In what could be a very significant piece of health news, researchers say that diabetes can be diagnosed in a new and fast way. All it may take is a simple finger prick test, and it is the “where” that is most intriguing. Rather than limiting such diagnostic tests to your doctor’s office, the study says it can be opened up to a field of other offices — such as the eye doctor.
The best health advice always lies with disease prevention. A finger-prick test can tell you where your fasting blood sugar levels sit, which could either indicate diabetes or show that you are going down the road to diabetes. This way, you could actively prevent it by changing your lifestyle.
In any event, the researchers believe that millions of people could be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes through a simple prick test during a routine eye exam. Earlier diagnosis could set people on the road to better management of the disease. It suggests that screening for the condition in unconventional settings, such as opticians, chiropodists or dentists, could find those people who would not routinely visit their family doctor.
It is believed that 150 million people worldwide have diabetes, but half of them don’t know that they have it.
The study found that, out of 1,000 people visiting their opticians for an eye test who were found to have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, 32% were referred to their doctor after having blood sugar levels checked. So, 318 people were advised to see their doctor for further tests, while five were told to get a check-up right away. In all, nine people were diagnosed with “prediabetes” and seven with type 2 diabetes.
As it stands, most screening for diabetes is carried out in medical settings. But people just don’t visit their doctors enough, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing finger-prick tests in unfamiliar places. And if you do, go ahead and take it. It certainly can’t hurt…and it could help save your life.