DiabetesAre you at Risk?
Diabetes is a term used to describe a group of diseases marked by high levels of sugar (or “glucose”) in the blood (also known as “hyperglicemia”).
Depending on the type of diabetes, high blood sugar might be caused by a problem with how the body makes insulin, how the body uses insulin, or both. Insulin is a hormone that is made in the pancreas and controls blood sugar level.
A common problem
In Aruba alone, nearly 15% of the population have diabetes. A substantial amount have pre-diabetes, which means they have higher-than-normal blood sugar and are at risk of developing diabetes.
A major health concern
Diabetes is a chronic condition, which means it does not go away. This disease affects many parts of the body and, if left untreated, can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failures, and lower-limb amputation.
The good news
Diabetes can be treated and managed with diet, exercise, and medication. You can help prevent some of the complications associated with diabetes by controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol and by not using tobacco.
Laboratorio MEDLAB Aruba offers innovative testing for diabetes and tools that give your doctor and you the information you need to help prevent, diagnose, and manage diabetes.
Talk to your doctor about diabetes testing and learn more and gets a heads up on diabetes.
What is it?What is it?Prediabetes is a condition that often leads to type 2 diabetes. Patients with prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are above normal. Many people with this condition will develop diabetes, but some will prevent that from happening by making changes like eating better, being more active, and losing weight.
Who is at risk for prediabetes?You are more likely to develop prediabetes if you meet any of the following risk factors:
- 45 years or older
- Physically inactive
- African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander ethnicity
- A parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
- High blood pressure (whether or not you treat it with medicine)
- Low HDL cholesterol and/or high triglycerides
- A history of having diabetes during pregnancy
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes.Some people with prediabetes may experience symptoms or problems associated with diabetes but the only way to know if you have prediabetes is to be tested.
How can testing help with prediabetes?An important part of addressing prediabetes is monitoring it. The American Diabetes Association advises people with prediabetes to have their blood sugar levels tested every year. Your doctor may decide to check yours more often. MEDLAB Aruba offers diabetes laboratory testing that can help. For diagnosing prediabetes:
- Hemoglobin A1C
Common types of diabetesThere are many different kinds of diabetes, but the two most common types are type 1 and type 2. Most of the symptoms are the same for both types and include the following:
- Urinating often
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
Here’s how type 1 and type 2 are different:Type 1 diabetes
- Occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin
- Symptoms include those above, plus weight loss
- Appears mostly in children and young adults
- Is treated with diet, exercise, and insulin
- Occurs when the body does not use insulin properly (called “insulin resistance”)
- Symptoms include those above, plus tingling, pain, or numbness in hands or feet
- Risk increases with older age, obesity, and family history of diabetes
- Treated with diet, exercise, and many kinds of medications
About PrediabetesWhile it’s not considered a type of diabetes, prediabetes is a condition that often leads to type 2 diabetes. Patients with prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are above normal. Many people with prediabetes will develop diabetes, but some will prevent that from happening by making changes like eating better, being more active, and losing weight.
Get it right – from the beginningToday we know there are many different types of diabetes, not just type 1 and type 2. Because different types can require different treatments, it’s important to find out (diagnose) the correct type as early as possible. Laboratorio MEDLAB offers diagnostic tests for diabetes that help diagnose different types of diabetes, including the following:
- Type 1 – Usually diagnosed in children and young adults.
- Type 2 – The most common form of diabetes in adults and becoming more prevalent in children due to rising rates of obesity.
- Gestational – Occurs during pregnancy - Latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA) – This type appears during adulthood and is not treated with insulin. It can, however, turn into diabetes that requires insulin if it is not managed properly.
- Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) – MODY is the most common type of monogenic diabetes, a hereditary form that affects adolescents and young adult.
Glucose – Also known as “blood sugar,” this is found at high levels in people with diabetes.
- Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) – A substance found in blood at increased levels in people with diabetes. HbA1c levels indicate average glucose levels over the past 4-8 weeks
- C-peptide (Upon request) – A substance produced by the pancreas at the same time that insulin is produced. A high level of C-peptide may support a diabetes diagnosis
- Antibodies (Upon request) – Certain proteins produced by the immune system mistakenly attack the cells that produce insulin. Detecting these helps diagnose type 1 diabetes and LADA
Staying on track with diabetes testing and treatmentIf you have diabetes, you know how challenging it can be to keep up with everything in your treatment plan. Eating right, exercising, remembering your medication, keeping up with doctors’ visits, going for routine tests – these are all important aspects of diabetes management that can be hard to remember every day. But sticking with your treatment can make a big difference in your health.
Convenient diabetes testingLaboratorio MEDLAB offers diabetes management tests that help you and your doctor make sure you get the testing you need, when you need it. Our tests for diabetes management follow the recommendations of the American Diabetes Association, so you know you’re getting the information necessary to monitor your diabetes effectively.
Diabetes, Newly Diagnosed and Monitoring Panel
- Glucose, Hemoglobin H1AC, Lipid Panel, Hepatic Function Panel, Microalbum, Random Urine Creatinine, Creatinine Serum
- To assist with control of blood glucose levels, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended glycated hemoglobin testing (HbA1c) twice a year for patients with stable glycemia, and quarterly for patients with poor glucose control. Interpretative ranges are based on ADA guidelines.