Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, you will quickly learn that there are several medical tests and procedures you will undergo during the course of your life. Some are frequent and some are only done occasionally.
The most basic test is the one that measures the blood sugar levels; this should be done as often as your family physician requires.
You will be given a small monitor and testing strips. A small needle will be used to prick your finger, in order to extract a drop of blood onto the strip and get your reading. Then, you will write that reading in your special diary, so that you can compare the readings and determine whether your sugar levels are under control or not. While it may sound a little scary at first, you will quickly get used to this most common test.
Every three months you need to get an HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) test done. This test measures your average blood sugar reading and is used to gauge whether your diabetes is under control or not. You must go to a pathologist to have this test done; it measures the percentage of your blood sugars that are attached to your hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen in your red blood cells).
You will also need to have regular blood tests done to check cholesterol, vitamin and mineral levels and many other aspects of your blood, to ensure you don’t have other deficiencies or problems that need treating.
You may have to undergo a glucose tolerance test from time to time. You will have to fast overnight, and the first task is to test your blood sugar levels. Then you will drink a concentrated sweet glucose solution, and you’ll be tested again every hour for two hours. This helps calculate how fast your sugar levels return to normal.
The purposes of this test are:
– To find out how well your body can break down sugar.
– To find out if a non-diabetic has gestational diabetes.
– To find out if you have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
All pregnant women between 24-28 weeks must be tested for diabetes, to ensure they’ll have a healthy baby and no unexpected problems. If you do have gestational diabetes, treatment can begin early, so you and your baby stay healthy from the start.
If you have diabetes, tell your doctor about all the medication and supplements that you are taking. It is well known that the combination of diabetes and medication can give false readings under certain circumstances. The last thing you want to happen is to discover that a medication you’re on conflicts with the testing procedure.
Having diabetes means that you are in a higher risk category for several medical conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, nerve damage, and so on. One surgical procedure many diabetics undergo is weight loss surgery. Nevertheless, you must weigh up all the pros and cons, because the surgery is riskier in this case. On the other hand, losing weight can help you better manage your diabetes, which is why many people have it done.
If you do have diabetes, you are the only one that can control it. Do everything your doctor tells you to do and you will be able to lead a normal life for many years.