How Type 2 Diabetes Is Diagnosed
Diagnosing type 2 diabetes requires a series of lab tests looking for markers of elevated glucose, or blood sugar. Such tests are necessary, as type 2 diabetes may or may not have noticeable symptoms, or symptoms may crossover with other conditions.
The diagnosis often is made during an annual physical or checkup. Your healthcare provider may order a hemoglobin A1C test, a fasting blood sugar test, or an oral glucose tolerance test as part of regular screening to check blood sugar levels and to help determine if you have diabetes.
Am I At Risk Of Diabetes
You can ask your doctor about your risk for diabetes. You can also estimate your risk of getting type 2 diabetes by using the Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool . This is a simple way for you to check your risk.
You may be at increased risk of type 2 diabetes if you:
- are over 55
- are over 45 and are overweight or have high blood pressure
- have a family member with type 2 diabetes
- are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
- were born in Asia
- are not physically active
What Are The Target Ranges
Blood glucose targets are individualized based on:
- duration of diabetes
- conditions a person may have
- cardiovascular disease or diabetes complications
- hypoglycemia unawareness
- individual patient considerations
The American Diabetes Association suggests the following targets for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes. A1C targets differ based on age and health. Also, more or less stringent glycemic goals may be appropriate for each individual.
- A1C: Less than 7%A1C may also be reported as eAG: Less than 154 mg/dL
- Before a meal : 80130 mg/dL
- 1-2 hours after beginning of the meal *: Less than 180 mg/dL
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Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes
You might notice:
- Unplanned weight loss. If your body can’t get energy from your food, it will start burning muscle and fat for energy instead. You may lose weight even though you haven’t changed how you eat. See which foods are high in trans fatty acids.
- Nausea and vomiting. When your body resorts to burning fat, it makes ketones. These can build up in your blood to dangerous levels, a possibly life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketones can make you feel sick to your stomach.
How Does Diabetes Lead To Amputation
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to poor blood flow . Without oxygen and nutrients , you are more prone to the development of cuts and sores that can lead to infections that cant fully heal. Areas of your body that are farthest away from your heart are more likely to experience the effects of poor blood flow. So areas of your body like your toes, feet, legs and fingers are more likely to be amputated if infection develops and healing is poor.
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Why Early Diagnosis Is Key
When you wait too long to diagnose your diabetes, you run the risk of developing diabetes-related complications, such as eye, kidney, gum or nerve damage. You also increase your risk of heart-related issues which is never good.
While there is no cure for diabetes, you can make a big difference in preventing the damage diabetes can cause, by making some key lifestyle changes. These include getting enough exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and taking any medicine your doctor prescribes for your condition.
Can Diabetes Kill You
Yes, its possible that if diabetes remains undiagnosed and uncontrolled it can cause devastating harm to your body. Diabetes can cause heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and coma. These complications can lead to your death. Cardiovascular disease in particular is the leading cause of death in adults with diabetes.
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What Diabetes Can Do
High blood sugar can impact different parts of your body:
Eyes. Diabetes raises your odds of having vision problems, including blindness. It can cause:
- Cataracts. The lens of your eye gets cloudy.
- Glaucoma. This can damage the nerve that connects your eye to your brain and keep you from seeing well.
- Retinopathy. This involves changes to the retina in the back of your eyes.
Heart. Years of high blood sugar may harm your bodyâs blood vessels and nerves that take care of your heart. That raises your chance of having heart disease. It can cause heart failure early on and heart attacks or strokes later. High blood pressure and high cholesterol make the problems even more likely.
Kidneys. Diabetes can affect blood vessels in your kidneys, too, so they may not work as well. After many years of trouble, they might stop working.
Feet. High blood sugar can harm blood flow and damage nerves, and that may cause cuts, scrapes, or sores to heal slowly. You may lose some feeling in your feet, which keeps you from noticing injuries that can get infected. If an infection gets serious, it might mean you need to have a foot removed.
Nerves. If high blood sugar damages your nerves, called diabetic neuropathy, you might feel pain, tingling, or numbness, especially in your feet.
Skin. Diabetes may make you more likely to have yeast infections, itching, or brown or scaly patches.
