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Diabetes Tests: Are They Effective or Ineffective?

Mar 13, 2008
Before we can go into the effectiveness of diabetes testing, we must understand what diabetes is. Diabetes is our body's way of providing growth and energy. The foods we eat get broken down into glucose, which our body uses as fuel. Glucose enters our bloodstream where it is then utilized for growth and energy. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. In order for our cells to use glucose, our blood requires the insulin.

This production moves the glucose from the blood cells to other cells so that it can create energy and growth. If enough insulin is failed to be produced, or our cells do not use it properly, you end up with the disease known as diabetes. Insulin is essential in regulating the body's blood sugar levels.

If left untreated, diabetes can cause serious health issues, and be life threatening. If a person experiences symptoms, they should be tested right away. There are a number of tests to diagnose or rule out diabetes. The sugar level test requires a drop of blood to measure the glucose levels in the blood. This particular test requires a person to fast, which means no food or drink, for at least eight (8) hours prior to testing.

Unfortunately, for patients that are already going through dialysis treatment, this form of testing has not been found to be especially accurate. To prevent further kidney disease, heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, or blindness, glucose levels must be controlled. Hemodialysis is where the blood is filtered through an artificial kidney machine. Another test, that can be conducted in the comfort of the patients own home, is the peritoneal dialysis, where fluid is passed in through the abdomen. The A1C test may not be accurate for diabetic dialysis patients due to the fact that they often have very high blood sugar levels.

The A1C test reacts with the glucose in a patient's blood, measuring the hemoglobin percentage. The glycated-albumin test measures how the glucose reacts to albumin, a protein in plasma. For patients on hemodialysis, the glycated-albumin test brought higher blood sugar levels, than those that were tested with the A1C method. The difference may be due to the fact the A1C test relies on the red blood cells, which for patients on dialysis, do not survive for long. Patients on dialysis receive medication to help stimulate the red blood cells production rate.

Results, confirmed by testing on Japanese patients, showed that the glycated-albumin test was more accurate than the A1C test for monitoring glucose levels in the blood of hemodialysis patients.

According to some researchers, the glycated-albumin test is more accurate than A1C test when it comes to measuring the blood sugar among patients who are on hemodialysis. This information is also confirmed by the Japanese diabetic patients. This glycated-albumin test is yet to be proved with patients on peritoneal dialysis as well as to patients with kidney disease but not yet on dialysis.
About the Author
Julia Hanf author of the book How To Play the Diabetes Diet Game and Win Through a real life crisis Julia figured out how to live diabetes free. Visit http://www.yourdiabetescure.com and learn more about your solution for diabetes.
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