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Question:
Is any there any information telling how you can check yourself to see if you have diabetes. So far I haven't found anything.

Answer:
There are checklists about diabetes, where you can add up the score and see if you're at high risk for diabetes. Factors such as age, weight, family background, and symptoms all would add more points. Check out the American Diabetes Association's article on What is Diabetes? Who gets it? or call your local ADA office (their phone number will be in the Yellow Pages).

The best way, however, would be to do a fasting blood sugar two hours after eating, using your family or friend's or doctor's blood sugar meter. There are cutoff values for what's okay, and what's not, that your doctor or the diabetes team at the nearest hospital can explain to you.

If you don't have access to a blood sugar meter:

  • Sometimes there are screenings for diabetes, run by hospitals or other organizations. Look in your local newspaper, or call your local hospital.

  • Or, you might call your local hospital, and ask to talk to the diabetes nurse educator about doing a test under the nurse's supervision.

By the way, don't trust urine tests to make the diagnosis, nor to exclude it. The urine tests won't show sugar unless the blood level is quite high.

And if you want to check a child for diabetes, don't bother unless they're ill with a cold or fever; the stress of the acute illness will be much more likely to provoke elevations of blood sugar than just randomly choosing a date to check them.

Original posting 7 Jan 96

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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