What Are The Different Types Of Diabetes
The types of diabetes are:
- Type 1 diabetes: This type is an autoimmune disease, meaning your body attacks itself. In this case, the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas are destroyed. Up to 10% of people who have diabetes have Type 1. Its usually diagnosed in children and young adults . It was once better known as juvenile diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day. This is why it is also called insulin-dependent diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes: With this type, your body either doesnt make enough insulin or your bodys cells dont respond normally to the insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes. Up to 95% of people with diabetes have Type 2. It usually occurs in middle-aged and older people. Other common names for Type 2 include adult-onset diabetes and insulin-resistant diabetes. Your parents or grandparents may have called it having a touch of sugar.
- Prediabetes: This type is the stage before Type 2 diabetes. Your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be officially diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes: This type develops in some women during their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy. However, if you have gestational diabetes you’re at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in life.
Less common types of diabetes include:
Diabetes insipidus is a distinct rare condition that causes your kidneys to produce a large amount of urine.
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Fasting Blood Sugar Test
Fasting blood sugar tests involves having your blood drawn after youve fasted overnight, which usually means not eating for 8 to 12 hours:
- Results of less than 100 mg/dL are normal.
- Results between 100 and 125 mg/dL indicate prediabetes.
- Results equal to or greater than 126 mg/dL after two tests indicate diabetes.
Random Blood Sugar Test
This measures your blood sugar at the time youre tested. You can take this test at any time and dont need to fast first. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes.
|140 mg/dL or below||N/A|
*Results for gestational diabetes can differ. Ask your health care provider what your results mean if youre being tested for gestational diabetes.Source: American Diabetes Association
If your doctor thinks you have type 1 diabetes, your blood may also tested for autoantibodies that are often present in type 1 diabetes but not in type 2 diabetes. You may have your urine tested for ketones , which also indicate type 1 diabetes instead of type 2 diabetes.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
Patients may have no symptoms when their blood sugar is only slightly elevated, says Sarah Rettinger, MD, an endocrinologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California. By the time patients have higher blood sugar, they may feel thirsty, hungry, and may be urinating excessively. Some patients lose weight without any change in diet and exercise.”
- Are overweight or inactive, or have obesity according to your body mass index
- Are of a certain ethnicity, including Black American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
- Are a smoker
- Have had gestational diabetes
Yellow Reddish Or Brown Patches On Your Skin
This skin condition often begins as small raised solid bumps that look like pimples. As it progresses, these bumps turn into patches of swollen and hard skin. The patches can be yellow, reddish, or brown.
You may also notice:
- The surrounding skin has a shiny porcelain-like appearance
- You can see blood vessels
- The skin is itchy and painful
- The skin disease goes through cycles where it is active, inactive, and then active again
- Get tested for diabetes, if you have not been diagnosed.
- Work with your doctor to better control your diabetes.
- See a dermatologist about your skin. Necorbiosis lipodica is harmless, but it can lead to complications.
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Can Diabetes Be Cured Or Reversed
Although these seem like simple questions, the answers are not so simple. Depending on the type of your diabetes and its specific cause, it may or may not be possible to reverse your diabetes. Successfully reversing diabetes is more commonly called achieving remission.
Type 1 diabetes is an immune system disease with some genetic component. This type of diabetes cant be reversed with traditional treatments. You need lifelong insulin to survive. Providing insulin through an artificial pancreas is the most advanced way of keeping glucose within a tight range at all times most closely mimicking the body. The closest thing toward a cure for Type 1 is a pancreas transplant or a pancreas islet transplant. Transplant candidates must meet strict criteria to be eligible. Its not an option for everyone and it requires taking immunosuppressant medications for life and dealing with the side effects of these drugs.
Its possible to reverse prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes with a lot of effort and motivation. Youd have to reverse all your risk factors for disease. To do this means a combination of losing weight, exercising regularly and eating healthy . These efforts should also lower your cholesterol numbers and blood pressure to within their normal range. Bariatric surgery has been shown to achieve remission in some people with Type 2 diabetes. This is a significant surgery that has its own risks and complications.
Other Tips For Checking:
- With some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or fleshy part of your hand.
