Who Should Take a Diabetes Test?
Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to utilize blood glucose for energy. When left untreated, the condition can cause numerous unpleasant signs and symptoms that can become very serious over time.
The American Diabetes Association advises people aged 45 and older to get tested for diabetes. If results are normal, these individuals should continue to be tested every three years.
In addition to the age factor, there are other risk factors for diabetes that you should be aware of.
Risk factors for diabetes
If any of the following information applies to you, it is important to be tested for diabetes regardless of your age:
- You have high blood pressure
- Diabetes runs in the family
- You are overweight
- You are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
- You are a woman who has experienced gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- You have been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome
- You have a HDL cholesterol level of 35 mg/dl or less
- You have a triglyceride level of 250 mg/dl or higher
Healthcare professionals use a variety of methods to test for diabetes. While a urine analysis test will detect high blood glucose levels, it is not a definitive test for determining whether or not you have diabetes. Blood tests such as a hemoglobin A1c test, fasting blood glucose level test, or oral glucose tolerance test will be used to confirm any suspicions of diabetes.
If it is found that you or your child has diabetes, there are a number of different treatment methods that work to manage the disease. Controlling blood sugar levels involves a comprehensive approach that includes a healthy diet and moderate exercise. Many people with diabetes also take insulin and/or other medications in order to ensure proper blood glucose levels.
If you have questions about healthy nutrition for diabetes, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dietitian and nutritionist.