Tips to Leverage your Health with Diabetes Check at Home
Leverage your Health being Diabetes Free-
For people who have diabetes (or any other chronic disease), for that matter – benefits of keeping its markers on a healthy number can’t be overstated. You can now get you A1C levels where you like it to be.
The two key factors to keep diabetes health check involves-
1. Blood sugar control
2. Feel free from fear of its complications and risk factors
A condition of pre-diabetes can trick you before the visible symptoms of diabetes appear. The sudden rise and drop in blood sugar levels can trouble you a lot.
With the diagnostic power, you can manage Diabetes- Control diabetes before it controls you.
Good news: Diabetes can be easily diagnosed and managed.
Bad news: Undiagnosed pre-diabetes condition can put you at risk.
You can note the ‘triple P’ symptom of diabetes namely, polydipsia (thirst), polyphagia (hunger) and polyuria (frequent urination) which is more visible in Type 1 and less frequent in type 2 diabetes. Eventually, it may go unnoticed which is potentially harmful. Endocrinologist Dudl say, Diabetes takes seven to ten years to progress and before the sugar is so high one can notice the symptoms such as thirst, frequent urination and hunger or blurred vision.
Now with the power of one drop (blood test), one can easily detect diabetes and avoid its complications.
Diabetes Diagnosis- Past, Present, and Future
Diabetes a complex disease is likely as old as the ancient Romans, Greeks, Arabs and Indians centuries ago. In the Indian literature, diabetes is referred to as ‘Madhumeha’ known as honey urine whereas ‘Siphon’ in Greece is referred to an increase in urination, these symptoms are still in use. Since then diabetes has come a long way.
Today diabetes health check can be done with a blood test. Diabetes is a condition that results from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin, a pancreatic hormone that regulates sugar when we eat food and while it gets used up in various cells, tissues in the body.
Simply put, insulin regulates blood glucose levels in combination with liver, muscles, adipose tissue like a traffic controller that maintains a balance of traffic. Similarly, insulin balance glucose levels for the proper functioning of the body. Because both high and low levels of blood glucose levels are harmful.
High levels of sugar affect different parts of the body such as eyes, heart, and kidney when insulin couldn’t perform its normal function or due to lack of insulin named insulin resistance.
Diabetes is primarily categorized into type 1 and type 2 diabetes that depends on the cause of onset. Firstly, a virus or infection attacks beta cells of the pancreas (site of production storage of insulin hormone) as a result of immune response and insulin production is destroyed in case of type 1 diabetes.
Whereas, in type 2 diabetes diminished the capacity of the pancreas to release insulin which needs medications or insulin.
Type 1 diabetes the original form is known from 100 years back but type 2 diabetes have resulted from lifestyle disorders or genetic predisposition.
Powerful Diagnostic Blood Tests- Diabetes Health Check Tools
1. HbA1c Test- This test measures average blood sugar over the past three months. It requires no fasting. HbA1c values from 5.7-6.4% denote a condition of pre-diabetes. HbA1c value 6.5% or above is the risk factor for diabetes.
2. Fasting Plasma Glucose Test- This test requires one to be empty stomach of about 8 hours without eating or drinking except water. A range of 100 or above depicts pre-diabetes and a value of 126 or above makes one prone to develop diabetes.
3. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) – This test requires you to eat or drink something sweet to test for before you consume and two hours after its consumption. A value of 140 or above indicates a condition of pre-diabetes and a result of 200 or above shows the risk of diabetes.
Good News: You can certainly decrease the risk of onset of diabetes by a simple change in diet, ideal body weight and physical activity.
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines the following risk factors for diabetes:
1. Pre-diabetes– a condition that may predispose to diabetes
2. Overweight– BMI above 25
3. Age– 45 years and above
4. Genetically inherited– immediate relatives
5. Physically inactive – less than three times/week
6. Gestational diabetes- diabetes during pregnancy
American Diabetes Association recommends a blood sugar test or HbA1c test if above 45 years and every three years if normal.
Other factors include:
1. High blood pressure
2. High triglyceride levels over 250mg/dl
3. HDL levels below 35mg/dl
If you have any of the above risk factors then go for a yearly checkup.
A condition of pre-diabetes makes you prone to the risk of stroke despite, a healthy diet menu along with enhanced physical activity. If followed for a period of six months can reverse the onset of diabetes.
Managing blood glucose levels and vitamin D status important goal for everyone. Studies prove a low level of serum vitamin D concentration is associated with high levels of glycosylated HbA1c.
A healthy food choice includes high fiber, anti-oxidants, essential supplements, probiotics etc with an increase in physical activity – such as aerobic and resistance training. If it doesn’t yield result the metformin is the medicine that can prevent the onset of diabetes for the next 10 years.
Research has shown a decrease in HbA1c value by 0.7 percentage point on exercise. Different forms of exercise – aerobic and resistance training are proven to lower insulin resistance in adults with abdominal obesity at risk factor for diabetes.
Exercise tips- Safety first:
How much exercise you should go for? Exercise for some can come as an aid to cut back on high blood pressure or diabetes medications. It also makes you feel happier and healthier.
150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week is recommended (Department Of Health & Human Services). But before you join any form of workout consult your doctor to prevent near future health complications.
1. If on insulin dose do check your blood glucose levels first before exercising. If the level of blood glucose is under 100 mg/dl you can have a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts to avoid hypoglycemia.
2. Monitor glucose level after 30 minutes of exercise to see if the numbers are stable.
3. Some experts suggest avoiding exercise if blood glucose levels are above 250 mg/dl as some forms of exercise can spike blood sugar even higher.
4. To avoid complications associated with diabetes always wear glucose monitor on your wrist that will remind you to take insulin dose.
5. Always carry some candy or glucose pills with you in case of a sudden drop in glucose levels during exercise.
6. Best time to start exercise or brisk walking after one to three hours of having your meal by this time blood sugar levels are high. But, if you feel fatigue or pain avoid exercise.