To find out if a person has diabetes, blood sugar or glucose level must be measured. Aside from the glucose level tests, a physician would also evaluate the person’s medical history, lifestyle and eating habits.
If tests show that you have a higher glucose level than the normal range, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes, then you are in a pre-diabetic stage. This means you are at a higher risk to develop diabetes. When left unchecked, a person in a pre-diabetic condition can easily develop Type 2 Diabetes. A study conducted by the American Diabetes Association reveals that an estimated 54 million people in the US have a pre-diabetes condition.
In a related survey conducted during the 2002 Diabetes Prevention Program, statistics show that people who lead an inactive lifestyle and with poor eating habits are more prone to developing Type 2 Diabetes by more than a 50% rate. Clearly, being aware of your glucose condition will give you the opportunity to avoid the risks.
Testing Glucose Levels for People with Diabetes
There are two types of tests used to determine a person’s glucose level- the Fasting Blood Glucose Level test and the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test.
The Fasting Blood Glucose Level – This test calls for complete fasting or abstinence from food and water from midnight until after the test has been done. If the result is more than 140 mg/dl, then the person has a diabetic condition. The test is usually done two or more times to ensure accuracy.
The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – Before the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, the patient must not drink water or any liquid for 10 hours. The fasting should not exceed 16 hours. During testing, a blood sample would be extracted. Afterwards, patient must drink “glucola” or glucose cola, a high-sugar mixture that contains about 75 grams of glucose. After 30 minutes to 3 hours, a new blood sample would be extracted. The results of the two blood samples would then be compared to determine whether or not the patient has diabetes.
People who have been diagnosed with diabetes need to closely watch their diet and lifestyle. Your physician may recommend a specific diet that suits your body condition. A physician may also ask assistance from a nutritionist or dietician to create a meal plan for you. Medication may also be prescribed to keep your blood sugar level under control.
Regular monitoring of the patient’s blood glucose level is crucial. A portable glucose meter is used so that a person can check his/her blood sugar reading at any time. Despite the fact that diabetes is a chronic disease, it is great to know that the condition that is manageable. Through proper diet and healthy lifestyle, complications and risks can be avoided.