Here's How To Test Yourself For Diabetes

Diabetes can be deadly if left undiagnosed, so it is very important to pay attention to your body if you are displaying any of the symptoms. Early detection of diabetes can lessen the complications and, if caught in the prediabetic stage, the disease can be reversed.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes include frequent urination, constant thirst, unexplained weight loss or gain, unusual hunger, or extreme fatigue and irritability.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include all of the type 1 symptoms, but may also involve frequent infections, blurred vision, slow healing, tingling in the appendages, and being overweight and inactive.

If you’re worried you might have diabetes, the most important thing is to see a doctor immediately and receive an official diagnosis. However, there is also a simple blood test you can perform at home that may tell you if you have diabetes.

Here are the steps for performing an at-home test for diabetes:

  1. Purchase a blood sugar meter at any drug or grocery store. These can be found in Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and most other drug stores. These meters will probably come with free strips.
  2. Read the instructions on the package, and practice a few times if there are extra strips. All meters are different, so familiarize yourself with your meter.
  3. Test your sugar first thing in the morning before eating anything, and record the result. This will be your “fasting” blood sugar.
  4. Eat a carbohydrate-rich meal containing at least 60 grams of carbs. A bagel is good, or a boiled potato or cup of rice. Try to avoid fatty foods.
  5. One hour after eating, use the meter to test your blood sugar again, and record the results. Repeat every hour for the next 3 hours.

A doctor can provide more accurate results, but the meter will give you a good indication of a problem.

What the results mean:

If your blood sugar remained under 100mg/dl (5.6 mmol/L) at the one hour test and the later tests, you have very normal blood sugar and probably do not have diabetes.

If your blood sugar reached 140 mg/dl (7.7 mmol/L) within the first hour, or 120 mg/dl (6.7 mmol/L) two hours after earing, you are above the normal range. You may have insulin resistance going on, but probably do not have diabetes. If you are overweight, it is recommended that you start an exercise regimen to prevent diabetes.

If your blood sugar was over 200 mg/dl (11.1 mmol/L) at any time you tested, this is a diabetic blood sugar level and you should consult your doctor immediately. If you repeat the test and receive the same result, this is considered diagnostic of diabetes.

In addition, if your blood sugar made a sudden drop to below 90 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/L), this is called “reactive hypoglycemia” and may also be a sign of diabetes. Discuss this result with your doctor.

In a normal diet, it is important to cut out excess carbohydrates. The meal you ate in this experiment was solely to measure your glucose levels and should not be considered a healthy option.

Photo: Pexels

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