Diabetes Overview and Testing
Did you know that an estimated 21.1 Americans are diagnosed with diabetes in the United States and 86 million have prediabetes?1 Studies show that, in 2012, treating diabetes and its related conditions cost Americans about $245 billion in total medical costs and lost work and wages.2 In fact, chronic diseases are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year, and treating people with these conditions accounts for 86% of our nation’s healthcare costs.1 They are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.2
Most people with diabetes strive to achieve blood glucose levels within a specified target range that’s closest to a normal physiologic level. One of the tools for monitoring glucose control is your HbA1c result.
The diagnosis of diabetes is made primarily by the detection of hyperglycemia. There are many tools, however, in the arsenal of diabetes-related diagnostic tests. Diabetes-related assays are performed for various reasons on many different types of patients:
- Newly diagnosed diabetics - To help determine if they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes when the clinical indications are inconclusive.
- Type 2 diabetics - To monitor and adjust therapies.
- All diabetics - To test for diabetic nephropathy by measuring their urinary albumin levels.
- Postmenopausal women - Studies indicate that this group may have an increased risk for cardiac mortality if they have an elevated urinary albumin level.
- Women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome - This syndrome affects 6 to 10 percent of all women, with 50 percent having insulin resistance. These women are at high-risk for developing type 2 diabetes. An abnormally elevated insulin level with hyperglycemia could indicate insulin resistance.
Monitoring the Condition
Those diagnosed with diabetes are encouraged to monitor their condition on a regular basis. By measuring hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), doctors can gauge your average blood sugar levels from the last 2-3 months and thereby provide a more tailored treatment plan. HbA1c measurement can also show whether treatment plans and lifestyle choices have been effective.
Type 1 Diabetes
- Formerly called “insulin-dependent” or “juvenile-onset” diabetes
- An autoimmune disease that causes destruction of pancreatic beta cells, which are responsible for synthesizing and secreting insulin
- Accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all diabetics
Type 2 Diabetes
- Formerly called “non-insulin-dependent” or “adult-onset” diabetes
- Caused by insulin resistance or inadequate insulin secretion
- Accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes in developed countries
- Patients with Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Impaired Fasting Glucose
- Individuals have blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes
- People with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke4
Siemens Healthineers offers a wide range of diabetes-related assays that aid in the differentiation of type 1 from type 2 diabetes, help to monitor glycemic control, and allow doctors to follow the progression of the disease through HbA1c monitoring.
To learn more about Siemens Healthineers chronic disease solutions for diabetes management at the point of care, click here.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month
Each November, Siemens Healthineers raises awareness about this serious, but manageable, chronic condition. We are passionate about helping patients lead healthy lives and partnering with clinicians to aid them in managing their patients’ conditions. With so many diabetics undiagnosed, understanding the risk factors, symptoms, and long-term impact is a crucial first step toward making communities around the world healthier.
Want to make an impact? Here are some ways you can take part in Diabetes Awareness Month:
1. Diabetes Atlas 2017 (http://www.diabetesatlas.org/), International Diabetes Federation
2. Centers for Disease Control (https://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesfactsheet/)
3. American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org)
4. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov)