Thursday, 3 January 2013

How To Determine Whether You Have Diabetes, Prediabetes or Neither

Doctors can determine whether a patient has a normal metabolism, prediabetes or diabetes in one of three different ways - there are three possible tests:
  • The A1C test
    - at least 6.5% means diabetes
    - between 5.7% and 5.99% means prediabetes
    - less than 5.7% means normal

  • The FPG (fasting plasma glucose) test
    - at least 126 mg/dl means diabetes
    - between 100 mg/dl and 125.99 mg/dl means prediabetes
    - less than 100 mg/dl means normal
    An abnormal reading following the FPG means the patient has impaired fasting glucose (IFG)

  • The OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test)
    - at least 200 mg/dl means diabetes
    - between 140 and 199.9 mg/dl means prediabetes
    - less than 140 mg/dl means normal
    An abnormal reading following the OGTT means the patient has impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)

Why Is It Called Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes comes from Greek, and it means a "siphon". Aretus the Cappadocian, a Greek physician during the second century A.D., named the condition diabainein. He described patients who were passing too much water (polyuria) - like a siphon. The word became "diabetes" from the English adoption of the Medieval Latin diabetes.

In 1675, Thomas Willis added mellitus to the term, although it is commonly referred to simply as diabetes. Mel in Latin means "honey"; the urine and blood of people with diabetes has excess glucose, and glucose is sweet like honey. Diabetes mellitus could literally mean "siphoning off sweet water".

In ancient China people observed that ants would be attracted to some people's urine, because it was sweet. The term "Sweet Urine Disease" was coined.

Controlling Diabetes - Treatment Is Effective And Important

All types of diabetes are treatable. Diabetes type 1 lasts a lifetime, there is no known cure. Type 2 usually lasts a lifetime, however, some people have managed, through a lot of exercise, diet and excellent body weight control to get rid of their symptoms without medication.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic Arizona in Scottsdale showed that gastric bypass surgery can reverse type 2 diabetes in a high proportion of patients. They added that within three to five years the disease recurs in approximately 21% of them. Yessica Ramos, MD., said "The recurrence rate was mainly influenced by a longstanding history of Type 2 diabetes before the surgery. This suggests that early surgical intervention in the obese, diabetic population will improve the durability of remission of Type 2 diabetes." (Link to article)

Patients with type 1 are treated with regular insulin injections, as well as a special diet and exercise.

Patients with Type 2 diabetes are usually treated with tablets, exercise and a special diet, but sometimes insulin injections are also required.

If diabetes is not adequately controlled the patient has a significantly higher risk of developing complications.

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