We all have to deal with things that have the potential to ruin our mood but diabetes need not be one of them! Usually, diabetes is a word that provokes fear in all. But did you know that it can actually be brought to its knees through a careful lifestyle and regular check-ups? ‘Why check-ups’ you ask?

Well, these tests are an excellent way of figuring out exactly how well you are managing diabetes. The results give a clue to the effectiveness of medicines you are taking and this helps your doctors determine whether you need a change of medication or dosage.

Tests to check if your blood sugar is in control

There are three tests that your doctor is likely to recommend:

Fasting Blood Sugar Test or FBSPost-Prandial Blood Sugar Test or PPBSHaemoglobin A1 c test of HbA1c
Test preparationThis test is done early in the morning. You should not eat or drink anything except water for at least 8 – 10 hours before the test.This test is done after a meal, usually two hours after you’ve started eating (not 2 hrs after completing your meal).No preparations are required for this test.
How often should you get tested?People on diabetes medication (especially those who are uncontrolled) and those on insulin should get this test done a couple of times a week or as advised by your doctor.People on diabetes medication (especially those who are uncontrolled) and those on insulin should get this test done a couple of times a week or as advised by your doctor. People diagnosed with diabetes need to get tested once in 3 months.
Test result interpretation (those with diabetes should keep their values within the suggested limits)

80 – 130 mg/dl

<180 mg/dl

Why is this test important?This test can find out your blood sugar level when your stomach is empty. This gives a clue to how well your body is managing blood sugar levels in a fasting state.Since blood sugar shoots up after meals, this test helps understand how your body processes sugar after a meal. This test helps doctors get an idea of your average blood sugar control for the past 3 months.

Other health checks

Diabetes can trigger many other health complications. That is why your doctor will ask you to undergo a few more tests on a regular basis to assess your overall health.

Lipid profile

This test measures the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol) and triglycerides. A deranged lipid profile can be harmful to your heart health, blood pressure, eyesight and may lead to other serious consequences if not controlled on time. Usually, this test is conducted while you are fasting (minimum 10 – 12 hours of fasting). People with diabetes need to opt for this test once or twice a year or based on your doctor’s suggestion.

Liver function test

This test gives an overview of your liver function which is an important parameter of a routine health exam for people living with diabetes. Some foods and medicines may affect the levels, inform your doctor about all prescription medicines and herbal supplements that you take.

Kidney function test

Early-stage kidney disease does not show any symptoms and since diabetes increases the likelihood of this disorder, you need to opt for this test. 

It is recommended that you get tested for your kidney function at least once a year or as suggested by your doctor. 

Annual eye exam

High levels of blood sugar can affect your vision adversely. Early stages of diabetic eye disease may not present with any recognisable symptoms, hence, remain undiagnosed. The best way for early diagnosis and prompt action is to not wait for symptoms to present and get an eye test annually. 

Tests for Heart health 

Diabetes and that too if poorly controlled, puts you at risk of developing heart diseases.

To assure your safety and health, your doctor will advise monitoring of blood pressure and heart health by tests like ECG, Echo, Stress test and cardiac biomarkers as and when required. You may need to undergo these tests at least once a year.

Dental check-up

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of dental infections and gum diseases. A dental check-up every six months is advised for good oral health.

Routine health check-ups are an important aspect of managing diabetes. With these tests, your doctor will be able to keep tabs on the state of your health. Monitoring and early detection can help you take the right action at the right time and prevent the onset of serious complications.

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