July 14, 2007

Diagnosing Diabetes Mellitus

You may wonder, why I am putting so much stress on diabetes. It is because it is a major cause of morbidity (ill health) and mortality (death), in present society. Also our stressful lifestyles, eating habits, sedentary lives (lack of exercise) and many others have pushed ourselves to the brink of a major health disaster. Diabetes is a major contender among them. Adding to this, there are complications like cardiovascular diseases, renal, neural and retinal diseases; apart from obesity, which also reinforces diabetes (in addition to it being reinforced by diabetes).

To put it succinctly, diabetes can be diagnosed on the following criteria; a person meeting any of the three criteria described below, is said to have diabetes.

1. A random plasma glucose test result of 200mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or more in a patient who already has symptom of diabetes (such as polydipsia or excessive thirst, polyuria or excessive urination or progressive unexplained weight loss).

2. A fasting (=at least 8 hours of no caloric intake, i.e. no carbohydrates, proteins or fats: water may be allowed) plasma glucose level of 126mg/dL (7.0mmol/L) or more

3. A oral glucose tolerance test value of 200mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or more. This test is carried out by giving the patient 75 grams of glucose orally, and then taking the plasma glucose values of the patient.

When the person satisfies any of the above criteria, he is automatically considered a patient of the disease. However, in presence of any doubts the test/s may have to be repeated, on a separate occasion.

Thus, it behooves upon us to get ourselves checked at regular intervals. Better forewarning is better forearming.

Related topics: insulin, type2DM, water water..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Useful article. And for people looking for more information, a good overview of diabetes mellitus can be found here.