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High is our spirit when it comes to having chatpata khaana, cold drinks, ice creams and fast food. How excited are we in going for tests regularly once we feel diabetes creeping into our system or when we have been diagnosed of diabetes?
Going for diabetes-related check-ups is something most of us don’t take seriously. Unfortunately, most of us don’t realize the negative impact of diabetes on our body including the brain, kidneys, heart, legs and eyes. High levels of blood sugar can lead to kidney damage, blurred vision and blindness, high cholesterol and heart disease, poor blood circulation in feet and legs causing amputation in severe cases. Before it starts to cause more harm to you, it is time to go for a couple of routine tests, starting today.
Test 1 – Hemoglobin A1c
Many diabetics miss out on this one!
Getting your fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels are simply not enough.
HbA1c measures our average blood sugar of the previous three months. This is done in order to see if the blood sugar has stayed within the target and permissible range.
If you want to know more about HbA1c, then here we go:
The red blood cells in our body have haemoglobin which enables the cells to facilitate oxygen in the tissues. As the cell ages, glucose molecules stick to it called ‘glycation’ in medical terms. Higher glycated haemoglobin means higher glucose levels in the blood which means higher HbA1c reading. Though normal Hb1c for non-diabetics is 4% to 5%, poorly controlled diabetes has HbA1c value of 7%. If HbA1C exceeds 8%, it means blood sugar has gone out of control.
Test 2 – Dilated Eye
People suffering from diabetes need to consult their ophthalmologist for a dilated eye exam. It’s a test in which the pupils are widened by putting eye drops so as to check any signs of blindness.
High blood sugar levels as a result of diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the retina. If not treated on time, the blood vessels can bleed leading to blurred vision and damaging the retina thereby leading to blindness in the longer run. Therefore, it’s advisable for patients suffering from Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to go for a proper eye examination once a year. This will help in identifying eye problems and any malfunctioning in eyesight or vision that is related to diabetes. The more the delay in eye check-ups, the more are the chances of developing ocular problems.
Test 3 – Foot Examination
Patients suffering from diabetes often complain of numbness and decreased blood circulation in foot. Often they are not able to see if their foot gets injured. Even if an infection occurs, healing is slow in diabetics increasing the risk of gangrene. If ignored, the complications can lead to foot amputation.
From time to time keep checking your feet for sores and infections, especially between the toes. If you notice any ulcers, blisters, skin breakouts or redness happening, consult your doctor right away.
Test 4 – Blood Lipids/ Cholesterol Check
This test is all about lipid profile screening that should be done once a year. It checks your HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol) as well as triglyceride levels. Ideally, your LDL cholesterol should be less than 100. However, if you are a patient suffering from heart disease, your doctor may advise you a further lower LDL figure.
Test 5 – Kidney function
Make it a point to get an annual urine test done. This will check out the protein levels in your body. Also make sure to get a blood test done annually to check out the creatinine level. Both these tests help in analysing the performance of your kidneys.
Test 6 – Blood Pressure
From time to time, get your blood pressure checked. As a diabetic, the goal should be to get 125/75. In case you are a healthy individual without diabetes, your blood pressure should be less than 130/80.
Now that you have got a fair knowledge of the lab tests that need to be done in case you have diabetes, go ahead and get them done. Timely screening of diabetes is the first thing you need to go for.
Remember your loved ones wants you to stay in the pink of health.