When Should You Screen For Diabetes?
Diabetes, or elevated blood sugar levels due to a lack of insulin or insulin resistance, contributes to many serious chronic health issues in the American population. Resulting in long-term damage to eyes, kidneys, peripheral circulation, and the heart, diabetes in is linked to:
- heredity and ethnicity
- obesity (Body Mass Index of 25 or higher)
- sedentary lifestyle
- poor eating habits (high-calorie, high carbohydrate intake)
- high cholesterol
- gestational diabetes (during pregnancy) and babies over 9 pounds at birth
The professional team at Dr. Otha Myles & Associates, LLC screens patients for diabetes beginning at age 45 even when symptoms of weight loss, thirst, sweating, anxiety, and blurred vision are absent. The American Diabetes Association strongly recommends this protocol. Adult-onset diabetes also called type 2 diabetes, is often asymptomatic; so individuals are not aware that they have this serious health problem.
Diabetic Screening is Simple
Starting at patient age 45, Woodridge Clinic physicians do a simple blood test called a fasting blood sugar. This measures how much glucose is bonded to the oxygen-carrying blood protein called hemoglobin. A measure of 100 or less indicates a normal blood sugar level, and 100 to 125 indicates pre-diabetes. A result of 125 or higher needs attention as the person is likely diabetic.
Sometimes, the doctor orders an A1C blood test which averages blood sugar levels over the last 2 to 3 months. Normal results are 4.5 to 6, but higher levels are diagnostic for type 1 and 2 diabetes or indicate poorly controlled diabetes in someone already taking insulin or oral diabetic medications.
An Initial Glucose Challenge test screens pregnant women for gestational diabetes. After consuming a sugary syrup, the pregnant woman gets a blood draw. Results of 140 or below are considered normal.
Control of Diabetes
To avoid serious diabetic complications, the Primary Care Physicians at Dr. Otha Myles & Associates, LLC advise patients to:
- lose weight and control blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- eat a healthy, balanced diet of lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables and "good" carbs, such as whole-grain products
- engage in regular aerobic exercise
- test their blood sugars and record them
- keep their doctor's appointments
- take their insulin injections and/or other diabetic medications as directed
For More Information On Diabetes Screening Tests, Call Dr. Otha Myles & Associates, LLC
Located In St. Louis, MO At (314) 833-4001!