Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis And Tests
Your doctor can test your blood for signs of type 2 diabetes. Usually, theyâll test you on 2 days to confirm the diagnosis. But if your blood glucose is very high or you have many symptoms, one test may be all you need.
- A1c. It’s like an average of your blood glucose over the past 2 or 3 months.
- Fasting plasma glucose. This is also known as a fasting blood sugar test. It measures your blood sugar on an empty stomach. You won’t be able to eat or drink anything except water for 8 hours before the test.
- Oral glucose tolerance test . This checks your blood glucose before and 2 hours after you drink something sweet to see how your body handles the sugar.
What Types Of Diabetes Require Insulin
People with Type 1 diabetes need insulin to live. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your body has attacked your pancreas, destroying the cells that make insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, your pancreas makes insulin, but it doesnt work as it should. In some people with Type 2 diabetes, insulin may be needed to help glucose move from your bloodstream to your bodys cells where its needed for energy. You may or may not need insulin if you have gestational diabetes. If you are pregnant or have Type 2 diabetes, your healthcare provider will check your blood glucose level, assess other risk factors and determine a treatment approach which may include a combination of lifestyle changes, oral medications and insulin. Each person is unique and so is your treatment plan.
Diabetes Mellitus: Diagnosis And Screening
PARITA PATEL, MD, and ALLISON MACEROLLO, MD, Department of Family Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Am Fam Physician. 2010 Apr 1 81:863-870.
Based on etiology, diabetes is classified as type 1 diabetes mellitus, type 2 diabetes mellitus, latent autoimmune diabetes, maturity-onset diabetes of youth, and miscellaneous causes. The diagnosis is based on measurement of A1C level, fasting or random blood glucose level, or oral glucose tolerance testing. Although there are conflicting guidelines, most agree that patients with hypertension or hyperlipidemia should be screened for diabetes. Diabetes risk calculators have a high negative predictive value and help define patients who are unlikely to have diabetes. Tests that may help establish the type of diabetes or the continued need for insulin include those reflective of beta cell function, such as C peptide levels, and markers of immune-mediated beta cell destruction . Antibody testing is limited by availability, cost, and predictive value.
Prevention, timely diagnosis, and treatment are important in patients with diabetes mellitus. Many of the complications associated with diabetes, such as nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and death, can be delayed or prevented with appropriate treatment of elevated blood pressure, lipids, and blood glucose.14
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes aren’t always obvious and they can take a long time to develop. Sometimes, there are no symptoms. It’s important to remember that not everyone with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes develops these warning signs, and not everyone who has these symptoms necessarily has type 2 diabetes.
But kids or teens who develop type 2 diabetes may:
- Need to pee a lot. The kidneys respond to high levels of glucose in the blood by flushing out the extra glucose in urine . Kids with high blood sugar levels need to pee more often and make more pee.
- Drink a lot of liquids. Because they’re peeing so often and losing so much fluid, they can become very thirsty and drink a lot in an attempt to keep the levels of body water normal.
- Feel tired often. This is because the body can’t use glucose for energy properly.
Just Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes What To Ask Your Healthcare Professional
Michael Hattori, who has type 2 diabetes, shares several questions that you may consider asking your healthcare team when you are first diagnosed
So, youve been diagnosed with diabetes. Its not the end of the world, although it may seem so at first. I remember when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Ive been a nurse for 23 years, and it still knocked me for a loop, even though in the back of my head I kind of knew it was coming Id been experiencing symptoms of extreme thirst and having to pee all day and all night long. I knew what these symptoms meant, yet still could not get out of denial this cant be happening to me!
The diagnosis of diabetes is no small thing, but what does it mean for you? That uncertainty can be stressful. Learning as much about type 2 diabetes before you see your endocrinologist will help you get ahead. Were going to talk about things you should discuss with your healthcare team at your first appointment, and also in the future.
Ask yourself this question: what am I MOST concerned about? Make that your number one topic when you speak with your healthcare team . Dont try to get through every topic or concern you have there just wont be enough time in one appointment and to be honest, sometimes your endocrinologist may not be the best resource for that thats where diabetes care and educations specialist can help.
