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How To Determine If You Have Diabetes


How Is Type 1 Diabetes Treated

means good diabetes control to minimize symptoms; prevent health problems; and help kids have normal physical, mental, emotional, and social growth and development. To do this, parents and kids should aim to keep blood sugar levels within the goal range as much as possible.

In general, kids with type 1 diabetes need to:

  • take insulin as prescribed

Who Is At Risk


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition and as yet the triggers for this condition are unknown. However, type 2 diabetes has a number of risk factors, including being overweight or obese, living a sedentary lifestyle, or eating an unhealthy, high-calorie diet. “With type 2 diabetes your body’s still producing at least some insulin but you can’t respond to it – you’ve lost that sensitivity.”

“If the system gets overworked – eating the wrong things, eating too frequently, too much – the system gets worn out and we lose the sensitivity to it,” explains Dr Jenna Macciochi, Doctor of Immunology at the University of Sussex.

What Drinks And Foods Raise Blood Sugar Fast

  • 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2 can of regular soda or juice

Many people like the idea of treating low blood sugar with dietary treats such as cake, cookies, and brownies. However, sugar in the form of complex carbohydrates or sugar combined with fat and protein are much too slowly absorbed to be useful in acute treatment.


Once the acute episode has been treated, a healthy, long-acting carbohydrate to maintain blood sugars in the appropriate range should be consumed. Half a sandwich is a reasonable option.

If the hypoglycemic episode has progressed to the point at which the patient cannot or will not take anything by mouth, more drastic measures will be needed. In many cases, a family member or roommate can be trained in the use of glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that causes a rapid release of glucose stores from the liver. It is an injection given intramuscularly to an individual who cannot take glucose by mouth. A response is usually seen in minutes and lasts for about 90 minutes. Again, a long-acting source of glucose should thereafter be consumed to maintain blood sugar levels in the safe range. If glucagon is not available and the patient is not able to take anything by mouth, emergency services should be called immediately. An intravenous route of glucose administration should be established as soon as possible.

What Happens In Diabetes

Our bodies break down the foods we eat into glucose and other nutrients we need, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract. The glucose level in the blood rises after a meal and triggers the to make the hormone and release it into the bloodstream. But in people with diabetes, the body either can’t make or can’t respond to insulin properly.


Insulin works like a key that opens the doors to cells and lets the glucose in. Without insulin, glucose can’t get into the cells and so it stays in the bloodstream. As a result, the level of sugar in the blood remains higher than normal. High blood sugar levels are a problem because they can cause a number of health problems.

Your Vision’s Getting Increasingly Blurry

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Blurry vision is a commonand often ignoreddiabetes symptom in women. What does diabetes have to do with your vision? Kellis explains that fluid can form in your eye’s lens as sugar levels increase .

Diabetes can cause significant, unexplained weight loss. Think: 10 or 20 pounds.

A buildup of fluid in the eye blurs vision, causes nearsightedness, and sends many people to the optometrist for a new glasses or contacts prescription.


Fortunately, getting your blood sugar levels under control can clear up blurred vision, she adds.

Testing For Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

If diabetes is confirmed by the results of a blood test the type of diabetes you have is usually determined by factors like weight , age at diagnosis, family history and how quickly any symptoms came on.

The test results can also indicate if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes even if you dont have it now. 


If youre being tested for type 1 diabetes then further blood tests can check your blood ketone levels. Following this you may be sent to hospital for further assessment.

How To Know If You Have Type 2 Diabetes And How To Reverse It

The initial symptoms often go unnoticed.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 32 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the bodys cells have become resistant to the effects of insulin. But how do you know if you have type 2 diabetes?


    First off, lets nail down what type 2 diabetes is. Since insulin is responsible for ushering glucose into cells for fuel, the resistance to insulin leads to excess levels of glucose in the bloodstream. This elevated blood glucose leads to a wide range of health problems.

    The good news: Lifestyle interventions focused on diet and exercise can reduce weight and improve diabetes management, says Brad Bale, M.D., co-author of Beat the Heart Attack Gene: The Revolutionary Plan to Prevent Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes . Indeed, studies show up to 98 percent of people can prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes with lifestyle changes.

    What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Levels Drop Too Low

    People who use insulin and other diabetes medications are at risk for hypoglycemia. Keep this action plan handy so youre prepared.


    If you take insulin or diabetes medication, you may be at risk of developing , or low blood sugar. Without quick attention, hypoglycemia can lead to serious complications, so its important to know what to do if it happens to you or someone close to you.

