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How to Test for Diabetes

check-diabetes-homeAs mentioned above, diabetes is a common disorder of the endocrine system, which affects the pancreas. It is reputed to affect over 20 million people in the United States alone. Also known as diabetes mellitus, this disorder is associated with the pancreas gland. This gland, located behind the stomach, is responsible for secreting the hormone known as insulin in the body. And this very hormone is in charge for moving the glucose (which is obtained from the food we eat) into the cells of the body for production of energy. But diabetes does not allow this process to continue as it is supposed to. The disorder impairs the pancreas gland from, either producing enough insulin or producing the same at all in the body. So when this happens, the level of glucose in the blood stream increases, and continues to rise if the problem remains untreated. The level may rise so much that it may lead to life-threatening situations for the affected person. This disorder that we are speaking of, exists in four different types; type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 and type 2 are incurable thus, are long-lasting conditions. However, the other two are potentially reversible.

Diabetes Tests and Diagnosis

The following would help you understand the various procedures that are taken up for diagnosing type 1 and type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes was once regarded as juvenile diabetes, and is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. When this particular form of the disorder strikes, the pancreas produces either insufficient amount of insulin or no insulin at all. The procedures that are taken up in diagnosing the condition may include:

  • A common blood test for diabetes is known as the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. With the help of this test, also known as HbA1c, the doctor can determine the amount or more appropriately, the percentage of blood sugar that is attached to the hemoglobin. When sugar level rises abnormally higher in the bloodstream, it combines with the hemoglobin thus, becoming ‘glycated’. So more the number of hemoglobin A1C, the higher would be the blood glucose level. And this test can reveal the information on about 120 days old glucose level in the body. For someone to be diagnosed with diabetes, this test must show a result of the blood sugar level to be 6.5 percent or higher, when conducted twice.
  • In some people, the use of glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test may not yield desired results. So then, random blood sugar test is put to use. As the name suggests, a blood sample of the patient would be tested at any random time. A measure of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher, is a sign of diabetes. This test does not require the subject to keep a fast of any kind. This test may be conducted throughout the day, for checking any variation in the blood glucose level. In healthy people, the variation is negligible, but if the same is of a wide range, then it may indicate diabetes.
  • Another test that is conducted is known as Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) test. Unlike the random test, this one requires the patient to fast for a period of at least 8 hours. After the fast, a blood sample is taken from the subject and tested in the laboratory. 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered normal, and a measure of 100 to 125 mg/dL may indicate prediabetes. And if on two separate occasions, the test shows a measure of 126 mg/dL or higher, then the patient is diagnosed with diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes
Note that all the above steps used for testing diabetes (type 1), are also used for the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. This form of the disorder is more common than the type 1. Here, the body develops a resistance to the effect of insulin that is produced by the pancreas.

Prediabetes
As the name suggests, this disorder can be attributed as a stage that precedes type 2 diabetes. Here, the affected person’s blood glucose level, although, is higher than normal, is not high enough for him/her to be regarded as a diabetic. However, according to experts, in a span of 10 years, this condition, without any medical aid, can easily progress to become type 2 diabetes. The tests for diagnosing this type of the condition include:

  • The glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test, as described above is conducted to diagnose this condition. A measure that ranges between 5.7 and 6.4 percent indicates the onset of prediabetes.
  • And if the A1C test does not fit in the program, then a blood sample test after an overnight fast (8 hours) is done on the patient. If he/she has a blood glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dL, then the case may be confirmed as prediabetes.
  • Besides the above tests, there is another one that it may be performed. This is known as oral glucose tolerance test. First, after a fast of at least 8 hours, the patient’s blood sample is put under study. Then, the subject must drink a sugary solution, two hours post which, a blood sample is measured again. And if the results show a sugar level that measures from 140 to 199 mg/dL, then the problem is considered as prediabetes.

Gestational Diabetes
This problem is associated with expecting mothers. During pregnancy, the blood glucose level rises alarmingly, making the mother a diabetic. However, a few days after the delivery, the blood sugar returns to normal. The tests for this type of diabetes includes:

  • The first test involves giving the patient a sugary solution. After an hour, a blood test is performed to measure the blood sugar level. If it shows a measure of more than 130 to 140 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), then it only signifies that the mother is at a high risk of developing gestational diabetes.
  • Another test is conducted wherein, the patient has to fast overnight before the test. After the test, the patient is given a highly concentrated glucose solution. And then the blood sugar level is tested thrice, with an interval of one hour. And if the readings are higher than normal in any two tests, then the diagnosis of the condition can be confirmed positive.

To conclude, you can also test for diabetes at home. For this, all you have to do is to get a diabetes test home kit. Following the instructions as provided by the manufacture can provide accurate readings for the test. However, if you suspect that you might be suffering from the condition, then it’s best to go for a medical diagnosis for proper care and treatment. Home kits are good for monitoring your blood sugar level, in case you already have the condition.

How to Prevent Cancer

Cancer is one of the fatal diseases which kills many people every year, it accounts for more than 20% of all deaths every year in the United States. There are different types of cancer, like lung cancer, blood cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, etc which may affect a person. An uncontrolled growth of cells which destroy tissues, and at times spread to other regions of the body is known as cancer. The human body produces cells that divide and grow, but it is a controlled action. When cells are produced at such an alarming rate, they stack up causing tumor formation. These tumors are termed as cancerous when they infect the neighboring tissue.

Avoid Smoking
Lung cancer accounts for almost 30% of all the cancer-related deaths, and smoking is one of the main reasons behind lung cancer. Smoking also weakens the immune system and this may allow other types of cancers to thrive. Carcinogens in tobacco affect the cell division, and this is one of the main reasons for cancerous growth of cells. A person should avoid smoking, and if he/she is a smoker then he/she should quit smoking as a preventive measure. Apart from this second hand smoking is also injurious to health.

Avoid Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse increases the risk of getting cancer, therefore one should limit alcohol intake. Studies have linked alcohol to liver cancer and many other types of cancer. A study on women also indicated that women who drink are at a greater risk of getting breast cancer. The liver produces acetaldehyde to breakdown the ethanol in alcohol, and excess production of acetaldehyde may lead to liver cancer. Alcohol also increases the risk of mouth, stomach, and esophagus.

Veggie and Fruit Diet
Include veggies and fruits in the diet. This doesn’t mean that one has to become a vegan, it just means a person has to eat sufficient amount of vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants in fruits like cantaloupe, apple, etc. help the immune system fight any cell abnormality. Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, etc. are high in vitamin C content which helps the body eliminate bad cells. Vegetables are the best foods to prevent cancer. Most vegetables also act as diuretics and help the body get rid of toxins. An alkaline diet may be adapted to prevent cancer, which may include vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, celery, tomatoes, etc.

Exercise
One of the best ways to prevent cancer is to keep the body healthy by performing regular exercises. Exercise is the best way to boost the immune system. It is also good for blood circulation. Regular exercising will not only help fight obesity, but will also keep the insulin levels under check. High insulin levels puts you at the risk of developing various types of cancer.

Salt and Sugar
One of the major contributors to stomach cancer is excessive salt consumption, as it is known to damage the inner lining of the stomach. A diet high in salt is responsible for high blood pressure which may also lead to heart attack. Having a diet high in salt and sugar increases the risk of colon cancer.

Include garlic in the diet, and limit the intake of red meat. To avoid skin cancer, protect the skin from exposure to UV rays of the sun. Taking vitamin E and vitamin D supplements also help prevent cancer. If a person has a family history for cancer, then he should get himself screened at regular intervals. Early detection may help in prevention of the complications.