Future Risks Post Birth
A 2002 publication19 from Diabetes Care comparing 28 studies found that elevated fasting levels during pregnancy was the most common risk factor associated with future risk of type 2 diabetes:
Cumulative incidence of type 2 diabetes increased markedly in the first 5 years after delivery and appeared to plateau after 10 years. An elevated fasting glucose level during pregnancy was the risk factor most commonly associated with future risk of type 2 diabetes.
What If You Dont Have A Doctor
You could have prediabetes for years without any clear symptoms. In fact, around 88 million American adults have prediabetes, but more than 84% of them dont even know it. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. Having prediabetes increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
People who have any prediabetes risk factors are urged to talk to their doctor about getting their blood sugar tested. If you dont have a doctor or are concerned about expense, there are free or low-cost options available as a first step:
- Free screeningsFree blood sugar testing is offered at some health fairs, community centers, and pharmacies.
- Medicare coveragePeople covered by Medicare can get up to two free screeningsexternal icon a year if they have certain risk factors for diabetes, such as high blood pressure or obesity.
- Low-cost health centers and labsFederally funded community health centersexternal icon provide low-cost blood sugar testing on a sliding scale based on income. Testing is also available at some walk-in labs for a small fee.
A word of caution: Free blood sugar screenings often arent accurate because people havent fasted 8 to 10 hours before the test. Make sure you know how to prepareexternal icon ahead of time.
How A Blood Glucose Test Works:
Blood glucose levels are measured in two ways: molar concentrations, measured in mmol/L and mass concentration which is measured in mg/dL .In South Africa, we measure blood glucose levels in millimoles per litre . The normal range for non-Diabetic people is 4-6 mmol/l.
Youre considered to be Diabetic if your fasted blood glucose is over 7 mmol/l, or your non-fasted level is over 11 mmol/l. This test is useful for managing daily nutritional intake, and is highly recommended for Diabetics using insulin.
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When To Seek Medical Care
Eat A Healthy Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy diet is an important part of a treatment plan for gestational diabetes. A healthy diet includes a balance of foods from all the food groups, giving you the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need for a healthy pregnancy. For women with gestational diabetes, eating a balanced diet also helps to keep blood sugar levels in the healthy target range. Following a meal plan and eating a healthy diet is a key part of managing gestational diabetes. It is essential that you work with your health care provider to create a plan for your healthy diet. The information in this booklet is for women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. These guidelines are not appropriate for all pregnant women.
Balancing your diet
- All foods contain some combination of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Fat and protein affect your blood glucose over many hours, but carbohydrate affects it much faster. For this reason, you will need to regulate your intake of foods that are rich in carbohydrate . Your healthcare provider will show you how and your meal plan will help you stay on track.
- It is important to make healthy food choices. Nutritious foods support your babys growth and development, help control your gestational diabetes, and keep you feeling well.
- Controlling your gestational diabetes requires controlling the pattern of your eating. Your meal plan gives you targets for when to eat and how much to eat.
Steps to get started
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What Tests Can Be Done To Find Outif I Have Diabetes
There are a number of tests that may be done to find out if you have diabetes. Laboratories in New Zealand operate under strict quality control. This means that the tests you have done at the laboratory are likely to be very reliable and accurate.
Fasting blood glucose
A fasting blood glucose level is a measure of how much glucose is in your blood when you have not eaten anything for the past eight to ten hours.
The test is normally taken first thing in the morning. Your doctor or nurse will ask you to have nothing to eat after you go to bed at night. When you wake up in the morning you visit the laboratory for the test before you have had anything to eat or drink .
A fasting blood glucose level of either 7mmol/L or greater tells you that you have diabetes. If you have no symptoms of diabetes , the test should be repeated on another day.
Fasting blood glucose level is now the recommended test for finding out if you have diabetes.
A fasting blood glucose level can tell you other things as well.
If your fasting blood glucose level is between 6.1mmol/L and 6.9mmol/L, you may have a condition called impaired fasting glycaemia or pre-diabetes. This means that the level of glucose in your blood after eating nothing overnight is higher than it is in people without pre-diabetes or IFG, but not as high as it is in people who have diabetes.
