Methods for determining diabetes at home


The diagnostic value of self-diagnosis of diabetes mellitus cannot be considered high. However, if a person still has suspicions about the presence of the presented illness, it would be best to observe for some time oneself and the changes that occur in the body. This is how it will be possible to judge the development of one or another type of diabetes, and then - with a set of certain arguments and symptoms - go to the doctor.

What is insulin balance and why is it needed?

Insulin is secreted by the pancreas. Its main function is the transport of glucose dissolved in the blood to all tissues and cells of the body. It is also responsible for the balance of protein metabolism. Insulin helps synthesize it from amino acids and then transports proteins into cells.

When the hormone's production or its interaction with body structures is disrupted, blood glucose levels persistently rise (this is called hyperglycemia). It turns out that the main sugar transporter is missing, and it itself cannot enter the cells. Thus, the unspent supply of glucose remains in the blood, it becomes thicker and loses the ability to transport oxygen and nutritional components that are needed to maintain metabolic processes.

As a result, the walls of the blood vessels become impenetrable and lose their elasticity. They become very easy to injure. With such “sugaring” the nerves can also suffer. All these phenomena together are called diabetes.

Diabetes - types of disease

Type I (insulin dependent)Type II (insulin-independent)Gestational (glucose intolerance)
The immune system begins to destroy pancreatic cells.
All glucose draws cellular water into the blood, and dehydration begins. Without treatment, the patient may fall into a coma, which often leads to death.
The sensitivity of receptors to insulin decreases, although a normal amount is produced.
Over time, hormone production and energy levels decrease (glucose is its main source). Protein synthesis is disrupted and fat oxidation increases. Ketone bodies begin to accumulate in the blood. The reason for the decrease in sensitivity may be an age-related or pathological (chemical poisoning, obesity, aggressive drugs) decrease in the number of receptors.
Most often appears in women after childbirth. The weight of children in this case exceeds 4 kg. This disease can easily progress to type II diabetes.

The mechanism of occurrence of diabetes is different for each, but there are symptoms that are characteristic of each of them. They also do not depend on the age and gender of the patient. These include:

  1. Changes in body weight;
  2. The patient drinks a lot of water, but is constantly thirsty;
  3. Frequent urge to urinate, the daily volume of urine can reach up to 10 liters.

Diabetes of the second type. How not to miss its beginning?

This disease is more often diagnosed in patients of the older age group, over 40 years old. In most cases, it affects obese people, who are characterized by high blood pressure. Diabetes mellitus of the second type develops by a different mechanism than the same disease of the first type. It is not characterized by sudden changes in blood sugar levels, so the symptoms are less pronounced and it can be difficult to determine. However, if you pay close attention to your health, you can still note a number of early symptoms:

  • dry mouth, thirst, increased appetite, weight loss, fatigue, frequent urination - symptoms that are also characteristic of this form of pathology, but are less pronounced;
  • there is a smell of acetone from the mouth;
  • slow healing of wounds and cuts;
  • lack of vegetation on the lower extremities;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • itching and dry skin;
  • increased susceptibility to various types of skin diseases.

Due to inattention to these types of symptoms, patients with type 2 diabetes are in no hurry to seek medical help. Often, elevated blood glucose levels are discovered completely by accident, such as when a test is taken during a routine medical examination. However, there are also more severe cases when patients seek help due to the occurrence of a whole bunch of diabetic complications. The most serious of them include the following:

  • gangrene of the lower extremities;
  • development of cancerous tumors;
  • blindness;
  • heart attacks, strokes.

Who is at risk?

This disease is much easier to prevent than to treat. Diabetes immediately becomes chronic and incurable. Those categories of patients who are affected by the following factors are susceptible to the appearance of the disease:

  • Diseases affecting beta cells (pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, etc.);
  • Heredity;
  • Dysfunctions of the endocrine system: hyper- or hypofunction of the thyroid gland, pathologies of the adrenal glands (cortex), pituitary gland.
  • Atherosclerosis of pancreatic vessels;
  • Viral infections: measles, influenza, rubella, chicken pox, herpes;
  • Sedentary lifestyle (hypodynamia);
  • Obesity (especially during pregnancy);
  • A lot of stress;
  • Hypertension;
  • Drug addiction and alcoholism;
  • Long-term exposure to certain drugs (pituitary somatostatin, prednisolone, furosemide, cyclomethiazide, antibiotics, hypothiazide).

