Diabetes in 2013

Diabetes in 2013

Diabetes in 2013 is a bit different from what it was just a few decades ago. And it is light-years from what it was when I was in college studying nursing in the 1970s.

From having only two drug classes (sulfonylureas and insulin) to having six drug classes (and likely more by the time you read this) today, Diabetes care in 2013 is much different and much more targeted to the causes of high blood glucose levels.

History of Diabetes in 2013

Before the late 1990s, diabetes was diagnosed with blood tests done in a medical lab on two separate dates — usually fasting for at least 8 hours. The cut off value that indicated diabetes was 140mg/dL.  Many people (including my own daddy) walked around with blood sugar levels just below the cutoff and thought they were “fine.”

Diagnosing Diabetes in 2013

Today, the cut off is 126 mg/dL…and it only has to be ONCE.  Also new with the newly released diabetes care guidelines is the option to use the A1c test for diagnostic purposes. For diabetes to be diagnosed with the A1c test the value has to be higher than or equal to 6.5%. These cutoff point reflect the research showing a sudden increase in the occurrence of diabetic retinopathy.

In an effort to catch the disease earlier when it is easier to control, the recommended lower cut points will indeed find more people.  In turn there will be a greater need for diabetes education and support for more people with diabetes for longer periods in their lives.

Have you had your blood glucose checked in the last three years?  If you are over the age of 45, you should definitely have it check every three years or more often based on several factors.  You doctor can guide you on the frequency of screening if you do NOT currently have a diagnosis of diabetes.

If you DO have diabetes, you need to be testing at least ONCE per day.  In some situations, it may be necessary to test much more often. Again, your doctor or diabetes coach can help you sort out what is needed in your unique situation.

Take responsibility for your own health. Be proactive.

Ask for a test for diabetes the next time you see your doctor for any reason.

Visit back frequently. I will be writing on more topics to help you get and stay healthy!!!

To your health – physical, emotional, fiscal, and spiritual

Zona B. Taylor