    In very severe cases, hypoglycemia can lead to seizures or loss of consciousness, says Marilyn Tan, MD, a clinical assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, gerontology, and metabolism at Stanford Health Care, and chief of the Stanford Endocrine Clinic.

    Its possible to have hypoglycemia but have no symptoms, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . On the other hand, symptoms can also come on rapidly. While symptoms vary from person to person, if you develop mild to moderate low blood sugar you may:

    • Feel shaky or jittery
    • Be irritable or combative
    • Have blurred vision or see double

    Some people feel tingling or numbness in their extremities too, says Rodolfo Galindo, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and lipids at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and chair of the inpatient diabetes taskforce.

    Thinkstock


    Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

    The OGTT measures blood glucose after you fast for at least 8 hours. First, a health care professional will draw your blood. Then you will drink the liquid containing glucose. For diagnosing gestational diabetes, you will need your blood drawn every hour for 2 to 3 hours.

    High blood glucose levels at any two or more blood test times during the OGTTfasting, 1 hour, 2 hours, or 3 hoursmean you have gestational diabetes. Your health care team will explain what your OGTT results mean.

    Health care professionals also can use the OGTT to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in people who are not pregnant. The OGTT helps health care professionals detect type 2 diabetes and prediabetes better than the FPG test. However, the OGTT is a more expensive test and is not as easy to give. To diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, a health care professional will need to draw your blood 1 hour after you drink the liquid containing glucose and again after 2 hours.


    How Often Do I Need To See My Primary Diabetes Healthcare Professional

    In general, if you are being treated with insulin shots, you should see your doctor at least every three to four months. If you are treated with pills or are managing diabetes through diet, you should be seen at least every four to six months. More frequent visits may be needed if your blood sugar is not controlled or if complications of diabetes are worsening.

    What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar


    Different people may feel low blood sugar levels differently. People with low blood sugar may:

    • feel hungry or have hunger pains in their stomach
    • feel shaky or like theyre trembling
    • have a rapid heart rate
    • feel sweaty or have cold, clammy skin
    • have pale, gray skin color
    • have a headache
    • have seizures or convulsions
    • lose consciousness

    If you have diabetes, try to remember how your body reacts when your blood sugar levels are low. It may help you figure out when youre having a low blood sugar level more quickly the next time.

    How Is Diabetes Diagnosed

    Diabetes is diagnosed and managed by checking your glucose level in a blood test. There are three tests that can measure your blood glucose level: fasting glucose test, random glucose test and A1c test.


    • Fasting plasma glucose test: This test is best done in the morning after an eight hour fast .
    • Random plasma glucose test: This test can be done any time without the need to fast.
    • A1c test: This test, also called HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin test, provides your average blood glucose level over the past two to three months. This test measures the amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin, the protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen. You dont need to fast before this test.
    • Oral glucose tolerance test: In this test, blood glucose level is first measured after an overnight fast. Then you drink a sugary drink. Your blood glucose level is then checked at hours one, two and three.
    Type of test

    Symptoms Diagnosis And Monitoring Of Diabetes

    How To Know Id You Have Diabetes

    Nearly 33 million American adults have Type 2 diabetes  and many dont know it. Type 1 diabetes often remains undiagnosed until symptoms become so severe that hospitalization is required.

    Both of these facts speak to a larger truth: Left untreated, diabetes can cause many health complications. Thats why its crucial to know the warning signs and to see a healthcare professional regularly for routine wellness screenings.


    When Should I Call My Doctor

    If you havent been diagnosed with diabetes, you should see your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms of diabetes. If you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should contact your provider if your blood glucose levels are outside of your target range, if current symptoms worsen or if you develop any new symptoms.

    How To Treat Someone Whos Having A Seizure Or Fit

    Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:

  • Stay with them and stop them hurting themselves lie them down on something soft and move them away from anything dangerous .
  • After the seizure or fit stops, give them a sugary snack.
  • Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.

    How Do I Check

    People with diabetes check their blood sugar levels by poking their fingertips and using ablood glucose meter or acontinuous glucose monitor to measure the blood glucose level at that moment. Read on to find out how to use a blood glucose meter. To find out more about CGMs, start by talking to your doctor.

    Nausea Vomiting Confusion And More

    These seemingly disparate symptoms are all signs of a rare and life-threatening state called diabetic ketoacidosis , according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. DKA can cause the symptoms above, as well as stomach pain, trouble breathing, dry or flushed skin, fruity-smelling breath, or difficulty paying attention. It usually occurs in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign they are sick, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. DKA happens when the liver is unable to use the sugar in the blood for energy without insulin and begins to break down body fat into a type of fuel called ketones at such a high rate that they become toxic and make the blood acidic, the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains. DKA can be fatal if left untreated, so anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek care immediately.

