sensation in the mouth and tongue.
- Anxiety and irritation that is intolerable.
- It’s not uncommon for people to have nightmares, terrible dreams, or restless sleep.
- Vision is hazy.
Symptoms include migraines and convulsions.
- If your hypoglycemia isn’t treated, you could pass out from dehydration.
- A high blood glucose level can have several consequences.
- A condition known as hyperglycemia occurs when there is an excess of glucose in the bloodstream. Defining hyperglycemia, it’s:
- When fasting, a blood glucose level greater than 125 mg/dL (no meal or water for at least eight hours).
- One to two hours after eating, a blood glucose level of 180 mg/dL or higher.
How to prepare yourself before the appointment?
Your primary care physician is likely to be your first port of call if you’re experiencing symptoms of diabetes. If your child is showing signs of diabetes, you may want to take him to the pediatrician for a checkup. A trip to the emergency department is likely if your blood sugar levels are excessively high.
Your doctor may send you to a doctor who specializes in diabetes if your blood sugar levels aren’t high enough for you or your child to be at urgent risk (endocrinologist). If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you may also be contacted by diabetes educators. Dietitians may provide more information on how to manage your diabetes.
You can use this list of helpful resources to prepare for your appointment and be aware of what to expect.
What are you capable of doing?
- Pre-appointment limitations may apply. Before the appointment, ask if there is anything you need to do. A fasting blood sugar test, for example, may require you to restrict your food.
- If you’re having problems, write down any symptoms you’re having, even if they don’t appear linked.
- Take note of important details about yourself, such as huge stressors or recent life changes. Be sure to bring a record of your glucose readings from home, including dates and times of testing.
- Make a list of all your allergies, medicines, and supplements.
- Keep a record of your family’s health history. If you have any relatives with diabetes, heart attacks, or strokes, make a note of it.
- As much as feasible, bring along a family member or a friend. Having a friend or family member with you can help you retain important information.
- Write down the questions you wish to ask your doctor. Find out what you need to know about diabetes control.
- Refill your prescriptions if necessary. While you’re there, your doctor can refill your medicines. You can also get yourself an online prescription.