If you have IFG or IGT you should:
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
An OGTT is how diabetes of pregnancy is usually diagnosed in New Zealand.
Other Tips For Checking:
- With some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or fleshy part of your hand.
- There are spring-loaded lancing devices that make sticking yourself less painful.
- If you use your fingertip, stick the side of your fingertip by your fingernail to avoid having sore spots on the frequently used part of your finger.
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What Is Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterised by what is known as insulin resistance.
This is where the body does not effectively respond to the insulin produced, as a result blood sugar levels become too high. It can be managed by taking tablets such as Metformin and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
How Do I Lower My Blood Sugar Level If I Have Gestational Pregnancy
A little more than 9.2% of pregnant women have gestational diabetes. It is very common that all women are tested during their pregnancy. If you havent yet, bring it up to your physicians attention. The cause is really unknown, but doctors believe that it is because the extra hormones that are released during pregnancy hinder the insulin sensitivity and increase the need for more insulin. It is very important to keep blood sugar levels under control because high blood sugars can lead to complications such as:
- Premature labor
- Pre-eclampsia which can lead to seizures
- Increased risk of the mother to develop type 2 diabetes later in life
Lowering blood sugar with gestational diabetes is a lot like the other ways mentioned above.
Breastfeeding after the baby is born is a great way to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life as well as providing many benefits for the baby. Read this article / that I wrote about all of the benefits of breastfeeding.
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Non Fasting Blood Tests
An HbA1c test is the main blood test used to diagnose diabetes. It tests your average blood sugar levels for the last two to three months. You dont need to prepare for a HbA1c . Its a quick and simple test where a small amount of blood is taken from a vein in your arm. This is different to a finger-prick test, which is a snapshot of your blood sugar levels at that moment.
Youll normally get the test results in a few days. From these results, your healthcare professional will be able to see if you have diabetes. If you didnt have any of the symptoms of diabetes before you were tested, youll need to have the test again to confirm the result.
You have diabetes if your HbA1c level is 48mmol/mol or above..
You are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if your HbA1c is between 42 and 48mmol/mol.
Random blood glucose test
If you have severe symptoms of diabetes, you may have a random blood test at any time of the day. This is a quick test, through a finger-prick or a vein in your arm.
If you have a finger-prick test, youll get the results straight away. If you have a blood test through a vein in your arm, youll get the results in a few days.
You or your loved one have diabetes if your blood glucose levels are 11.1mmol/l or more – regardless of how recently you ate.
But any diagnosis from a finger prick test will need to be confirmed by a blood test sent to a laboratory for results.
Learning To Use Your Cgm Or Freestyle Libre
Your diabetes healthcare team will set you up with your CGM or Freestyle Libre if its free on the NHS and show you how to use it. Sometimes manufacturers will help you set up the technology this is fine and can help your healthcare team get more people on to the technology more quickly.
Abbott, which supply the FreeStyle Libre, also provide free online learning for people with diabetes using the technology to help them get the most from it.
You may also benefit from going on a diabetes education course if you use Flash or CGM. Ask your GP or other diabetes healthcare professional to refer you.
If you want to share your experiences about using tech or find out information by asking others using it, go to our forum.
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Can Diabetes Be Prevented
Type 1 diabetes cant be prevented.
You may be able to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by managing your weight, staying active, and following a healthy diet. However, genetics and other risk factors may increase your risk despite your best efforts.
If you have any risk factors for diabetes, its important to get regular checkups with your doctor or healthcare professional. This will help prevent diabetes from progressing and causing other serious health complications.
How Fast Can I Lower My Blood Sugar
It may be faster than you think! Researchers at UCLA tracked over 650 men and women with type 2 diabetes who had attended the Pritikin Longevity Center to determine the effects of the healthy lifestyle change on their health. They found that in you can lower your blood sugar quickly. Of the adults who were new diabetics, their blood sugar levels fell from an average of 164mg/dL to 124 mg/dL within 3 weeks.
