Diabetes is a serious, yet manageable condition that affects millions of Americans each year. Checking if you have diabetes is an important part of managing the disease and maintaining your health. But how do you know if it’s time to get checked for diabetes? Let’s take a look at what you need to know about checking for diabetes.
Signs & Symptoms of Diabetes
The first step in checking for diabetes is to be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with the condition. Common symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination, extreme hunger, sudden weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and frequent infections. If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, it may be time to get checked by your doctor.
Risk Factors & Diagnosis
In addition to being aware of the signs and symptoms, it’s important to understand the risk factors associated with developing diabetes so that you can take proactive steps to reduce your risk. Risk factors include age (45+), family history, lack of physical activity, being overweight or obese, race/ethnicity (African American, Hispanic/Latino American, Native American/Alaska Native), high blood pressure (140/90 mmHg or higher), prediabetes diagnosis, gestational diabetes during pregnancy, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). If you have one or more of these risk factors it’s best to get checked by your doctor as soon as possible.
If you suspect that you may have diabetes your doctor will likely order a blood test called an A1C test which measures your average blood sugar levels over the past two or three months. This test can tell doctors whether you have type 1 diabetes (your body doesn’t make insulin) or type 2 diabetes (your body does not use insulin properly). Your doctor may also order other tests such as a fasting glucose test which measures your blood sugar after fasting for at least 8 hours overnight.
It’s important to talk with your doctor if you think that you may have diabetes so they can assess the situation and provide appropriate treatment options. Knowing the signs and symptoms as well as understanding the risk factors can help ensure that you stay informed about this condition and remain healthy and well-managed. Whether or not you are showing signs or symptoms related to this condition it’s always best practice to regularly check in with your doctor so they can assess any changes in your health over time. Taking these steps now is key to managing any potential health risks related to having this condition in the future.