Diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases affecting the healthcare system today, and it is necessary to increase emphasis on disease prevention and screening. As early detection of pre-diabetes or diabetes can be of great benefit to patients. An estimate of one-third of people with diabetes is unaware of their condition.
The main symptom of diabetes is ‘No Symptom’ and patients can have diabetes without knowing. The earlier that you diagnose diabetes, the better chance you have to decrease the risk of developing diabetes complications, treating it appropriately, and helping the person stay healthy.
The importance of identifying diabetes and pre-diabetes is related to the risk of developing complications from elevated blood glucose levels. Since patients can develop complications of diabetes before diagnosis, early detection and intervention can be of great benefit.
Since overweight and obesity are on the rise in children, it is necessary to screen children, who have a strong family history of diabetes and are more addicted to junk food, colas.
Today’s generation is very much tech savvy, and they are stuck with their smartphone/ tabs, and that reduces physical activity that makes them more prone to diabetes in early age.
Diabetes makes you more likely to have high blood pressure, which can put you at increased risk for stroke and heart attack. It is recommended to check your blood pressure every time you see your doctor.
As because having diabetes increases the risk of heart disease, it’s crucial to have a blood test to check your cholesterol as part of your annual exam or more frequently if your cholesterol levels are high.
Diabetes screening recommendations
The most common ways of screening are the haemoglobin A1c test (HbA1c) fasting and postprandial glucose test. HbA1c, not only provides information to diagnose prediabetes or diabetes, but it also gives a snapshot of blood sugar levels over the last three month period.
American Diabetic Association (ADA) recommends testing for diabetes and pre-diabetes among all individuals of over the age of 45 years, among adults with BMI ≥25 kg/m2, and those who have additional risk factors, including a first-degree relative with diabetes, and having a history of gestational diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, or one of several clinical risk factors such as hypertension, HDL <35 mg/dl, triglycerides >250 mg/dl, HbA1C ≥5.7%, IGT, IFG, or cardiovascular disease. Screening should be repeated in every three years if the results are normal.
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