Diabetes is considered to be a modern form of a pandemic since it affects millions of people worldwide with the number constantly increasing. There are two types of diabetes characterized by different age of onset, risk factors, and some other aspects, but in general, both types lead to severe health problems and consequences if left untreated or if treated poorly. These consequences, often divided into micro and macro angiopathies, include cardiovascular diseases and stroke, gangrene and ischemic disease of the extremities, blindness, peripheral neuropathy, kidney disease and much more. Unfortunately, if diabetes isn’t treated properly, most of these health issues will develop over time. On the other hand, fortunately, diabetes usually shows relatively slow progress.
Thus all patients should be able to intervene with proper therapy and management of the disease. To keep your diabetes under control, you should be monitored by your chosen doctor regularly every once in a while, and submitted to the adequate treatment you should stick to. The fundamental problem with diabetes is high blood sugar levels due to the insufficiency of pancreas function. Thus one of the basic aspects that require monitoring is blood sugar level. However, this is not enough for a full insight into patient’s overall health condition. Here’s a list of routine tests every person with diabetes should occasionally take to keep diabetes under control.
Measuring of current blood sugar levels is recommended, and it provides a lot of information, but it is pretty unsteady measurement, since acute sugar levels may vary significantly. To get a preview of the average blood sugar levels over the last few months and thus get the impression of how properly therapy works, every diabetic patient should take an A1C blood test every three to six months. Desired value is less than 7 %, as low as possible. Increased levels suggest poorly regulated diabetes.
Since unregulated diabetes damages small blood vessels in kidneys and leads to their increased permeability, measuring of urine concentration of proteins, specifically micro albumin, is a solid method to monitor the condition of patient’s kidneys. Desired value is less than 30 mg, and increased levels require modification of therapy for diabetes.
It is rather a simple test that even a patient may perform himself at home with portable devices for measurement of blood pressure. Aside from damaging of small blood vessels, diabetes attacks larges vessels too and leads to the development of atherosclerosis and consequentially high blood pressure. Further, high blood pressure adds up to diabetic symptoms. Thus, occasional measurement of blood pressure is a simple test, but a solid indicator of diabetes regulation.
In the same way diabetes damages small blood vessels in kidney and peripheral nerves, it damages circulation of the retina and other parts of eyes. It may damage your sight significantly, even lead to complete blindness. There is also a high risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts, and retinopathy and a simple check up of the eye with a specific lamp that ophthalmologists perform gives a preview of these issues.
Some people do every thing they can to avoid the doctor. However, the early health issues are diagnosed the better the outcomes are. Preventive examinations are essential to early diagnosis and staying healthy, even if you feel just fine. Most health providers and clinics provide a routine preventive program that includes standard lab tests, physical examination, some radiology tests and neurological examination. These tests should be available to anyone and performed at least annually.
However, when it comes to women, especially women in their reproductive period (ages 18 to 45), there are some specific analyzing and examinations that should be done in order to prevent some frequent diseases specific to women, sustain their reproductive and general health and prevent future health issues that might occur when reproductive period is over. Here’s list of some of these tests all women should take the form of health screening and prolong diagnostic procedures if some of these tests show bad results.
Every women age 18 to 45 (or older) should take the full gynecological examination at least once in two years, preferably annually. The complete gynecological examination should include physical examination, gynecological palpatory examination, and observation under speculum, ultrasound, PAPA smear and microbiology lab testing for potential infections. Also, a colposcopy may be performed. All of these examinations are painless and simple, but provide priceless information and insight to women’s reproductive organs’ state. They are highly useful for early detection of precancerous and cancerous conditions, infections, and many other health issues. In addition to these tests, breast ultrasound and mammography should be performed once in few years. Breast cancers are one of the most frequent diseases in women and these diagnostic methods detect them in early stages.
Women tend to suffer from anemia or high level of lipids and sugar. Thus routine blood count with measurement of sugar and lipid blood concentrations should be tested occasionally. Also, lab analyses should include checking up of kidney, liver, pancreatic and especially thyroid gland function, as well as reproductive hormones concentrations.
To put it simply, this examination should reveal if there is any suspicious condition with your internal organs. It will include heart examination (ECG, ultrasound, and auscultation), chest X-ray and spirometry to check your lungs, ultrasound of abdominal organs (especially kidneys, urinary tract due to frequent urinary infections in women, complete digestive system, and large abdominal blood vessels).
One of a frequent malignant issue in women is skin cancer, as well as various other skin issues, especially promoted by excessive application of cosmetic products. Thus, you should see your dermatologist at least once in few years and take quick and simple observation of your whole skin to make sure there are no suspicious areas or obvious health issues or risks.