Diabetes affects the body’s ability to transfer glucose, a source of energy, from food into cells. If left untreated, it causes significant health problems, and according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, almost one in ten people in the United States have it. Your primary care physician Orlando can determine if you have risk factors or symptoms of diabetes and will order the appropriate tests.
Some patients present to DNF Medical Centers complaining of diabetes symptoms including blurry eyesight, exhaustion, a prickling or lessened sensation in extremities and feeling hungrier or thirstier than usual. These signs alert your provider that you might have a new diagnosis of diabetes. Other times, patients come into the office for yearly physical examinations or unrelated issues, but all patients older than 45 or overweight need to be tested for diabetes.
Your primary care physician Orlando may also decide to order tests if you have risk factors for diabetes. These include heart disease, a family history positive for diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle and an elevated blood pressure. Women who have had diabetes during pregnancy or who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome are more likely to develop diabetes. Also, African Americans, Native Americans, Asians and Hispanics overall have a higher risk.
Once your physician determines the necessity of diabetic testing, the office first orders a fasting or random glucose test. This depends on whether you have consumed any food or drink that day. The random glucose test measures the amount of sugar in the blood at that particular moment. This test shows whether you have diabetes but cannot diagnose prediabetes, an early stage when the condition can still be reversed. A fasting glucose is a more accurate measure because it is independent of any ingested sugar. A nonfasting level of over 200 or fasting level over 126 indicates diabetes. Before your appointment, be sure to take note of the physician’s instructions regarding fasting.
If the blood glucose test comes back indicating diabetes, your primary care physician Orlando will then order a hemoglobin A1c test. This measures the average percentage of glucose in your blood over the past three months. Most patients aim for a measurement less than 7%. The result helps determine the severity of diabetes and the indicated treatment. The provider may also order a lipid panel to measure HDL cholesterol, called good cholesterol, and triglycerides. In many cases, low HDL and high triglycerides accompany diabetes and also require treatment. The laboratory can have the results of all of these tests in less than an hour.
After a diabetes diagnosis, it is important to also test for other related conditions. Yearly visits with an eye doctor to check for retinopathy prevent vision deterioration, and lab work to test for heart disease or kidney problems is also beneficial. During the physical exam, your physician will check for any chronic sores and check sensation in extremities. All these steps will prevent further complications and keep the disease in control. If you have any symptoms or a previous diagnosis of diabetes, make sure to follow up with a physician at DNF Medical Centers to ensure optimal treatment.