Testing for Diabetes
Diabetes testing is typically done by a family doctor if there are any concerns that the individual is exhibiting any of the typical signs or symptoms of diabetes. Since the signs and symptoms are not always present, many doctors also complete a routine blood glucose test as part of the annual check-up. This can be a good indicator if prediabetes, or early signs of high blood glucose, hypertension and other health risks are present in the individual. Starting a program of diet, exercise and lifestyle change with an early diagnosis of prediabetes can be very effective in preventing the development of Type 2 diabetes in children and adults.
Checking The Symptoms:
Many of the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes are very subtle or can closely mimic symptoms of other health conditions. Typically your doctor will start with a review of the symptoms that you are experiencing. It is important to tell the doctor all the symptoms that you experience and under what conditions they typically occur. Some of the common symptoms of all types of diabetes include:
Frequent urination of large amounts of moderate to strong smelling urine
Increased weight loss without dieting
Increased hunger and food consumption
Scaly, itchy skin
Cuts or lesions that are very slow to heal
Some people may experience rapid weight gain and loss without any changes in food consumption while others may see little change in overall body weight. It is also not uncommon to have very few symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, which can make diagnosis without a blood test very difficult.
Since blood glucose levels rise and fall in the body based on the demand for insulin and the digestive process it is important to talk to your doctor and prepare for a blood glucose test. The most common test used in a fasting plasma glucose test or FPG. For this test you will be required to fast for eight to twelve hours prior to your appointment. You can have water but should avoid any other food or drink including beverages, candies or gums that have artificial sweeteners. Typically you will do this test in the morning, meaning you are fasting as you sleep. Smokers will also be asked not to smoke during the fast for the greatest accuracy in the test results.
The typical blood glucose levels after a fasting period of 12 hours are between 70 to 99 mg/dL. Individuals with blood glucose levels lower than 70 mg/dL are considered hypoglycemic, which is also a serious health concern. Elevated levels between 100 and 126 mg/dL are prediabetes and anything over 126 mg/dL indicates diabetes.
Most doctors will order alternate tests to confirm the FPG results which can include an oral glucose tolerance test or a postprandial plasma glucose test. The postprandial plasma glucose test measures the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates and is a blood test taken 2 hours after eating a meal. The oral glucose tolerance test is also done after you have fasted, then again after you consume a specifically measured sweet drink. Blood samples are collected at specific intervals after the drink to measure your body's ability to produce insul
Causes of Diabetic Insulin Reactions (Low Blood Glucose, Hypoglycemia):
- Injecting too much insulin.
- Taking too much oral insulin.
- Skipping or delaying meals or snacks.
- Depleting insulin during exercise.
- Eating too little.
Although juices, crackers and hard candy can often be used to counteract an insulin reaction, specially designed commercial diabetic reaction treatment products are found to work faster than foods to treat low blood glucose. Reaction products are manufactured containing measured doses of carbohydrates that can make treating diabetic reactions more accurate.
For example, table sugar (and most candy) is made from more than one type of sugar—usually sucrose (half glucose and half fructose). Blood glucose is primarily affected by glucose, with fructose taking much longer to be absorbed. Also, most candies are high in fat that adds many more calories and slows the glucose absorption rate.
Diabetic reaction treatment products include glucose gels and glucose tablets that contain only glucose with no added sucrose or fats.
Symptoms of Diabetic Insulin Reactions:
- Tingling lips.
- Overall weakness.
- Pale skin.
- Mood swings.
- Inability to concentrate.
Being prepared for diabetic reactions is also part of caring for and maintaining diabetes.