Type II Diabetes: Key medical tests for diagnosis and disease management

by Christos Themistokleous*

Type II Diabetes is one of the most common diseases worldwide. In Type II Diabetes, there are primarily two interrelated issues at work. The pancreas does not produce enough insulin, and the cells respond poorly to this hormone. Patients have high levels of sugar (glucose) in their bloodstream, a phenomenon known as hyperglycemia. In the long run, hyperglycemia may have a negative impact to the organism, such as kidneys’ and neurons’ dysfunction (diabetic nephropathy and diabetic neuropathy accordingly), and more.

During the last three decades, cases of young individuals with Type ΙΙ Diabetes marks an increasing trend on a global scale. According to International Diabetes Federation, more than 463 million people worldwide have the disease. Just in 2019, 4.2 million people lost their life due to Type II Diabetes.

The manifestation of Type II Diabetes is correlated with both genetic and environmental factors. The main environmental factor is obesity, through which the presence of free fatty acids in the bloodstream and the levels of fatty tissue are increased, resulting to the reduction of the levels of lipokine. This hormone is crucial to the body’s metabolism as it is related with the development of insulin resistance.

Diabetes in children

As far as diabetes in children is concerned, the lack of physical activity and malnutrition are the main reasons for the manifestation of the disease. Research pointed that 85% of the children with Type II Diabetes are overweight, mainly due to malnutrition, and more specifically due to high intake of foods rich in fats (saturated) and full-fat dairy.

Obesity is not only responsible for the increase of the cholesterol and fatty acids levels in the bloodstream, but for the insulin resistance as well, which results to elevated levels of blood sugar and hence, the manifestation of the disease. The psychology of children is also a determining factor in the increase in childhood obesity, which can lead to the manifestation of the disease. Recent scientific data shows the correlation between psychology and obesity in children.

Laboratory diagnosis

According to the recommendations of the American Diabetes Association, one of the indicators of Type II Diabetes is the measurement of Glycosylated Hemoglobin A1-C (HbA1-C). Patients with diabetes have high levels of HbA1-C. Consequently, blood test result with a percentage above 6.5% is considered pathological. Recent research has shown that people predisposed to Type II Diabetes have HbA1-C levels between 5.5% – 6.5%. Type II Diabetes is confirmed by measuring glucose and HbA1-C levels in the fasting state. In addition, another strong indicator to confirm Type II Diabetes, is the glucose tolerance test combined with the insulin tolerance test. Measurements of glucose and insulin are taken at 0′, 30′, and 120′ after the oral administration of 75 g of glucose. At the same time, regular lipid panel tests (cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides) and liver enzymes check are of utmost importance.

Management of the disease

The disease’s management involves the regulation of glucose in the bloodstream with pharmaceutical products (tablet/insulin). In any case, the personal doctor’s guidance is crucial for the patient who has just been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.

A second step is the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. More specifically, a Mediterranean-based diet, a reduce consumption of processed foods high in saturated fat and sugar, and avoidance of alcoholic beverages are strongly recommended. Furthermore, regular exercise – at least 150 minutes per week – seems to achieve a satisfactory reduction in blood glucose.

Yiannoukas Medical Laboratories, member of BIOIATRIKI Healthcare Group in Cyprus, provides all the specifications related to the diagnosis and monitoring of Type II Diabetes. All the results are monitored, approved, and authorized by the Microbiologists-Biopathologists doctors of the clinical laboratory.

*Biologist, MSc in Embryology, MSc student in Blood Science, laboratory team supervisor – Yiannoukas Medical Laboratories, BIOIATRIKI Healthcare Group in Cyprus.


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