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Written by Chioma Chukwunedu
When living with long-term conditions like diabetes, it is important to always do tests and check-ups so that your quality of life is not compromised. Tests help you monitor your blood sugar levels so that you know how you can change or improve certain lifestyle habits. Checkups are also important. Diabetes affects different body organs like the kidneys, Heart, eyes, and feet. Checkups help you and your healthcare provider ensure that your organs remain healthy.
“When living with long-term conditions like diabetes, it is important to always do tests and check-ups so that your quality of life is not compromised.“
The Good News is..
Most of the tests and checkups can be done at home, by yourself.
Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS)- This can be done in your home, at the pharmacy, or at the doctors office. This is the preferred blood glucose test. You must not have breakfast. You are required to fast through the night and do the test in the morning. A sample of blood is taken and the glucose meter reads the blood sugar value. At home, a lancet is used to prick your finger and the blood is placed on a strip.
Post-prandial test- After you do your fasting blood sugar test, you will have a meal immediately. After 2 hours of doing the FBS, your blood sample would be taken again.
Random blood sugar test- The fasting blood sugar test and random blood sugar test are similar. The major difference is you do not need to fast for a random blood sugar test. The limits used to calculate diabetes, prediabetes and safe levels in both tests also differ.
Hemoglobin Glycosylated test (HbA1C)- This is the most accurate diabetes test. It cannot be done at home. The test provides information on blood sugar in the body over a course of three months.
Feet check-up:Diabetes causes damage to nerves in the legs. As a result, people with diabetes do not heal from wounds quickly. This means that infections and foot ulcers can occur very quickly. It is very important to check your feet every day. Report any cuts or abnormalities you notice on your feet. If possible, book an appointment with a podiatrist (feet doctor) frequently.
Eye checkup:Diabetes can affect the eyes and cause blurry vision and blindness. Always take note of the health of your eyes. If you start to notice that your vision is not sharp, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Blood pressure test:
Did you know? High blood pressure is two times more likely to strike someone with diabetes than a person without diabetes. Make sure you check your blood pressure frequently to prevent heart disease. This can be done at home or at your local pharmacy.
4. Kidney function test: Diabetes also affects your kidneys because of the excess sugar in the blood. It is important that you always check your kidneys' function. A sample of your blood and/or urine is taken. This cannot be done at home.
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