    Over time, untreated high blood sugar can cause additional symptoms, such as:

    Signs Of High Blood Sugar

    Someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes will be familiar with how it feels to have hyperglycemia. But for the millions of people who have diabetes or and are unaware of it, knowing the signs of high blood sugar could prompt them to seek care and get a diagnosis as soon as possible.

    While type 1 diabetes symptoms can come on suddenly and severely, its important to note that type 2 diabetes symptoms can creep up gradually and be so mild that theyre not noticeable, the explains. And most people with prediabetes actually have no symptoms, per the . So its extremely important to get screened if you have risk factors, like having a family history, being overweight, or being over age 45, the says.

    Still, there are many potential signs of high blood sugar in the short and long term that it doesnt hurt to be conscious of, especially if you are at elevated risk.

    Early on, hyperglycemia can make you feel off in a variety of ways:

    Does Everyone Have Symptoms From Hypoglycemia

    Some people dont have symptoms or dont notice them. Healthcare providers call that situation hypoglycemia unawareness. People with such a challenge arent aware when they need to do something about their blood sugar. Theyre then more likely to have severe episodes and need medical help. People with hypoglycemia unawareness should check their blood sugar more often.

    How Is Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosed

    Doctors can say for sure if a person has diabetes by testing blood samples for glucose. When high blood sugars show that a child has diabetes, other blood tests are usually done to help doctors find out if the child has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, because management and treatment of the diabetes may differ based on type.

    If diabetes is suspected or confirmed, the doctor may refer your child to a pediatric endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of kids with diseases of the endocrine system, such as diabetes and growth disorders.

    What Complications Can Be Caused By Hypoglycemia

    How to Tell if You Have Diabetes: 7 Steps (with Pictures)

    Passing out from low blood sugar because you have not recognized the early signs and symptoms is called hypoglycemia unawareness, and can be quite dangerous depending on where you are, explains Dr. Klonoff. As doctors are required to report such incidents to the Department of Motor Vehicles, it can also mean a suspended drivers license.

    If this is something youre worried about, Wearing a continuous glucose monitor with an alarm for hypoglycemia can alert a person who is prone to developing low blood sugar levels that their blood glucose concentration is becoming dangerously low, so appropriate preventive action can be taken before they lose consciousness, explains Dr. Klonoff.

    How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar

    The number of times that you check your blood sugar will depend on the type of diabetes that you have and the type of medicine you take to treat your diabetes. For example, people who take insulin may need to check more often than people who do not take insulin. Talk with your health care team about how often to check your blood sugar.

    The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up , before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime. Talk with your health care team about what times are best for you to check your blood sugar.

    What Should My Blood Glucose Level Be

    Ask your healthcare team what your blood glucose level should be. They may have a specific target range for you. In general, though, most people try to keep their blood glucose levels at these targets:

    • Before a meal: between 80 and 130 mg/dL.
    • About two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL.

    Can Diabetes Kill You

    Yes, its possible that if diabetes remains undiagnosed and uncontrolled it can cause devastating harm to your body. Diabetes can cause heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and coma. These complications can lead to your death. Cardiovascular disease in particular is the leading cause of death in adults with diabetes.

    Do You Have Insulin Resistance

    How do you find out if youre insulin resistant? No one test will tell you, but if you have high blood sugar levels, high triglycerides , high LDL cholesterol, and low HDL cholesterol, your health care provider may determine you have insulin resistance.

    Important note: Type 1 diabetes is different; its thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction . People with type 1 diabetes dont make enough insulin and need to take it to survive.

    What If Im Experiencing Hypoglycemic Episodes Even Though My Doctor Has Confirmed That Im Not Diabetic Or Prediabetic

    If you have low blood sugar and dont have diabetes or , it can be a sign of another serious health issue such as a tumor, hormone deficiency, kidney disorder, anorexia, or other eating disorder, all of which can cause dangerously low blood sugar.

    has the highest of any psychiatric disorder, and the cause of death can be hypoglycemia, so take your illness seriously and seek help if you suspect your eating disorder may be progressing to the point where it is causing you to faint or experience other signs and symptoms of dangerously low blood sugar. The National Eating Disorders Association has resources on how to identify the signs that you may have an eating disorder, a hotline for help, as well as easily accessible information on everything from how to know when you need help to how to find quality treatment options in your zip code.

