Diabetes raises the risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, and poor circulation. While these health conditions can occur in those who have early-stage diabetes, they may be more likely to develop in people with long-standing diabetes or in those whose diabetes is poorly managed. Diagnosing and treating diabetes in its early stages can help prevent disease progression and complications, and because of this, it is essential that you see your doctor if you develop any unusual symptoms. When you visit your family practice physician, they may include the following interventions in your diabetes diagnostic workup.
Detailed Medical History Interview
One of the first things your family practice physician may do as a part of your diabetes diagnostic workup is to take a detailed medical history from you. You will be asked if you have been experiencing symptoms such as extreme thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, weight gain, and increased appetite, as these can indicate the presence of diabetes.
Your doctor may also ask you if you have itchy skin, experience dizziness, and if you experience numbness and tingling sensations in your extremities, because these symptoms may also be related to diabetes. In addition to inquiring about your symptoms, your family practice physician will also ask you if you have a family history of diabetes, as family history may increase your risk.
Blood And Urine Testing
Other important components of the diabetes diagnostic workup include a serum glucose blood test and a urine test to determine if you have sugar in your urine. In many cases, the urine dipstick will not be positive for glucose unless the serum glucose is especially high.
When serum glucose is high, it can spill over into the urine, causing a positive urine test. Conversely, if the serum glucose level is only moderately elevated, it may not spill over into the urine, thus a negative urine glucose test. It is important to note, that just because the urine glucose dipstick test is negative, it does not mean that diabetes is not present. It may simply mean that the level of glucose in your blood is not high enough to spill over into the urine.
If you develop any of the above symptoms of diabetes make an appointment with your family practice physician. When diabetes is diagnosed and treated early, complications such as kidney disease, vision loss, heart attack, and peripheral neuropathy may be less likely to develop.