How to Diagnose Diabetes

 

Knowing that I had diabetes was really half of the problem solved. When I was ignorant of the fact, I continued to eat all the foods which made my situation worse. To be honest, when I was told that I was pre-diabetic I ignored that information as well. I even had a well-known dermatologist told me to check out the black ring around my neck and the dark spot on my cheek because it was a sign that diabetes was on the way. Yes, I foolishly ignored that too. I will do an article about this ring around the neck at a later date.

When Death Knocks at the Door

Death at the door

So, yes, it took me a long time to get serious about diabetes. It wasn’t until I saw how uncomfortable it was making me before I made the required lifestyle change. Yes, unfortunately, some of us need “death to knock on our doors” before we get serious about the necessary lifestyle change.

I am now of the view that all of us should routinely check for diabetes at least once per year. But the good news is that to diagnose diabetes is really a simple matter.

It is truly sad to think that we allow ourselves to be so ill before we act. It is always smarter to prevent something from happening than to clean up the mess created after it happens. Those of us who get a chance to clean up are the ones who got a second chance. For others, it is sometimes too late and the final song for them is “When the roll is called up yonder,” and we sincerely pray that they will be there.

First School and Medical Clinic

It is my view that where families continue to eat outside of whole foods and especially when they lead a sedentary lifestyle, they should ensure that there is at least one glucometer kit at home and it should be used at least once per month. I am by no means encouraging folks to continue eating “junk/processed” foods. The reality, however, is that many will continue, until they have their wake up call.

I know people younger than myself who struggle to climb stairs and their blood pressure is high and when I speak to them about what and how they are eating, I just get an empty “yes” and that is the end of that story. Those same people are witnessing the new, stronger Josephine, running the stairs and they still continue to eat and drink themselves to an unhealthy and painful life.

So, yes, I am encouraging every family to invest in a glucometer kit and to routinely test all members of the family. The point is that from home we could get an early indication of what is happening with our blood glucose and how the foods being served to our loved ones are affecting one or all family members.

Please read this article to understand why diabetes is sometimes a family friend.  So, yes, home is our first school and medical center. As parents, we must take this serious and teach the correct things to our children.

What is Your Blood Communicating?

When we visit our doctor and let him/her know the signs/symptoms we are experiencing, they will do one or preferably a combination of the following to determine if we are diabetic:

  1. Random blood sugar.
  2. Fasting blood sugar.
  3. Oral glucose tolerance test.

Random Blood Sugar

In this case, the finger is pricked and a small drop of blood is tested to ascertain your blood sugar level. This drop of blood is then placed on a special strip made for the purpose of testing our blood sugar. This strip works in a small machine called a glucometer, which then gives a blood sugar reading. The readings will vary dependent on the last time we ate and what was in the meal.

Please see the infographics below for some guidelines and also note that there are slight variations based on guidelines from different countries/associations/groups.

 

Blood sugar levels for diabetics

Fasting Blood Sugar

Fasting blood sugar test is the perfect way to ascertain your blood sugar. If a recognized and certified lab is used, then the results are trusted as being accurate. This test is done after we sleep for the night and are awake. This means that we do without food from 10 pm at nights until we do the lab test about 8 to 9 am in the morning. Doctors have a tendency of sending you twice to do this test and in the event, our reading is 7 (126) or more each time, then they will confirm that we have diabetes.

I like going to the lab first thing in the morning to do this test. I love my early morning tea/coffee and as a diabetic, I find it difficult to go without food for an extended period of time. Hence for me, I like to be the first person at the lab to be tested after a fast.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

I also have to do a fasting when I am sent to do this test. This is the test that I absolutely hate to do. So, I go on a fast and then it is further extended in order to do the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. I am first tested as I arrive, following which I am given a sugary drink and then re-tested. Some places test you more than once after you drink the sweet stuff. Where I go, I have to wait for two (2) hours following which I am re-tested. I sometimes try to “worm” my way out of this test. It is, however, necessary for the doctors to see how our body responds to something sweet.

