Every disease or ill health condition requires immediate attention but in case of diabetes, the patient needs to be aware of his/her blood glucose level on daily basis because even small changes in blood sugar level can cause havoc especially in case of severe diabetes. Although, there are many tests associated with diabetes but here are three most important tests listed for you to understand their importance in your diabetic life.
- Living with Diabetes Assessment
Haemoglobin A1C Test
This is a simple test where blood is drawn by a finger stick or through an injection. It is not like the regular blood test which you perform at your home daily because it gives the average blood sugar level of past three months. This is the primary test performed for diabetes management and research. It is sometimes also known as HbA1c or glycohemoglobin test.
How it works?
This test is based on the principal of how the blood glucose attaches to hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying protein found in red blood cells. These cells have short life span of three months and therefore it is used as a measure to average level of blood glucose in the body. Its result is reported in percentage and higher percentage of A1C means higher glucose level and vice versa. The normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent and if you will be able to keep this percentage within the range of 7 percent then you can reduce the risk of damaging your kidney, eyes and nerves.
Dilated eye exam
High levels of blood sugar and blood pressure can damage the capillaries in the eyes but this condition can be prevented if it is spotted in early stages. To examine the capillaries of eyes for any leaking capillaries, a dilated eye exam is performed by the eye doctor or ophthalmologist.
How it works?
The pupils of eyes are dilated temporarily with the help of eye drops. It is a painless test but you would not be able to see because of blurriness. This test is done to check any leakage in the fine blood vessels of the eyes or bleeding in retina caused by diabetic retinopathy. If the diabetes is controlled then it can be done performed on yearly basis but if the case is severe then it need to be done frequently means on half yearly or quarterly basis.
This exam is very important to check the proper functioning of sensory nerves and normal blood supply in the limbs. In severe cases of diabetes, the high sugar level can damage the nerves and peripheral blood vessels in the hands and legs.
How it works?
Diabetes can slow down the blood supply in the feet and also damage the nerves which cause numbness in feet. If your feet get cut or infected, it will go unnoticed because you won’t feel any pain. To examine your foot condition, your doctor will do a monofilament test in which a piece of nylon will be pressed against different regions of your foot while you keep your eyes closed during the whole process. If you can’t feel the nylon piece against any region of your foot then it is possible that the nerve present in that particular region is damaged. Your doctor will also check your Achilles tendon to check the condition of your ankles. Other checks will be done for redness, cracks, sores or open wounds in foot. If you are diagnosed with diabetes then you should wait any more for taking care of your feet. Give extra attention to your foot care, wear right fit shoes and clean socks to prevent any moisture build up.
These three tests are important to keep a check on your diabetes status because even if your daily blood glucose level is under control, still there are chances that your important organs like foot and eyes are getting damaged very slowly. Take your medications regularly and follows the instructions of your doctor to lead a healthy life even in diabetic condition.
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