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Diabetes Mellitus

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A Diabetes test measures blood sugar or glucose in the blood to establish whether the levels are too high indicating diabetes mellitus (AKA Diabetes). This type of diabetes testing can be done accurately and successfully at home with a A1C or HbA1c test kit. Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects ability to effectively utilize the energy contained in food. There are three main types of diabetes with varying symptoms which are called type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and also gestational diabetes and they may all be tested with a blood sugar or glucose level diagnosis.

Type 2 diabetes is an incurable chronic condition known as adult-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be life-threatening but if treated can be controlled. It can take years to develop and be diagnosed as it is a culmination of unhealthy eating and living.

Symptoms of Diabetes:-

  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections
  • Slow-healing sores.

Here are some risk factors that may increase your chance of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes:

  • Being overweight
  • Having increased fat in the abdomen
  • The lack of physical activity
  • Family history of diabetes type 2
  • Age over 45.

 

Type 1 and type 2 Diabetes are different conditions

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition and was once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. It is very different to Type 2 diabetes which is a lifestyle effect, whereas Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't make enough insulin.

Various factors may contribute to type 1 diabetes, including genetics and exposure to certain viruses. Although type 1 diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence, it also can begin in adults. Type 1 diabetes is incurable and is managed with frequent blood sugar monitoring and insulin injections throughout the day and night. Without these treatments, patients in the past died within 2 years of being diagnosed.

Symptoms are:-

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Bedwetting in children who previously didn't wet the bed during the night
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Irritability and other mood changes
  • Fatigue and weakness 
  • Blurred vision 
  • In females, a vaginal yeast infection.

The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. In most people with type 1 diabetes, the body's own immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses — mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing (islet) cells in the pancreas. Genetics may play a role in this process, and exposure to certain environmental factors, such as viruses, may trigger the disease.

The role of insulin

Once a significant number of islet cells are destroyed, you'll produce little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone that comes from the pancreas, a gland situated behind and below the stomach. The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin circulates, enabling sugar to enter your cells. Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. As your blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas.

The role of glucose

Glucose — a sugar — is a main source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues. Glucose comes from two major sources: food and your liver. Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters cells with the help of insulin. Your liver stores glucose as glycogen. When your glucose levels are low, such as when you haven't eaten in a while, the liver converts stored glycogen into glucose to keep your glucose level within a normal range.

In type 1 diabetes, there's no insulin to let glucose into the cells, so sugar builds up in your bloodstream, where it can cause life-threatening complications. The cause of type 1 diabetes is different from the cause of the more familiar type 2 diabetes.

Glucose is vital for the health of all individuals, being an important source of energy, as well. A patient diagnosed with diabetes is an individual who has too much glucose in his or her blood. This can lead to some serious health problems, so treatment to keep the disease under control is mandatory. There are numerous symptoms that may indicate patients that something is not in order with their health. However, it is important to know that symptoms will depend on how much blood sugar is found in the patient’s body.

Depending on the type of diabetes, there are various therapies that can be recommended by doctors. However, in all cases blood sugar monitoring, insulin and oral medications can be part of the therapy. Monitoring blood sugar levels is also crucial. 

The Diabetes test at home:-

Blood glucose test:

You must fast before a blood glucose test. Diabetes is diagnosed through a blood sugar level test which can be taken at home using a test kit. The home test shows if the blood sugar level of the patient is normal or not and in most cases a blood sugar test will be enough to set the right diagnosis.

A1C test:

This test does not need to be fasted for and then you should monitor your A1C results over a period of three months. 

 

  

 

 

Diabetes Mellitus

Depending on your current condition you may need to visit a doctor or you can carry out home testing blood glucose, sugar tests for diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes then testing blood glucose can help you stay on top of your treatment plan. Testing your blood levels at home will help you manage sugar levels on a day to day basis. The results will give you a good idea of how your treatment plan is working and what your blood sugar targets should be. Below are products, resources and links to help you find out more about tests for diabetes as well as support networks.

Products

With so much diabetes information on line, it can be a little confusing of where to begin. To help you in your search here are a couple of different platforms to monitor diabetes.

Home Tests – cost-effective diabetes home test kits basically involve pricking your finger with a lancet using a protective lancet device. Place the drop of blood onto the test strip and wait for the result which usually shows up within seconds. For more detailed info click here

Physician Tests – in addition to self-monitoring at home your doctor will probably recommend an A1C test. This measures how your blood glucose has been averaging over the last 2-3 months.  Having regular lab tests can also assist you in determining how well you are controlling your diabetes while a health care team will provide a treatment plan. Check here for more information.

Resources and Links

Complete help: www.diabetesamerica.com

Statistics: Center for Disease Prevention www.cdc.gov

Foot care: American Diabetes Association www.diabetes.org