This is not your typical instructable as it doesn't show you how to make something or fix something. Instead, this instructable is designed to inform people who may not have a firm understanding on the following material. Type two Diabetes (adult onset diabetes) is becoming a national crisis. Becoming an informed patient empowers you to be able to control your condition and ultimately decrease the incidence of complications from long standing high blood sugar. The first step in becoming an informed diabetic, is to understand what having diabetes entails. Understanding a medical condition can be difficult for some unless it is presented in such a way that is more accessible to everyone. The goal of this instructable is to inform diabetics, and those around them, about the various aspects of their condition.
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Step 1: Symptoms
You may suspect that you may have type 2 diabetes if you have:
· Polydipsia ( increased thirst)
· Polyuria ( frequent urination)
· Fatigue aka being tired
· Polyphagia ( increased appetite)
· Unexplained weight loss
· Delayed healing
· Sudden blurred vision
· Certain infections such as yeast or fungal infections
Step 2: Risk Factors
Some of the risk factors for having type 2 diabetes include:
· Family history
· Having had gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant)
· Polycystic ovary disease
· Age greater than 45 years old.
Step 3: Criteria for Diagnosis
Criteria for diagnosis:
· A hemoglobin A1C of greater of equal to 6.5%
· Fasting plasma glucose greater or equal to 126 mg/dL
· A two hour plasma glucose greater than 200 mg/dL during the oral glucose tolerance test.
· In a patient displaying symptoms with a glucose of over 200 mg/dL
Step 4: What This Means to You
Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells used to transport oxygen. Glycosylated hemoglobin is basically hemoglobin that has attached sugar chains; this is an indicator of chronic high blood sugar. The higher the blood sugar, the higher your chances of experiencing side effects and complications in time. It is important to get diagnosed if you have a family history because it could be years before you display symptoms after becoming diabetic.
Step 5: Oh No, I Have Type 2 Diabetes, What Do I Do?
Be sure to have a medical diabetic visit every 3-6 months which include:
· Weight check
· Blood pressure reading
· Foot examination with a 10 gram monofilament
· Hemoglobin A1C test.
Step 6: Yearly Testing
Yearly testing should include:
· A lipid panel, which includes total cholesterol, triglycerides and high and low density lipoproteins.
· A yearly urine check for micro albumin (protein in the urine).
· Serum creatinine (addresses kidney function)
· Dilated retinal eye exam
· Dental exam for periodontal disease.
Step 7: Treatment
That should be decided by you and your health care provider as there are a large variety of strategies. Also an evaluation by a diabetic nurse educator to aid in establishing practical strategies to ensure blood sugar control is strongly recommended.
Step 8: One Last Thing.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. Also if you appreciate this instructable and would like a simplified explanation of some other condition please let me know.