Women are susceptible to this disease more often than men. This is due to the fact that men have more testosterone in their bodies, which has a positive effect on insulin production. In addition, according to statistics, girls consume more sugar and carbohydrates, which increase blood glucose levels.

How to determine diabetes mellitus?

Testing for diabetes may include blood and urine tests, as well as monitoring the patient's general condition. It has already been said that the disease is characterized by weight changes. So often this symptom allows you to immediately determine the type of diabetes.

With type 1, the patient loses kilograms very sharply, while type 2 is characterized by weight gain up to obesity.

There are specific symptoms that indicate the development of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The intensity of their manifestation depends on the age of the disease, insulin levels, the state of the immune system and the presence of underlying diseases.

If there are no pathologies, then a couple of hours after eating the glucose level should return to normal (immediately after eating it increases, this is normal).

If you have diabetes, then the following signs appear:

  1. Constant dry mouth;
  2. Peeling and dry skin;
  3. Insatiable hunger and increased appetite, no matter how much the patient eats;
  4. A person quickly gets tired, experiences weakness (especially in the muscles), is apathetic and irritable.
  5. Cramps are often disturbing and occur mainly in the calves;
  6. blurred vision;
  7. Chilliness in the limbs.

Other symptoms can help recognize diabetes at an early stage. The body itself begins to indicate that some disturbances are occurring within it. The development of the disease can be determined by the following symptoms:

  • Constant nausea and vomiting;
  • The wounds that appear heal poorly and fester (a characteristic symptom for identifying type 2 diabetes);
  • Skin infections appear and may crust over;
  • Severe itching of the abdomen, genitals, arms and legs;
  • Hair disappears on the limbs;
  • Paresthesia (tingling) and numbness of the limbs;
  • Facial hair begins to grow;
  • Flu symptoms appear;
  • Xanthomas are small yellow growths all over the body;
  • In men - balanoposthitis (due to frequent urination, the foreskin swells).

These signs are relevant for both types of disease. Skin problems appear to a greater extent in type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus type I - main symptoms

The main symptoms of diabetes mellitus were discussed above, but if we look specifically at the types of pathology, then type 1 is marked by frequent urge to go to the toilet, frequent urination, especially at night, nausea and bouts of vomiting, weakness and sudden weight loss, despite the fact that a person feels a constant feeling of hunger, depression and irritation. In the first type of disease, glucose levels can either be too high or drop to zero - such changes are critical and require emergency medical attention.

What tests should I take?

They are given to determine the concentration of sugar in the blood plasma. It is better to make a complex consisting of the following studies:

  • Urine for ketone bodies and sugar;
  • Blood for sugar from a finger;
  • Blood for insulin, hemoglobin and C-peptide;
  • Glucose sensitivity test.

To complete the picture, you need to donate blood for glucose twice: on an empty stomach (the norm is up to 6.1 mmol/l) and a couple of hours after eating (the norm is 8.3 mmol/l).

Often the blood glucose level remains normal, but the absorption of sugar changes - this is typical for the initial stage of the disease.

Before taking tests, you must adhere to the following rules:

  1. Avoid taking all medications 6 hours before;
  2. Do not eat at least 10 hours before the test;
  3. Do not consume vitamin C;
  4. Do not burden yourself emotionally and physically in advance.

If there is no disease, then the glucose level will be from 3.3 to 3.5 mmol/l.

Why is it better to check for diabetes in medical institutions?

However, it should be remembered that all portable tools do not have the same accuracy as laboratory tests. Glucometers can either overestimate the true sugar value by 1-2 mmol/l, or underestimate (which is more common).

Only strips that have not expired can be used for tests. It is also necessary to carefully follow the testing methodology. Taking blood from a contaminated or wet skin surface or taking too little blood can significantly distort the result. The error that is inherent to all devices should also be taken into account.

