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  • A diabetes self-test is a smart way to avoid heart attack, stroke and blindness--along with a host of dental and circulatory problems. Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce or metabolize insulin, resulting in high levels of glucose in the body. The disorder includes a related group of conditions characterized by high blood glucose levels: gestational, insulin-dependent, non-insulin-dependent and insulin-resistant diabetes.

    Diabetes Self-Test

    A glucose meter and test strips can be used to test yourself for diabetes. However, the methodology may not be medically sound. The glucose meter test involves taking a finger stick blood sample in the morning before eating, again after eating a small amount of food and then once again after more food. There are no doctors involved, and the only cost is the price of the meter and strips. Even if a glucose meter self-test is administered, seek the advice of a medical professional with the results. A physician can provide recommendations on diet and exercise. There also are test-from-home lab kits that offer diabetes screening, such as those at Bloodtestathome.com. You can order a test kit online to provide a finger stick blood sample to the mail-order lab. Test results are mailed and in some cases can be accessed online.

    Doctors Test for Diabetes

    An office-based diabetes test is called oral glucose tolerance. The patient does not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before the test. The test itself requires the patient to drink a liquid containing a certain amount of glucose; blood work is performed before the drink, after 30 minutes and then again in an hour after drinking the glucose.

    ADA Self-Assessment

    The American Diabetes Association has an interview-style self-assessment test users can take that will indicate the likelihood of a future diabetes diagnosis.

    Complications of Undiagnosed Diabetes

    It is important to monitor glucose levels because rampant, undiagnosed diabetes can result in tooth and gum disease, increased likelihood of infection from flu and urinary tract infections as well as digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and diarrhea. Undiagnosed diabetes also leads to liver disease, gallstones, pancreatic cancer, celiac disease, stroke, hypertension, heart attack, nerve damage to extremities and carpal tunnel syndrome. One of the most noticeable diabetic symptoms is falsely attributed to old age: blurry vision. Metabolic problems such as fatigue and stiffness from excess lactic acid buildup are also early indicators of diabetes.

    Urine Tests and Diabetic Coma

    According to the American Diabetes Association, urine testing was the only way to gauge blood glucose levels before blood glucose meters became popular. However, urine tests can detect ketones in the body. When the body burns fat for energy instead of insulin, ketones are produced. A buildup of ketones is poisonous to the body and and can lead to diabetic coma.

    Pre-Diabetic Conditions Reported Nationwide

    Pre-diabetes symptoms can exist in individuals 10 years before a clinical diagnosis. That means people likely to develop diabetes have noticeable symptoms such as changes in vision, heart health and circulatory system, according to "Diabetes in America," an epidemiology report sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. In the United States alone, there are 120,000 people under age 19 and 300,000 to 500,000 people over that age diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes. However, there is no push to detect undiagnosed non-insulin dependent diabetes, according to the report.

    Source:

    American Diabetes Association

    Diabetes

    Resource:

    "Diabetes in America"

    Diabetes Risk Test

    Bloodtestathome.com

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