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Sex Race Or Ethnic Background
Differences between the chances of developing type 2 diabetes and the age of diagnosis may also depend on sex and race or ethnic background.
The CDC note that from 1997 to 2011, doctors diagnosed American men roughly 2 years earlier than women, and African Americans and Hispanics around 6 years earlier than white people.
The ADA also note that diabetes impacts people of some races or ethnic backgrounds far more than others.
Lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity levels, may be among the reasons for higher prevalence rates, but the research is still inconclusive.
Current rates of people in the U.S. who have a diagnosis of diabetes, according to race or ethnic background, are as follows:
- 7.4 percent of non-Hispanic white people
- 8.0 percent of Asian Americans
- 12.1 percent of Hispanics
- 12.7 percent of non-Hispanic black people
- 15.1 percent of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives
Coming To Terms With Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes can be a tough condition to accept but the good news is that it is a condition which, with a bit of dedication, can be well controlled.
Its fair to say that there are a good number of people with type 2 diabetes that have actually been pleased to have got a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes because it has explained why they were feeling less than well and has given them the chance to take achievable steps to feel better than they have in a long time.
The Diabetes Forum has thousands of posts from people with type 2 diabetes and there is no better place to find support and share your experiences.
- If you are finding the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes to be a shock, or are struggling to come to with your diagnosis, read our guide on accepting a diagnosis of diabetes
It is relatively common for people with diabetes to be also going through a period of depression.
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Risk Factors You Can’t Control
Other risk factors are out of your control, including:
- Race or ethnicity: Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians are more likely to get it
- Family history of diabetes: Having a parent or sibling with diabetes boosts your odds.
- Age: Being 45 and older raises your risk of type 2 diabetes.
The more risk factors you have, the more likely you’ll get type 2 diabetes.
What Happens When There Is A Lack Of Insulin
Your body needs insulin to help balance your blood sugar levels by converting the excess glucose into energy. Without insulin, the body is not able to convert the glucose into energy and begins to instead focus on burning fat. This signals the liver to convert normal fatty acids into ketones. When released into the bloodstream, ketones can quickly become a life threatening condition, known as DKA
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Who Gets Type 2 Diabetes
There are people who are healthy and get type 2 diabetes and there are people who are unhealthy and get type 2 diabetes, says Dr. Christofides. Its a bit like lung cancer in that not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer, and some people get lung cancer who have never smoked.
Type 2 diabetes is multifactorial, explains Sharon Bergquist MD, meaning that a persons genes, environment, and lifestyle work together to lead to the disease. Some of the increased risk may be attributed to genetic susceptibility, but a higher percentage is likely due to environment and lifestyle, which can be influenced by culture and socioeconomics.
Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Tips To Help You Out
I was involved in a discussion over in a Facebook group recently and someone posted:
What one tip would you give someone who is newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes?
So I thought it would make a perfect post right here, sharing many of their tips. So that means these tips Ive compiled for you are from people who have experienced this themselves and heres what some of them had to say.
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Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
If your test results show you have prediabetes, ask your doctor or nurse if there is a lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program in your community. You can also search for an online or in-person program. Having prediabetes puts you at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but participating in the program can lower your risk by as much as 58% .
Can Diabetes Cause Headaches Or Dizziness
Yes, its possible to develop headaches or dizziness if your blood glucose level is too low usually below 70 mg/dL. This condition is called hypoglycemia. You can read about the other symptoms hypoglycemia causes in this article.Hypoglycemia is common in people with Type 1 diabetes and can happen in some people with Type 2 diabetes who take insulin or medications such as sulfonylureas.
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How Is The Blood Glucose Level Monitored
The blood test that is mainly used to keep a check on your blood glucose level is called the HbA1c test. This test is commonly done every 2-6 months by your doctor or nurse.
The HbA1c test measures a part of the red blood cells. Glucose in the blood attaches to part of the red blood cells. This part can be measured and gives a good indication of your average blood glucose level over the preceding 1-3 months.
Type 2 diabetes treatment aims to lower your HbA1c to below a target level. Ideally, it is best to maintain HbA1c to less than 48 mmol/mol . However, this may not always be possible to achieve and your target level of HbA1c should be agreed between you and your doctor.
