HS200: Diseases of the Human Body Kaplan University
January 29, 2012
If you experience symptoms of severe increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, increased hunger, tingling of your hands or feet you may need a test for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about ninety percent of all diagnosed cases and occurs more in older people. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about ten percent of cases, usually in children and young adults. A third kind, gestational diabetes, develops during pregnancy. When you get diagnosed with diabetes you will have tests and could have Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments. I will describe these diagnostic tests and the different treatments. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 26 million children and adults in the U.S., or over 8% of the population, have diabetes today. There are no warning signs so a lot of people are unaware that they have diabetes. To confirm the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, your doctor will order a fasting plasma glucose test or a casual plasma glucose. The fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) is the preferred method for diagnosing diabetes, because it is easy to do, convenient, and less expensive than other tests, according to the American Diabetes Association. To prepare for taking the blood glucose test, you will not be allowed to eat anything for at least eight hours. During a blood glucose test, blood will be drawn and sent to a lab for analysis. Normal fasting blood glucose or your blood sugar is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL. The standard diagnosis of diabetes is made when two separate blood tests that shows your fasting blood glucose level is greater than or equal to 126 mg/dL. The casual plasma glucose test is another method which during the test, blood sugar is tested without regard to the time since the person's last meal. This means you are not required to abstain from eating prior to the test. The oral glucose tolerance test is yet another method used to detect diabetes, but it is usually only done during pregnancy to diagnose gestational diabetes.
The hemoglobin A1c test (also called the glycated hemoglobin test or HbA1c), is an important diabetes blood test used to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. This diabetes test provides an average of your blood sugar control over a six to twelve week period. Along with the A1c test, it is important for diabetics to have a dilated eye exam at least once a year. This test detects early signs of retinopathy, which is the leading cause of blindness. Also receive a foot exam at every doctor's visit to detect decreased circulation and sores that may not be healing. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative