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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Five Tests to Know if You Have Diabetes

Everyone should live like a person with diabetes that has learned to manage well.  Diabetes is a self-managed disease.  In managing diabetes you need to become partners with your health care team and then take charge of your health.  Your health care team consists of your physician, dentist, podiatrist, eye doctor, pharmacist, dietician and other health professionals.
It is important that you take your diabetes and health seriously.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that if you already have diabetes, managing the disease can lower your risk of complications such as kidney failure, heart disease and stroke, blindness and amputation of your legs and feet. That’s good incentive to be a good, or better yet, a great manager of your diabetes and health.
There are five tests that can tell you where you are with your diabetes.  These tests let you know that a problem might be starting somewhere. These tests can alert you to your need to take action in managing your health.
The five tests that tell you where you are with your diabetes are: A1c, blood pressure, microalbumin, cholesterol and an eye exam.  If you don’t know about these tests, you need to.  Be sure to ask your doctor about these five tests and then keep track of your numbers for each test.
The A1c test may be one test that you are least familiar with if you are a new diabetic.  The A1c test reflects your average blood sugars over the last several months.  The higher your blood sugars, the higher the A1c test.  It is the single most important test for telling you where you stand with your diabetes.
The microalbumin test is another test that you may not be so familiar with.  This test is an early warning for future kidney problems.  Kidney problems can sneak up on you if your diabetes is not well controlled.
            To learn more about taking care of yourself be sure to attend the next Dining with Diabetes that I am having at the MSU Extension office, 20 Care Dr., Hillsdale. Dining with Diabetes is a cooking school program for people with diabetes and their families. You attend four sessions, February 1, 8, 15 & 22 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. There is a fee to cover the extensive taste testing and the notebook that has over 100 recipes.  Registration is required.  Call or e-mail Jeannie Nichols to register.  (517) 439-9301 or nicho115@anr.msu.edu