If your HbA1c is above your target level then you may be advised to step up treatment to keep your blood glucose level down.
Some people with diabetes check their actual blood glucose level regularly with a blood glucose monitor. If you are advised to do this then your doctor or nurse will give you instructions on how to do it.
What Should My Blood Glucose Level Be
Ask your healthcare team what your blood glucose level should be. They may have a specific target range for you. In general, though, most people try to keep their blood glucose levels at these targets:
- Before a meal: between 80 and 130 mg/dL.
- About two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL.
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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.
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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Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors
Certain things make it more likely that youâll get type 2 diabetes. The more of these that apply to you, the higher your chances of getting it are. Some things are related to who you are:
- Age. 45 or older
- Family. A parent, sister, or brother with diabetes
- Ethnicity. African American, Alaska Native, Native American, Asian American, Hispanic or Latino, or Pacific Islander American
Risk factors related to your health and medical history include:
- Sleeping too little or too much
Write Down Your Feelings
If youre crazy like me, you can start a blog, or if you want to make things more simple, keep a journal and write down how you felt before you go to bed.
It will help you sort out your feelings and its something you can certainly go back to when you want to figure out why some days are good, and some days arent.
I love my little diary and it helps so much with reflection.
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What Can I Do To Help My Body Beat This
The first things to do are: start eating healthily and make yourself aware of the amount of sugar youre taking in by keeping track of the sugar content of everything you eat. Youll be surprised at how much sugar is hidden in everyday foods. Talk to your doctor and chose a daily sugar intake thats right for you.
Use your monitor! You will soon catch on to which foods and activities make your glucose numbers go up and which make them go down. There are undoubtedly a dozen reasons to carefully and regularly use your monitorbut the biggest is that you cant judge what youre doing right or wrong without it.
Nextyouve heard this before, but now its a matter of life or deathlose weight and exercise. Youll be amazed at how your glucose levels dive as any excess weight comes off. Believe it or not, it is possible to kick diabetes out of your life. The best way to do that is to get down to or maintain a healthy weight, and exercise to burn up sugars before they can do any harm.
Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes
Itâs important to get your blood sugar under control to avoid these serious conditions:
- Hypoglycemia. If your blood sugar falls below 70 milligrams per deciliter , it can lead to accidents, coma, and death.
- Hyperglycemia. Blood sugar that goes above 180 to 200 mg/dL can give you heart, nerve, kidney, and vision problems. Over the long term, it also can cause coma and death.
Over time, people with type 2 diabetes may have other health problems:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis. When you donât have enough insulin in your system, your blood sugar rises, and your body breaks down fat for energy. Toxic acids called ketones build up and spill into your urine. It can cause coma and death if you donât treat it.
- Heartand blood vessel diseases. People with diabetes are more likely to have conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which play a role in heart disease. Also, high blood sugar can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart.
- High blood pressure. Diabetes doubles your risk of high blood pressure, which makes you more likely to have heart disease or stroke.
- Nerve damage . This can cause tingling and numbness, most often in your feet and legs. But it can also affect your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and heart.
- Eyedamage. Diabetes can cause:
- Glaucoma, a buildup of pressure in your eyes
- Cataracts, a cloudiness of your lens
- Retinopathy, which is damage to the blood vessels in your eyes
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Next You Need To Ask Questions
I cant say this in a nicer way, but this is going to change your life, and being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes is going to shake up your world.
If you have a question for your doctor, dont be afraid to ask it. Some of the questions I asked were:
- What does having Type 2 Diabetes mean?
- Is Type 2 Diabetes reversible, or am I stuck with it forever?
- How will I know if my blood sugar is getting better?
- Why do I need to come back to the doctor every three months?
- How many times a day should I test my blood sugar?
- Can you refer me to see any specialists like a Dietician, A Diabetes Educator or an Endocrinologist?
- Is there a special diet that I should follow?
- Are there any immediate complications of diabetes that I should be aware of?
- What do I do if Im having a high, or low blood sugar. How do I treat it?
Its so important to ask questions, and no question is a dumb one. Educating yourself is the best way to keep anxiety from creeping in.
When you know exactly what your body is doing, you can make good decisions about how to move forward.