Suspecting that you or a loved one might have diabetes can be scary. However, there are affordable tests that can be done at home. Also, being aware of the symptoms allows you to know that home testing is needed. There are two major types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetics no longer produce insulin; while type 2 diabetics are resistant to insulin. If the at-home tests are out of normal range, it is essential to seek health care as soon as possible.
The symptoms for type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are similar. Increased thirst is the most notable first symptom of high blood sugar. This is followed by frequent urination. The increased thirst, with the resulting frequent urination, is caused by the buildup of glucose in the blood stream that steals fluids from tissues. Other major symptoms are weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, rapid breathing and nausea.
The easiest and most accurate at home test for diabetes is a blood sugar test. Blood sugar meters range in price from $10 to $80. Blood sugar meters usually come with a small amount of test strips, as well as a lancing device. It is important to follow the directions included with the meter. Also, before testing your blood sugar, it is important to wash your hands first to eliminate any sugar residue, which could alter the readings. Normal fasting blood sugar should be between 70-130 mg/dl. If testing within two hours of eating, then the results should be less than 180 mg/dl.
A less invasive method for testing blood sugar is through urine glucose test strips. The strips cost an average of $15. These strips should only be used to determine if high blood sugar is present. The strips do not read a blood sugar lower than 180 mg/dl and they are very easy to misinterpret. If glucose shows up on the urine test strips, it is important to test your blood sugar level using a blood sugar meter for a more accurate reading.
Another method for testing for diabetes at home is the At Home A1C kit. These kits test the hemoglobin A1C and give a three-month average of your blood sugar. A normal A1C should be under 6 percent. When purchasing an at home A1C kits, make sure that it offers results within five minutes. Some of the at-home kits require sending a blood sample to a lab and waiting for three to six weeks for the results.
You should seek medical advice if you believe that you have either form of diabetes. If you test your blood sugar using a meter and get a result higher than 130 mg/dl, then seek medical attention for further testing. Any blood sugar reading over 200 mg/dl combined with frequent thirst and urination, labored breathing or nausea should be seen by a medical professional immediately. High blood sugar can quickly lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is deadly if not treated immediately. For the at home A1C tests, any reading over 6 percent should be followed up with a medical professional. Any A1C higher then 8 percent should be seen by a medical professional immediately due to the high risks of DKA.