How then do I get through this test? I prepare and take my breakfast with me so that as soon as the test is completed I can sit in my car and drink my tea/coffee and have something to eat. Yes, I know I could buy something to eat, but remember that the research shows that those of us who eat mostly home-cooked meals have lower blood glucose. Please read this article about home-cooked meals and diabetes.

In conclusion, let me encourage my readers to get tested and know your numbers because “knowing is half of the problem solved.” Continue to strive to prevent and reverse diabetes, the lifestyle plague which is shortening our lives and forcing us to live in pain and much discomfort.

 

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10 Comments


  1. // Reply

    Hi, Josephine, I was finally diagnosed with diabetes about 15 years ago.

    I had suffered some pancreatic problems as a child and I was prescribed Metformin and other Glucophage meds about 20 years ago, and I was also taking Glucon-Peptide/Incretin Mimetics, but slowly my diabetes became worse and worse to the point my pancreas now no produces little to no insulin.

    I am on both bolus and basal insulin now, along with oral meds and have been for about 10 years.

    I absolutely agree, one of the best things we can do is try to eat better and educate ourselves about food. I find that once you get past the initial period and settle down things get a little easier and less scary.

    I also test myself regularly but here in the UK many people with T2 diabetes do not have access to testing equipment as they cannot afford it or the doctor will not give it out because of the government rulings.

    I find that testing is integral to understanding how your food affects you and how your blood behaves. My own problem initially was that I had very high morning BG reading, I could go to bed with a reading of 5.2mmol and wake up with a reading of 13.8mmol.

    It turned out I was having night time hypos and big liver dumps. The insulin regime stopped this and my fasting BG is usually somewhere between 5mmol and 7mmol.

    I still have to watch what I eat of course and carbohydrates knock me out if I have too many, but overall I feel better than I once did.

    Thanks for the great read and best wishes in your journey.

    Neil


    1. // Reply

      Neil, I do appreciate the time you took to share your story and to inspire others to make the necessary changes. I am happy to hear that your situation is much improved and it is encouraging news for me to hear that you respond well to the right foods (low carb). Please continue to eat well and be in the best of health. Also, remember that you can purchase testing supplies online at Amazon and other places. Be blessed.


    1. // Reply

      Thanks for the comment Jamin. Worrying is never beneficial. Action will be more fruitful. Cut back on your carbs, do the research and choose healthy whole foods and lead an active lifestyle. All the best and remember you have a chance to stop diabetes. Go ahead and act now!


  2. // Reply

    Unfortunately Diabetes is becoming more of a problem by the day simply because of the lifestyles that many people choose to lead. It is so easy to make the easy choices like to grab that fast food or sugary snacks. Unfortunately, like you mentioned, many dont bother until its to late and I guess I understand that because most people feel that it simply can’t happen to them for whatever reason until it’s to late.


    1. // Reply

      Nathan, thanks for taking the time to comment. Please note that we learn from our families, and so many people grow up making the wrong choices, but fail to see that other options are healthier. That is why we need to continue to help by writing and making videos in an attempt to disseminate the information. You may find this article about the family as the first place we learn to make those wrong choices an interesting read. Cheers.

      Family History of Diabetes


  3. // Reply

    Hi Josephine,
    I really enjoyed reading this article. It has a lot of helpful information and it’s well organized. You explained the different tests people need to go through to find out what their blood sugar level is which is great. We all need to be informed.
    I agree with you about trying to eat less fast food and more homemade meals and it is impotant that we visit our doctor regularly to get checkups.
    I especially like that you are writing in first person and giving your readers an account of how you deal with this problem.
    Thank you for the post.


    1. // Reply

      Chris, you are most certainly welcome. I am of the view that my experiences are not accidents, but are to be used to help others and so it is my duty and a great pleasure to serve and to be able to help. Do refer the site to your friends and family members. All the best.

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