For many people with diabetes, the hardest part of living with the condition comes at the beginning. Receiving a diagnosis of diabetes can be shocking and scary. Not only is getting such news unexpected, but it also raises countless questions and worries about what the future will look like. But getting a diagnosis is the first step in treating and managing diabetes. Getting the information and answers they need from their doctors puts patients in control of the disease, rather than the other way around.
But how do you get diagnosed with diabetes? What symptoms should you look for, and what should make you schedule an appointment with your physician? How will your doctor know you have the condition?
Symptoms of Diabetes
While certain individuals are more predisposed to developing diabetes, anyone can develop the condition, no matter how healthy and active they may feel. If you are experiencing any of the following, you should make an appointment with your doctor who can take the appropriate tests to confirm (or rule out) diabetes:
- Frequent urination, often at night
- More thirsty than usual
- Unexpected weight loss
- Frequent hunger
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Extremely fatigued and tired
- Very dry skin
- Sores that heal slowly
- More frequent infections than usual
Tests For Diabetes
If your doctor suspects that diabetes may be a problem, they will perform a comprehensive exam along with several specific blood sugar tests they may order to make an accurate diagnosis:
- A fasting plasma glucose testmeasures your blood glucose level after you haven’t eaten for at least eight hours. Diabetes is indicated at fasting blood sugar of greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl.
- Like the fasting plasma glucose test, an oral glucose tolerance test measures your blood sugar level after you have fasted for eight hours. But it also measures your plasma glucose level immediately before and two hours after you drink a liquid containing 75 grams of glucose dissolved in water. Diabetes is diagnosed at a two-hour blood sugar level greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl.
- In a random plasma glucose test, your physician checks your blood sugar regardless of when you last ate. Diabetes is diagnosed at a blood sugar greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl.
One or more of these tests will likely be repeated to confirm the results. Additionally, your doctor may measure your hemoglobin A1 as a screening tool for both diabetes and prediabetes. Diabetes is diagnosed at an A1C of greater than or equal to 6.5 percent.
Making Diabetes Management Easier With Continuous Glucose Monitoring
The good news is that while there is no cure for diabetes, there are treatments, approaches, and lifestyle changes that can keep diabetes under control. One of the most important aspects of staying healthy and managing diabetes is vigilantly and regularly monitoring blood glucose levels.
Traditional glucose monitoring involves pricking a finger multiple times a day to test blood samples, an inconvenient and uncomfortable burden. Now, however, technology has provided those with diabetes a more accurate and easier way to keep track of their blood sugar levels. Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes stay in control of their condition and their lives.
If you have recently received a diagnosis of diabetes, ask your doctor about CGM and contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.