In addition, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish one type of disease from another. This requires additional research, which is carried out only in laboratory conditions, for example, research on C-peptide. And treatment methods for type 1 disease may differ significantly from treatment methods for type 2. Additional studies can also be carried out in laboratory conditions:

  • for cholesterol;
  • blood, general and biochemical;
  • urine;
  • Ultrasound of various organs and vessels.

All this will allow the doctor to develop the optimal strategy to combat the disease.


How to determine diabetes at home?

To do this, you need to buy at the pharmacy:

  • A1C kit - shows the average sugar level for 3 months.
  • Test strips for urine - all the nuances for performing the analysis are in the instructions. If there is glucose in the urine, you MUST conduct a test with a glucometer.
  • Glucose meter - It has a lancet that pricks your finger. Special test strips measure your sugar level and show the result on the screen. Determining diabetes at home using this method takes no more than 5 minutes. Normally the result should be 6%.

Remember that research done at home may not always be up to date and correct (incorrect technique, preparation, faulty instruments).

Therefore, when you receive the result, do not rush to diagnose yourself and better get examined in a professional laboratory.

How to Test Your Blood Sugar Level at Home

In order for you to be able to determine your blood sugar level, you need to purchase a high-quality glucometer and special test strips.

In the morning on an empty stomach, you should prick your finger with a sterile thin needle, drop a little blood onto the test strip, and then insert the strip into the device, where it will accurately determine your sugar level within a short period of time. Next, the resulting figure should be compared with reference values. If there is an increase, then you need to contact an endocrinologist to clarify the diagnosis and find out subsequent treatment.


What does the disease mean?

This disease is often called “an accelerated version of aging” in professional circles, because diabetes disrupts absolutely all metabolic processes in the body. It can cause the following dangerous complications:

  1. Dysfunction of the gonads. Men may develop impotence, and women may experience menstrual irregularities. In advanced cases, infertility, early aging and other diseases of the reproductive system appear.
  2. Stroke, cerebral circulatory disorders, encephalopathy (vascular damage).
  3. Vision pathologies. These include: conjunctivitis, diabetic cataracts, stye, corneal damage, retinal detachment and blindness, iris damage.
  4. Inflammation of the oral cavity. Healthy teeth fall out, periodontal disease and stomatitis develop.
  5. Osteoporosis.
  6. Diabetic foot syndrome. Purulent-necrotic processes, osteoarticular lesions begin, and ulcers form (bones, soft tissues, nerves, blood vessels, skin, joints are affected). This is the main reason for leg amputation in patients.
  7. Pathologies of the cardiovascular system (atherosclerosis, heart rhythm disturbances, coronary disease).
  8. Gastrointestinal disorders - fecal incontinence, constipation, etc.
  9. Kidney failure, which results in the placement of an artificial kidney.
  10. Damage to the nervous system.
  11. Coma.

The disease is very serious, so patients definitely need intensive treatment in the form of insulin therapy, a complete change in lifestyle and diet.

All these measures will be lifelong, because it is completely impossible to cure this disease.

What to do if you have diabetes?

For different types of diabetes, therapeutic methods also differ:

  • Type 1. Insulin therapy is carried out - injections of the hormone 0.5-1 unit per kilogram of weight. Carbohydrates and some vegetables/fruits are minimized. Physical activity is required. With proper support from the body, the patient is not at risk of complications.
  • Type 2 Insulin is used only in very advanced cases, and there is no need for it. The main treatment consists of diet therapy and hypoglycemic drugs. They help glucose enter cells. Herbal infusions are often used.

Proper nutrition when sick

It plays a decisive role in the treatment of the disease. To create an individual diet, it is better to consult a nutritionist. If we talk about the general principles of nutrition for this disease, we can highlight the following:

  • Remove glucose and all foods that contain it from your diet. If it’s really hard to live without sugar, you can use sugar substitutes. They are also not useful for the body, but do not cause such harm.
  • To help your stomach digest fatty foods better, you can use spices (in reasonable quantities).
  • Replace coffee with cecory drinks.
  • Eat more garlic, cabbage, onions, spinach, celery, tomatoes, fish (except fatty varieties), pumpkin and other fresh vegetables.
  • Minimize or avoid eating such foods at all.

