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Is There Self Test For Diabetes?

Sixteen million Americans have diabetes, yet many are not aware of it. African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans have a higher rate of developing diabetes during their lifetime. Diabetes has potential long term complications that can affect the kidneys, eyes, heart, blood vessels and nerves.

In diagnosing diabetes, physicians primarily depend upon the results of specific glucose tests. However, test results are just part of the information that goes into the diagnosis of diabetes. Doctors also take into account your physical exam, presence or absence of symptoms, and medical history. Some people who are significantly ill will have transient problems with elevated blood sugars which will then return to normal after the illness has resolved. Also, some medications may alter your blood glucose levels (most commonly steroids and certain diuretics (water pills)).

The TWO main tests used to measure the presence of blood sugar problems are:

1. Direct measurement of glucose levels in the blood during an overnight fast
2. Measurement of the body’s ability to appropriately handle the excess sugar presented after drinking a high glucose drink.

Self Testing Methods
Regular self-testing of your blood sugar tells you how well your combination of diet, exercise, and medication are working. Tests are usually done before meals and at bedtime. More frequent testing may be needed when you are sick or under stress.

A device called a Glucometer can provide an exact blood sugar reading. There are different types of devices. Usually, you prick your finger with a small needle called a lancet, which gives you a tiny drop of blood. You place the blood on a test strip, and put the strip into the device. Results are available within 30 to 45 seconds.

A health care provider or diabetes educator will help set up an appropriate testing schedule for you. You will also be taught how to respond to different ranges of glucose values obtained when you self-test.

The results of the test can be used to adjust meals, activity, or medications to keep blood sugar levels in an appropriate range. Testing provides valuable information for the health care provider and identifies high and low blood sugar levels before serious problems develop. Accurate record keeping of test results will help you and your health care provide plan how to best control your diabetes. There are 20.8 million children and adults in the US with diabetes, and nearly one-third of them (or 6.2 million people) do not know it!

Diabetes Epidemic because of self-inflicted Obesity

One of the greatest contributors to the type 2 diabetes epidemic is reckoned to be obesity brought on by our modern lifestyles.

Are you eating yourself into diabetes type 2?

Check if you have these 4 eating habits that could contribute to obesity and possibly make you part of the type II diabetes epidemic…

1) Unconscious eating… No, I don’t mean ‘sleep-eating’ (I wonder if there is such a thing?) I’m talking about automatic eating without any conscious thought to what is happening.

How often do you do something else whilst eating? Watching TV; reading a book; reading a magazine or newspaper; listening to music, a radio show or conversation? If you’re anything like me it’s probably a rare occasion when you just sit and have a meal, without interruptions.

A recent study carried out by Penn State laboratory showed pre-school children, who consistently watch TV whilst eating, ate up to 33% more than they did when they had a meal without the TV on.

How much extra do you eat, without realizing it, because you are absorbed in a book or TV program?

2) Eating speed… Ever finished your meal before others? Ever bolted your food down and then felt bloated afterwards?

In a recent Sky TV program Paul McKenna (the famous hypnotherapist) explained how the simple act of slowing down whilst eating; putting your knife and fork down between mouthfuls, can contribute to weight loss.

Think about it, if you’re eating more slowly you’ll know when you are full. You won’t continue eating and get that uncomfortable bloated feeling. And you won’t put extra weight on.

Watching that program gave me an ‘Aha!’ moment, because that’s exactly what my father has done all his life. It’s a standing joke in the family that he takes so long to eat a meal – he often finishes half-an-hour after everyone else. And guess what? Yep – he’s as skinny as a rake. Wish I could say the same about me!

3) Snacking… Are you really hungry when you snack? Or is it that you “just fancy a bite to eat”?

Snacking is probably one of the biggest contributions to weight gain. It’s not so much the snacking; it’s what you snack on! Cookies /biscuits, chocolate, cakes, snack bars – all these contain massive amounts of sugar that increase the burden on our immune system. If you overload your system with sugar it may not cope, you could end up with insulin resistance and that leads to type II diabetes.

Healthy, no added sugar or sugar free snacks are the best options if you MUST snack.

4) Sugary drinks… Do you have a favorite soft drink? If you do, is it a sugar-sweetened drink or a concentrated sugar-rich fruit juice? And, on a hot day, how much do you drink of that favorite? Half-a-liter? One liter?

It’s all added sugar, which not only impacts on your weight, it also impacts on your body’s control of the sugar levels in your blood.

In a recent medical study in the US the results indicated that having just one sugar sweetened drink of fruit juice every day made women more susceptible to becoming part of the type II diabetes epidemic, by up to 80%.

So, are you planning to be part of the diabetes epidemic? OK, maybe you’re not PLANNING to… but maybe your unconscious eating habits have got you on that slippery slope to diabetes. A little thought about what you eat, where and how, can reduce the risk for you.

Coping with Diabetes

Every day, in the United States, more than 2,000 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed. Type 2 diabetes, the most prevalent form of diabetes worldwide, often shows few or even no symptoms!

After eating, food is broken down into what is known as glucose, a sugar carried by the blood to cells throughout the body. Using a hormone known as insulin, made in the pancreas, cells process glucose into energy.

Because cells in the muscles, liver, and fat do not use insulin properly in the body of a person with type 2 diabetes, they have problems converting food into energy. Eventually, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin for the body’s needs. The amount of glucose in the body increases, and the cells are starved of energy.

This starvation of the cells, paired with the high blood glucose level can damage nerves and blood vessels. This leads to complications such as kidney disease, nerve problems, blindness, and heart ailments.

There are a lot of factors that can help to attribute to diabetes cases – lifestyle, environment, heredity – and those who are at risk should be screened regularly to prevent diabetes. Those that are already diagnosed with diabetes should aim to keep their glucose level under control.

But how do you know if you have type II diabetes? After all, it has few symptoms, often no symptoms in some patients. However, if you notice an increased thirst or hunger, a change in weight, or blurred vision, getting tested for type 2 diabetes is necessary, as only your doctor will be able to help you find the treatment steps necessary to being able to manage your life with diabetes.

Simple changes such as eating right, managing your weight, and keeping your blood sugar level under control may be enough. However, you doctor may prescribe diabetes-regulating medications to assist you in controlling your type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a serious ailment with extreme consequences if it isn’t treated properly. But if you follow your doctor’s advice and maintain both your lifestyle and blood sugar levels, you can help to prevent the more serious consequences from occurring.

This article is for information purposes only and is not meant to treat, diagnose or prevent any ailment or disease. See your physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.