Blood sugar testing and proper management of glucose levels are the two main keys to reducing a person’s risk of developing complications of diabetes. If a diabetic tightly monitors and keeps his blood sugar levels under control, he can live a long, healthy, and complication free life. If he chooses not to, he is most likely destined for a slow decline to disability and an early and painful death. The importance of blood sugar monitoring and control cannot be overstated. Life and death are in the balance.
Blood Sugar Testing is Needed for Both Type 1 & 2 Diabetes
Diabetes can be described as the body’s inability to produce and / or utilize the hormone insulin. In one type of the condition – insulin dependent diabetes (type one) – an individual cannot produce any insulin and must receive injections to survive. With the second type – non – insulin dependent diabetes (type two) – a person’s pancreas can produce insulin, but the cells throughout the body are unable to use it properly. The result of both forms of diabetes is the buildup of sugar in the blood which can lead to both short term and long term health consequences.
Blood sugar testing is one method used to diagnose diabetes of types one and two. A little blood is withdrawn and then tested for excess blood sugar in the cells. A number is given measuring mg / dl indicating just how much sugar is found. Anything below 100 mg / dl is considered to be normal. If the number falls between 100 and 200 mg / dl, the person is deemed pre-diabetic, which is a condition that may develop into full diabetes. Any number over 200 mg / dl comes with a definitive diagnosis of diabetes and requires immediate treatment.
Blood Sugar Testing a Must For Type 1 Diabetes
Any person with type 1 diabetes will die without administration of insulin. Sugar will build up in the bloodstream until ketoacidosis develops. Left untreated, ketoacidosis will soon lead to death. Insulin dependent diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes, is normally diagnosed in otherwise healthy persons under the age of 25.
When an individual presents with symptoms of type 1 diabetes, – blood sugar testing -and other diagnostic procedures are performed to make a diagnosis. Treatment is started immediately. The person remains in the hospital for weeks or months until the disease is under control and the patient and family know how to administer treatment and monitor glucose levels.
The most common type of diabetes is non – insulin dependent or type two. Symptoms normally develop slowly over a period of years and worsen with time. Many individuals have the condition for several years or even a decade before being diagnosed and some even begin to experience complications such as kidney disease, vision loss, and poor circulation before knowing about their condition.
Blood Sugar Testing Can Prevents Problems
Failing to properly perform Blood sugar testing and keep glucose levels in check as recommended may increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease and stroke by more than 100%. Kidney disease, poor circulation, and blindness are also common complications of uncontrolled diabetes. Many diabetics with prolonged high glucose levels end up on dialysis, and in need of leg amputation surgery because of frequent infections. Following all the orders as directed is not a guarantee that complications will not develop, but it significantly reduces the odds.
Treatment for individuals in the earliest stages of type two diabetes normally involves only lifestyle changes. Its goal is to prevent the long term complications described above. A very strict diet is required; a diet regime that dictates how often and when to eat, what foods to avoid, and what to do if blood sugar levels are high. Such a strict diet is not easy to follow without professional nutrition counseling and practice and compliance rates are much lower than the medical community would like. Consuming a proper diet, losing weight, and regular exercise have been shown to improved insulin utilization and significantly reduce the odds of complications.
When the above measures prove to be ineffective Blood sugar testing and medications, and insulin administration are begun. At this point, complications are often already present. Fortunately, many complications improve with improved disease management. The severity of neuropathy, poor circulation, and risks of heart disease and stroke will never disappear completely, but can be reduced.
Blood Sugar Testing Could Save Society Billions of Dollars
The costs to society and individual families resulting from diabetes add up to hundreds of billions of dollars. One of the easiest and most effective methods of reducing medical care expenditures in the country would be to reduce diabetes rates and improve diabetes management. Almost all cases of non- insulin dependent diabetes are either preventable or can be delayed for decades through lifestyle changes. The rates of all complications would be reduced with improved glucose level control. The answers to the problem of diabetes are simple. The medical system would do well to focus on prevention instead of waiting until a disease develops and then, treating it.
Preventing a problem is always less expensive and safer to the patient than attempting to alleviate it later. If you are diabetic or know someone who is, you should understand that the odds are in your favor if you follow the doctor’s orders. Make the changes today to live a better life. If you practice regular Blood sugar testing and maintain your glucose levels within recommended limits, you can enjoy a life free of complications.