Proper nutrition should never be neglected. We get the bulk of sugar from food.

Physical exercise

Sports are great for burning excess sugar. There are universal exercises that are designed for diabetics. They need to be done daily.

  1. Lifting onto your toes, hands resting on the back of the chair - up to 20 repetitions;
  2. Squatting while holding a support - 10-15 times;
  3. You need to lie on your back against the wall, then you need to raise your legs and press your feet against the wall for 3-5 minutes;
  4. Daily walk outside with alternating walking pace.

It is worth remembering that this is not an exercise in the gym, which often requires doing it through “I can’t”.

The body should not be overloaded, and if it is difficult for the patient to complete the indicated number of repetitions, let him do less. You need to increase the load gradually.

Traditional methods

They often help relieve symptoms, but are not able to provide complete treatment. They should be used in combination with basic therapy and only with the permission of a doctor. To prepare infusions, onions, vodka, oak bark, acorns, plantain, burdock, linden, and walnuts are used.

Why is timely diagnosis important?

The difference between the first and second types of diabetes is manifested in the course of the disease. The first type can develop quite quickly - within a few weeks.

The second type goes on hidden for several years, and then becomes obvious when a person feels the serious consequences of the development of the pathology.

Therefore, doctors strongly recommend taking a blood test for sugar once every six months.

Such a simple procedure can protect a person from complications, and diabetes mellitus has many of them, for example:

  1. Diabetic coma: ketoacidotic (type 1), hypersmolar (type 2). When such a severe case occurs, the patient needs urgent hospitalization.
  2. Hypoglycemia is a sharp decrease in sugar levels below normal.
  3. Nephropathy is a pathology associated with impaired kidney function.
  4. Increased blood pressure.
  5. The development of retinopathy is inflammation of the retina associated with damage to the blood vessels of the eyeballs.
  6. Decreased immunity, as a result, the presence of a cold or flu.
  7. Stroke and heart attack.

To prevent such pathologies, you need to take care of your health. Don’t be lazy and get checked every six months at a medical facility. Also, to reduce the risk of developing diabetes, you need to adhere to the following preventive measures:

  1. To live an active lifestyle. You need to get off the couch and exercise more often. This could be anything from going to the pool to taking part in team games.
  2. Follow the principles of diet therapy for diabetes, that is, to prevent the development of the disease, you need to eat less fatty and fried foods, fast food, easily digestible carbohydrates, and sweet fruits. On the contrary, it is necessary to enrich your diet with unsweetened fruits, vegetables, foods containing fiber and complex carbohydrates.
  3. Protect yourself from emotional turmoil. To do this, you need to pay less attention to all sorts of little things. As people say, various diseases arise from nerves. So in traditional medicine, this opinion is true.
  4. Combine rest and work. You can’t burden yourself with overwhelming work and not get enough sleep. Poor and insufficient sleep reduces the body's defenses.

If you experience certain symptoms that may indicate diabetes, you should get your blood sugar tested. If you are diagnosed with this pathology, do not lose heart! This is not a death sentence; thanks to modern treatment methods, diabetics live full lives, like other people.

The video in this article explains how to diagnose diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is a dangerous disease that kills 2 million people worldwide every year. And many of these lives could have been saved if the disease had been recognized in time. The risk of developing diabetes affects each of us. Therefore, it is important to determine in time whether a person has diabetes or not.

How to recognize diabetes at an early stage, how to know if you have the disease? Of course, the safest thing to do is go to the doctor and get the appropriate tests done. This procedure clearly diagnoses the presence of the disease in a person or dispels all suspicions.

However, doing this in a timely manner is not always possible. In this article we will look at whether it is possible to determine at home whether a person has diabetes, what signs and types of tests there are that allow diagnosing this disease.

How to protect yourself?