    People who are not diabetic dont spontaneously have hypoglycemia for no reason, explains Dr. Christofides. Its often an indication of another underlying issue, such as a hormone deficiency or eating disorder, so its important to schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause in order to prevent complications.

    Common causes of hypoglycemia in people without diabetes include:

    • Pancreatic tumor
    • Anorexia and other eating disorders

    What Is The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

    Before you can know if you have diabetes, you need to know the difference between the two main types. There are other conditions which fall under the banner group of diabetes mellitus , but type 1 and type 2 diabetes make up the majority. One, gestational diabetes, happens during pregnancy and is something which should be monitored for during pregnancy check-ups.

    • Type 1 diabetes: this is when the pancreas does not produce insulin to regulate your blood sugar. It is diagnosed most commonly earlier in life, usually during childhood. Genetics play a part in whether or not you will get type 1 diabetes, but many genes can affect it.
    • Type 2 diabetes: this is when the body develops resistance to and creates a lack of insulin leading to inability to control blood sugar levels. It is usually diagnosed later in life and is very related to lifestyle, particularly obesity.

    Insulin is a hormone which regulates our metabolism, promoting the absorption of , fats and protein into the blood stream. This is essential to our survival as these nutrients keep our body functioning and help our immune system to function properly. It is created in the pancreas, so damage to this organ can have a drastic effect on our ability to produce insulin.

    Who Gets Diabetes What Are The Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your risk differ depending on the type of diabetes you ultimately develop.

    Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes include:

    • Having a family history of Type 1 diabetes.
    • Injury to the pancreas .
    • Presence of autoantibodies .
    • Physical stress .
    • Exposure to illnesses caused by viruses.

    Risk factors for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes include:

    • Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
    • Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American race or Pacific Islander.
    • Being overweight.

    Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:

    • Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
    • Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian-American.
    • Being overweight before your pregnancy.
    • Being over 25 years of age.

    How To Use A Blood Glucose Meter:

    How Do You Know If You Have Prediabetes  Diabetics Today

    • After washing your hands, insert a test strip into your meter.
    • Use your lancing device on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood.
    • Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood and wait for the result.
    • Your blood glucose level will appear on the meter’s display.

    Note: All meters are slightly different, so always refer to your user’s manual for specific instructions.

    You’ve Got Weird Dark Spots On Your Skin

    Darkening skin around the nape of your neck, under your armpits, or even in your groin area is a surprising and common early sign of insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetesthe medical name for the condition is acanthosis nigricans .

    We see this often in women with polycystic ovary syndrome , says Kellis, who notes that women with PCOS are at an increased risk of insulin issues. If you notice new dark spots on your skin, they’re worth checking out with your doctor.

    Method 2 Of 5:checking Your Blood Sugar

  • 1Purchase a glucose testing kit. You can find these at pharmacies or most big box stores. You will also need matching testing strips to go with your monitor, so make sure your kit has some or purchase some separately.
  • Check to see if the kit needs batteries or has them already.
  • Keep in mind that some kits may require a prescription, and they may be expensive without one. However, they’re available over-the-counter in some areas for as low as $10.
  • 2Wash your hands with warm soap and water. You need to prick your skin, and you don’t want to introduce bacteria. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before rinsing off the soap completely.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Diabetes AssociationHealth-based nonprofit focused on preventing and researching diabetesGo to source
  • Dry your hands well on a clean towel.
  • If you’re not near a place where you can wash your hands, use hand sanitizer or rub your finger with a rubbing alcohol wipe.
  • 3Insert a testing strip into the glucose monitor. The strip should indicate which way it goes in the monitor. If you’re not sure how to do it, read the instructions that came with your monitor.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Some older glucose monitors may require that you place a drop of blood on the strip before pushing it into the machine.
  • Typically, inserting the strip will turn on the monitor. However, you may need to put in batteries first.
  • What To Expect When Seeking A Type 2 Diabetes Screening

    diabetes diagnosis

    • 200 milligrams per deciliter or higher in two random plasma glucose tests, with symptoms
    • 200 mg/dl or higher with an oral glucose tolerance test
    • 126 mg/dl or higher with a fasting plasma glucose test
    • Or 6.5 percent or higher with a hemoglobin A1C test on two separate days

    your healthcare teamlowering your blood sugargetting regular exerciseprevent type 2 diabetes

    Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes

    You might notice:

    • Unplanned weight loss. If your body can’t get energy from your food, it will start burning muscle and fat for energy instead. You may lose weight even though you haven’t changed how you eat.
    • Nausea and vomiting. When your body resorts to burning , it makes ketones. These can build up in your blood to dangerous levels, a possibly life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketones can make you feel sick to your .

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