With the increase in the number of diabetics diagnosed in the UK and the surrounding publicity in the press in recent years, there has been an increasing demand for home testing kits for diabetes.
Can you test for diabetes at home ?
Diabetes can be easily and quickly screened for at home using a urine test strips that detects glycosuria (glucose in the urine ) which is a sign of diabetes.
The presence of glucose in the urine is not a normal finding, and if detected in a non diabetic means a trip to the doctor for further tests.
You may not have any symptoms and the urine test may be the only indicator of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can develop quite quickly and usually presents with some or all of the symptoms below, though not always. It is most commonly presents in children or young adults.
- increased thirst
- increased urination (passing increased volumes of urine or having to urinate more frequently )
- unexplained weight loss
- increased hunger
- slow healing or increased infections
- recurrent thrush
- blurred vision
- dry mouth
Type 2 diabetes
In type 2 diabetes the onset is often more gradual and symptoms less severe. Weight loss is not usually a feature of type 2 diabetes. Because the onset is so gradual you may not realise that you have it until it is picked up on a urine test or blood test at the doctors. It is much more common if you are overweight. It may also present with any of the symptoms above though not usually weight loss.
How do you test for diabetes at home ?
Collect a urine sample ideally about 2 hours after you have eaten but screening may be carried out at any time of day and dip the glucose test strip into the urine sample and wait the allotted time to read the result. If glucose is detected the pad on the urine test will change colour and give you an indication of how much sugar has been detected in the urine. The test is very quick and easy to perform and gives immediate results making it very easy to screen your whole family for diabetes regularly.
What to do if the diabetes home test is positive ?
If the test is positive or if you have symptoms that suggest you may have diabetes, then you need to make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible for further investigations. Do not put it off as it is important to diagnose and treat diabetes quickly to prevent complications.
If you are diagnosed as diabetic by your doctor it is very helpful to get a buy a blood glucose meter as this enables you to monitor the glucose levels in your blood and aim to keep them within target levels.