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Diabetes Test & Diagnosis

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Diabetes Test & Diagnosis

How Often Should I Test For Type 2 Diabetes?

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends routine screening for type 2 diabetes beginning at age 45, especially if you’re overweight.

• If the results are normal, repeat the test every three years

• If the results are borderline, ask your physician when to come back for another test

Diabetes Screening

Overweight

Screening is also recommended if you are overweight i.e. Body Mass Index ≥25 kg/ m2 (≥23 if Asian American or ≥26 if Pacific Islander) as research has confirmed that obesity reduces insulin’s ability to control blood glucose.

In response, your body starts producing more insulin in an attempt to bring the blood glucose levels to normal. With the passage of time, your body suffers exhaustion of producing excess insulin and therefore, unable to keep blood glucose levels in the normal range, leading to pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Hemochromatosis

One in 200 Americans suffer from hemochromatosis. It occurs in men between the ages of 30 and 50 and in women above 50 years of age. It is an inherited condition caused by a defect in a gene called HFE, which helps regulate the amount of iron absorbed from food.

A person who inherits the defective gene from both parents may develop hemochromatosis. In this condition your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat. The excess iron further gets stored in your organs, especially your liver, heart, and pancreas.

Excessive iron storage in the pancreas can damage the pancreas and result in loss of insulin secretion. This can cause diabetes.

In many patients, the accumulation of iron eventually becomes so excessive that it visibly shows up in the skin, turning it into dark gray or bronze color and is referred as bronze diabetes. Hemochromatosis is common in men as compared to women because women lose significant amount of blood every month (menstruation) as well as during childbirth.

Joint pain is the most common complaint of people with hemochromatosis. Other common symptoms include fatigue, lack of energy, abdominal pain, loss of sex drive, and heart problems. However, many people have no symptoms when they are diagnosed. Therefore, a regular screening is generally recommended.

Last Reviewed on: July 26, 2014

Reviewed By: Dr. Kanchan Anand, MD (Nephrology and Internal Medicine)

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