- There are spring-loaded lancing devices that make sticking yourself less painful.
- If you use your fingertip, stick the side of your fingertip by your fingernail to avoid having sore spots on the frequently used part of your finger.
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Itching And Yeast Infections
Excess sugar in the blood and urine provides food for yeast, which can lead to infection. Yeast infections tend to occur on warm, moist areas of the skin, such as the mouth, genital areas, and armpits.
The affected areas are usually itchy, but a person may also experience burning, redness, and soreness.
Outbreak Of Small Reddish
When these bumps appear, they often look like pimples. Unlike pimples, they soon develop a yellowish color. Youll usually find these bumps on the buttocks, thighs, crooks of the elbows, or backs of the knees. They can form anywhere though.
These bumps appear suddenly and clear promptly when diabetes is well-controlled.
When these bumps appear, they often look like pimples. Unlike pimples, they soon develop a yellowish color. Youll usually find these bumps on the buttocks, thighs, crooks of the elbows, or backs of the knees. They can form anywhere though. No matter where they form, they are usually tender and itchy. The medical name for this skin condition is eruptive xanthomatosis.
- Tell your doctor about the bumps because this skin condition appears when you have uncontrolled diabetes.
- Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes.
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Know Your Diabetic Status Today
Hill Functional Wellness is dedicated to serving you and your desire to live a healthy life. Being proactive by monitoring your symptoms and understanding your lab numbers can help prevent diabetic onset.
Learn today how Hill Functional Wellness can help identify and address your specific status through the use of lifestyle and nutrition. Why establish a relationship with diabetes if you donât have to?
Yellowish Scaly Patches On And Around Your Eyelids
These develop when you have high fat levels in your blood. It can also be a sign that your diabetes is poorly controlled.The medical name for this condition is xanthelasma.
- Tell your doctor about the yellowish scaly patches around your eyes.
- Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes. Controlling diabetes can clear the scaly patches.
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What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition. It happens when your liver breaks down fat to use as energy because theres not enough insulin and therefore glucose isnt being used as an energy source. Fat is broken down by the liver into a fuel called ketones. The formation and use of ketones is a normal process if it has been a long time since your last meal and your body needs fuel. Ketones are a problem when your fat is broken down too fast for your body to process and they build up in your blood. This makes your blood acidic, which is a condition called ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis can be the result of uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes and less commonly, Type 2 diabetes.Diabetic ketoacidosis is diagnosed by the presence of ketones in your urine or blood and a basic metabolic panel. The condition develops over several hours and can cause coma and possibly even death.
What Does It Mean If Test Results Show I Have Protein In My Urine
This means your kidneys are allowing protein to be filtered through and now appear in your urine. This condition is called proteinuria. The continued presence of protein in your urine is a sign of kidney damage.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Theres much you can do to prevent the development of diabetes . However, if you or your child or adolescent develop symptoms of diabetes, see your healthcare provider. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner steps can be taken to treat and control it. The better you are able to control your blood sugar level, the more likely you are to live a long, healthy life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/28/2021.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms To Watch Out For
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes tend to appear out of the blue, while those of type 2 ,or prediabetes can come on more gradually.
Typical signs of either are:
- increased thirst
Learn more about specific symptoms for type 2 diabetes here.
Be aware of changes in your body and speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Keep in mind that sometimes there are no symptoms at all. Many people have had type 2 diabetes for several years by the time they are diagnosed. If you carry excess weight around your middle, have a family history of diabetes, are over 40 years of age or are of Aboriginal, African, Asian, Hispanic or South Asian descent, you are also at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Learn more about risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
How Do I Know If I Have Diabetes
January 24, 2020 by Diabetes Care
Symptoms of diabetes can be very mild. Many symptoms for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar, however it is more difficult to detect symptoms for type 2 diabetes since the disease progresses very slowly. Usually you can only diagnose type 2 diabetes with a screening test. As a result, many Canadians are unaware that they have this condition.
Read on to learn more about:
- Symptoms of diabetes
- The different types of diabetes
- Why early diagnosis is important
- How to go about getting a diagnosis
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When To Seek Medical Care