This Diabetic Screening Panel includes the required blood drawing by a trained phlebotomist at any of our 1500+ collection locations around the country and the following clinically relevant tests for a person who is concerned about their potential for developing diabetes, who has been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, or is diabetic and would like to check their status;
Our laboratory services are overseen by trained pathologists and clinical chemists, but this is not a substitute for a visit to your General Practitioner or Endocrinologist.
All orders will be processed through our website.
The importance of screening for diabetes can not be overstated. Diabetes in many, not all, cases can be prevented through improved diet and exercise. If you have started having diabetic symptoms you need to get this panel.
What is the big deal about diabetes?
1. In many cases it is preventable
2. It can kill you or ruin your quality of life.
Poorly managed diabetes can lead to a long list of long-term complications, not all of which are a direct effect of the disease. Essentially it just makes most disease and recovery worse or more likely to kill you. This includes heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, and minor infections that instead of resolving normally, cause amputations, nerve damage, and impotence in men. Here is the kicker though: a nationwide study completed over a 10-year period showed that if people keep their blood glucose as close to normal as possible, they can reduce their risk of developing some of these complications by 50 percent or more. So you should definitely care.
What is Diabetes Anyway?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body is unable to properly use and store glucose (a form of sugar). Glucose backs up in the bloodstream causing one’s blood glucose (sometimes referred to as blood sugar) to rise too high. There are two major types of diabetes. In type 1 (fomerly called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent) diabetes, the body completely stops producing any insulin, which is the signalling molecule (called a hormone) that enables the body to use glucose found in foods for energy. Folks with type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections every day to live. Type I generally develops between the ages of 3 and 19, but can occur at any age. Type 2 diabetes, also called T2, adult-onset, or non insulin-dependent, diabetes results when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin correctly. This form of diabetes usually occurs in people who are over 40, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes, although today it is increasingly occurring in younger people, particularly adolescents.
How do I know if I am developing diabetes or am "pre-Diabetic"?
The symptoms at the start of diabetes are pretty non-specific and can be part of everyday life. The important thing is that you notice significant changes in one or more of these area that can not be explained otherwise. Any one significant alteration probably means you should get checked (I know I am booking a test right after I finish this write up!)
So here is the list of signs to look for:
- being very thirsty without spending an hour working out
- more frequent urination (which could also come from pregnancy or an enlarged prostate, too much beer,...)
- weight loss (and you are not on a diet)
- increased hunger
- blurry vision
- increased irritability (and you are not doing your taxes)
- tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- frequent skin, bladder or gum infections
- wounds that don't heal
- extreme unexplained fatigue
But of course, in many cases, there are no symptoms. In this case, people can live for months, even years without knowing they have the disease. This form of diabetes comes on so gradually that symptoms may not even be recognized.
Who gets diabetes?
It isn't just for the obese, diabetes can occur in anyone. You are more likely to get diabetes if close relatives have it. No, it is not infectious or catching, it is hereditary, in your genes. Other risk factors DO include obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and physical inactivity. The risk of developing diabetes also increases as people grow older. People who are over obese and 40 are the most common new diabetes sufferers, though now that more children are obese the numbers are going up there too. You also are more likely to develop Diabetes if you are of African, Native American, Hispanic, or Asian, or Pacific Island descent African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. Also, people who develop diabetes while pregnant (a condition called gestational diabetes) are more likely to develop full-blown diabetes later in life.
How is diabetes treated?
Essentially diet, injections and monitoring is the treatment. Sometimes you will not be able to get certain types of surgeries or have other medical restrictions. There are certain things that everyone who has diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, needs to do to be healthy. They need to have a controlled diet, exercise regularly, and often get injections or oral medications. Everyone who has diabetes should be seen at least once every six months by a diabetes specialist (an endocrinologist or diabetes specialist). He or she should also be seen periodically by other members of a diabetes treatment team, including a diabetes nurse educator, and a dietitian who will help develop a meal plan for the individual. You can also see an exercise physiologist for help in developing a physical activity plan, and, perhaps, a social worker, psychologist or other mental health professional for help with the stresses and challenges of living with a chronic disease.
Everyone who has diabetes should have regular eye exams as well. This is to make sure that any eye problems associated with diabetes are caught early and treated before they become serious.
Can diabetes be prevented?
YES - with diet and exercise (and a few blood tests), type 2 can be avoided for millions. First you have to know what you are dealing with, so this panel is a key part of any prevention plan. Mind you, prevention efforts do not always work and studies go both ways. The disease is not yet fully understood, but many studies point to the fact that lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in those adults who are at high risk of getting the disease. Modest weight loss (5-10% of body weight) and modest physical activity (30 minutes a day) are recommended goals.It also helps you move, feel, and look better!
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