The most important thing is constant monitoring of your health and a correct lifestyle. To avoid the development of the disease, follow these rules:

  • Replace animal fats in the diet with vegetable fats;
  • Don't be too nervous;
  • Play sports;
  • Check the concentration of sugar in your urine and blood twice a year;
  • Limit or avoid alcohol and tobacco;
  • Eat in small portions;
  • Reduce the amount of sweets and other simple carbohydrates in your diet.

Remember that your health is a reflection of the rhythm of life. It suffers when you don't take care of it and serves you when you take proper care. Therefore, treat your body with respect and diseases will bypass you!

Necessary diagnostic equipment

You don’t need a lot of effort to determine diabetes at home. To do this, just buy at the pharmacy:

  • test strips;
  • glucometer;
  • kit for measuring A1C (glycosylated hemoglobin).

All these devices and auxiliary materials used to diagnose an adult or child are easy to use. The complex must include instructions. The cost varies from 500 to 6000 rubles, depending on the company and country of manufacture.

Test strips for measuring sugar

Special strips coated with reagents will help determine diabetes. They are considered the easiest to use. Contact with liquid or blood causes a change in the shade of the test strip. Indicators are evaluated based on the final color.

To diagnose your sugar level using test strips, you should follow simple rules:

  1. Wash your hands with soap, dry well, and warm.
  2. Place the necessary equipment on clean gauze or a napkin.
  3. The finger from which the material will be collected must be massaged and treated with alcohol.
  4. The puncture is carried out with a needle of a sterile syringe or a pharmaceutical scarifier.
  5. The drop of blood that appears should be applied to a paper strip in the area treated with the reagent (indicated in the instructions).
  6. The finger should be pressed with a piece of cotton wool.

The result can be found out within 1 minute (in different testers it varies). Depending on the glycemic indicators, a certain color appears, which must be compared with the scale accompanying the instructions. Each shade corresponds to specific glycemic numbers.

Test strips for determining glycosuria

The appearance of sugar in the urine is one of the important criteria that a person still has diabetes. Glucosuria is also determined using test strips.

To get the correct results and get rid of the disease in a timely manner, diagnostics must be carried out twice a day. The first time should be on an empty stomach, the second – 1.5-2 hours after food enters the body.

The urine needs to be collected in a container and the strip should be placed in it, holding for as long as indicated in the instructions. The tester is not scratched or wiped. Place it on a flat surface, and after a few minutes, evaluate the result based on the color obtained.


These devices allow you to obtain more accurate data about whether you have diabetes, treatment of which should begin immediately after the diagnosis is confirmed. Glucometers are portable devices equipped with a housing with a screen and several control buttons, a battery, lancets (devices for pricking the finger) and test strips.

The diagnostic result is displayed within 5-25 seconds. Most devices are capable of calculating average sugar levels based on the results stored in memory and connect to personal computers and other gadgets. There are also those that have voice control and special sound effects created for the convenience of the elderly and patients with disabilities.

The operating principle is as follows:

  1. After turning on, the device can display a code for test strips that need to be inserted into the glucometer. After installing the strip in a special socket, the device is ready for use.
  2. The finger is pricked with a lancet, a drop of blood is applied to the strip.
  3. The blood sugar result is displayed on the screen.
  4. The used strip and lancet are discarded.

Important! Material can be collected not only from the finger, but from the shoulder, forearm, and thigh.

Complex A1C

This is a test for diabetes mellitus that allows you to determine glycemic levels over the past 3 months based on the level of glycated (glycosylated) hemoglobin. A person must purchase a special analyzer from a pharmacy, which is designed for a certain number of measurements and has the same number of test strips in its composition.

The basic rule for using the device is a sufficient amount of blood for diagnosis. The analyzer requires more material than a regular glucometer, so after pricking your finger, the blood is collected in a special pipette. The pipette is connected to the flask containing the reagent. After mixing, apply a drop of blood to the test strip using a flask.

The result is displayed on the screen after 5 minutes. It is not worth starting diagnostics with such a device. It is expensive and may not be needed more than once (provided that the person being examined does not have diabetes).

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