Better yet, many cases, adopting a healthy lifestyle is effective at reversing diabetes! The majority of the diabetics taking oral medication lowered their blood sugar to a point in which mediation was no longer needed. Those with advanced stages of diabetes noticed improvements as well. At the Pritikin Center, trained experts, including board certified physicians, registered dieticians and exercise physiologists, work with the adults to help them better understand their health, and how to eat, move, and live healthier.
What is a dangerous level of blood sugar?
Pre-diabetes is defined as having a fasting glucose between 100 and 125. Diabetes is a fasting glucose of 126 or higher. There is significant scientific evidence showing that a healthy lifestyle, such as the Pritikin Plan, can prevent pre-diabetes from developing into full-blown diabetes.
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How To Test For Diabetes
This article was medically reviewed by Shari Forschen, NP, MA. Shari Forschen is a Registered Nurse at Sanford Health in North Dakota. She received her Family Nurse Practitioner Master’s from the University of North Dakota and has been a nurse since 2003.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 41,941 times.
Studies show that diabetes can effect your entire body over time, but managing your blood sugar may help you prevent complications.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source Diabetes is a chronic health condition where your body either doesn’t make enough insulin to control your blood sugar or doesn’t properly use insulin anymore. Since it’s so important to start treatment right away, you likely want to know for sure if you have diabetes. Experts agree that it’s important to see your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms of diabetes so you can get tested.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes In Adults
NYU Langone doctors are experts at identifying people with type 2 diabetes, a condition in which a person has chronically high levels of blood sugar. It occurs when the body lacks or is resistant to insulin, a hormone that helps the body use glucose, or sugar. As a result, the body is unable to convert glucose into energy.
In prediabetes, a person has higher-than-normal levels of blood sugar, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. To help the body use some of the excess blood sugar levels, the pancreas produces more insulin. Over time, prediabetes may progress into type 2 diabetes.
In most people, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes develop gradually. If you have prediabetes and take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes, you may be able to avoid it altogether.
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Who Should Be Tested For Diabetes And How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
Diabetes is diagnosed using one of four simple blood tests in a doctors office or health clinic. The tests measure your blood-glucose level, which means the amount of sugar in your blood. Many people with diabetes do not have symptoms so it is important to get tested if you have risk factors for the disease.
Who Should Be Tested For DiabetesThe American Diabetes Association recommends blood tests for diabetes in any person with symptoms of the disease. In people without symptoms, testing should begin at age 45 and every three years thereafter or earlier in adults who are overweight or obesemeaning a body mass index 25 kg/m2and have any of the following other risk factors:
- Parent or sibling with diabetes
- Physical inactivity
- African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
- Women who had gestational diabetes or who gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- HDL cholesterol level 35 mg/dL
- Triglyceride level 250 mg/dL
- Impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose on previous blood-glucose testing
- History of heart disease
In children and adolescents, testing for type 2 diabetes should be considered for those who have diabetes symptoms or who are overweight and have two of the following risk factors:
Testing in children should begin at age 10 or when the child enters puberty and should be repeated every 3 years.
Table. Tests Used to Diagnose Diabetes
What Do The Results Mean
Depending on the type of test or tests you had, your results may show one of the following:
- Normal glucose levels. This means you probably are not at risk for or do not have diabetes.
- Prediabetes. This means you have higher than normal glucose levels and may be at risk for getting diabetes.
- Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- Gestational diabetes
If you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, talk to your provider about how to best manage the condition. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, but it may be controlled with regular glucose monitoring and taking insulin.
If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, your condition may be managed or even reversed by taking diabetes medicines and making lifestyle changes. These include eating a healthy diet, losing weight, and increasing exercise.
If you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you may be able to lower your glucose levels by eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. But be sure to talk to your provider about treatment options. Most of the time, gestational diabetes goes away after giving birth.
If you have other questions about your diabetes diagnosis or treatment, talk to your health care provider.
Learn more about laboratory tests, references ranges, understanding results.
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