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Testing yourself for Diabetes

Diabetes is a very serious medical condition. It occurs when your body does not produce and use enough insulin (which controls glucose levels). Diabetes can be categorised as either Type 1 or Type 2 and is a condition which is on the rise. You therefore need to know what to look out for.

If you have diabetes you may not notice any symptoms but there are two main signals; hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar/glucose) and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar). If you are hypoglycaemic then your insulin has lowered your glucose levels too much and this may lead to dizziness, shaking, hunger pangs and sweating. On the other hand if you are hyperglycaemic this can result in weight loss, nausea, dizziness and/or light headedness.

Some more extreme symptoms you may notice as a diabetic are peripheral neuropathy (the loss of nerve functions in the arms and/or legs) and diabetic retinopathy (when the blood vessels of the eyes change, limiting or even eliminating vision). If you notice any of these extreme symptoms you should seek emergency medical care immediately. This will reduce the chances of permanent damage to your body.

If you start to recognise any of the symptoms listed go and see your doctor immediately. They will discusss your family’s medical history, any history of diabetes in the family, any medication you are taking and any medication you are allergic to. Your doctor is then likely to recommend one of the following tests to you:

FINGER STICK TEST:- This involves pricking your finger to draw a single drop of blood, placing this drop on a disposable test strip and then analysing the concentration of glucose in your blood using a small glucose meter machine. This test is the easiest but has approximately 10% of the accuracy of a laboratory test.

FAST PLASMA GLUCOSE TEST:- You cannot eat for 8 hours before this test. Before you arrive you will have blood drawn and tested. Once tested your blood reading should not be above 126 mg/dl. Otherwise, you could be diabetic and will need to confirm through either a Glucose Tolerance Test or Glycosylated Haemoglobin Test.

If you are diagnosed with diabetes as a result of the tests do not be alarmed. The majority of diabetes cases can be managed by improving your diet and using natural remedies. Even if you feel completely normal you should still get yourself tested by a professional doctor. It’s the only way to identify the problem and if neccessary start taking preventatory measures.

Source by Tom Parker

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