The only way to determine if you are insulin resistant, or have full-blown diabetes, is through a blood test. You don't have to have vials of your valuable stuff drained, just a finger prick test can provide valuable feedback.
If that prick is done after an overnight fast and the number (mg/dl) on the meter reads:
- 126 or more - See a doc for confirmation: 126 mg/dl is the cutoff for a diagnosis of diabetes.
- 100 to 125 - You may have a prediabetes condition called Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG) - your cells are likely becoming insulin resistant. IFG, by itself, raises the risk for heart attack, stroke, hypertension, atherosclerosis, polycystic ovary disease, some cancers, and more.
What Are Your Odds
A survey of US adults (20 and older) published last May revealed:
- One-third of adults with diabetes didn't know they had it.
- One in 4 adults (26%) had IFG. (The rate for adults 40 and older is higher.)
- IFG and undiagnosed diabetes were 70% more common in men than in women.
Prevalence of Diabetes and Impaired Fasting Glucose in Adults in the U.S. Population
Back to Testing
If screening for diabetes (or insulin resistance) was as easy as taking a body temperature or measuring blood pressure, there'd be a lot more people with a full-fledged diagnosis standing in pharmacy lines spending their way towards their Medicare Part D donut hole (that's not to say lifestyle treatments aren't effective, but drug companies have pull). But BG testing can be a pain in the ass (or finger). Ask anyone with diabetes, since daily pricking - preferably several times a day - is part of the therapy.
It amazes me how many people we find in a screening. People walking around with no overt symptoms whose sugars are in the 200s, 300s, 400s! Granted, they're not fasting, but if your body isn't getting your BG down to the low 100s several hours after a meal, those extra glucose molecules are wrecking havoc.
I wish there was an inexpensive, accessible, easy-to-administer test for measuring blood glucose. Aside from testing one's urine, which is a good indicator of urine glucose, but not a good indicator of blood glucose (or tasting urine for sweetness which was performed in the past), there isn't. A one-off test as part of a blood workup doesn't tell you what's going on daily, monthly, or yearly - given the frequency of those tests. (There is a time-lapse blood test, the glycosylated hemoglobin or HbA1c, but again, it fails to reveal daily peaks and valleys.)
For those with the financial means, and the proclivity, a blood glucose meter like the one shown (I make no endorsement of brand) can be had for under $100. Manufacturers often provide a coupon to cover the cost of the meter, which isn't the gift you might think after realizing the single-use test strips go for around $1.00 a pop ... or prick.
- Wikipedia, Unexploded Ordnance