Diagnosing Diabetes

When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, glucose from food stays in the blood. Over time, high blood sugar can cause serious health problems. Because diabetes is common, many people want to do self-diagnosis or testing at home. If diabetes is a concern, make an appointment with a healthcare provider immediately.


What is diabetes?

Recent estimates show about 37.3 million, or 11.3% of the US population, has diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is when the body does not make or use insulin well and occurs most often in obese people. If high blood glucose is not well controlled, health problems, including heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, eye problems and neuropathy issues, can occur.

At-home A1C testing

People who have been diagnosed with diabetes can test for hemoglobin A1C using an at-home device. An A1C measurement reflects the average blood sugar level over the previous 2-3 months but is not the only indicator of how diabetes is progressing which is why visiting a primary care provided every 3 months for additional lab testing is advised.

Blood sugar testing

Many people with diabetic family members will borrow a blood glucose monitor to test blood sugar levels. While a gluocse reading will give a blood sugar reading, this is not an accurate way to diagnose diabetes.

Dangers of waiting

Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes is a ticking time bomb. Over time, diabetes can silently harden arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Nerves, starved of proper glucose, can become damaged, leading to numbness and pain. Kidneys and eyes can suffer, potentially culminating in vision loss and dialysis. Early diagnosis and management are crucial. Don't ignore subtle signs like thirst, fatigue, or frequent urination. Get tested, take control, and prevent these complications.

Making an appointment

Symptoms of diabetes can include frequent urination, increased thirst, fatigue, tingling in the hands or feet, and blurry vision. If such symptoms occur, a visit to the doctor is in order. Other times, the physician may recommend testing for diabetes at an annual exam after reviewing a patient’s weight, diet, and exercise routine. A doctor’s office test to check A1C is performed essentially the same way but will be sent to a lab for confirmation. Having a trusted physician run the test is also essential for patients with a new diagnosis so that a care plan can be made.

The best way to test

People who suspect a new diabetes diagnosis should see a doctor to be tested. Patients experiencing new or worsening symptoms or any individuals having problems with diabetes medication should also make an appointment to see a doctor immediately. Any individual who is managing existing diabetes can benefit from at-home testing. This convenient approach is a helpful way to keep A1C in check throughout the year.