Diabetes and diagnosis

The diagnosis of diabetes is given to people whose blood sugar levels are consistently too high. You can test whether someone has diabetes by a finger prick, the glucose tolerance test, the urine test and the HbA1c test. Of course, certain complaints can already give an indication of diabetes. This includes frequent urination, excessive thirst, weight loss, a flu-like feeling and infections.

Diagnosis of diabetes

The diagnosis of diabetes is officially made by measuring blood glucose : the amount of glucose in the blood. If you have diabetes, this amount is too high. This sometimes causes symptoms in type 2 diabetes, sometimes not (yet). Many people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are very surprised because they had no recognizable symptoms . The symptoms are often vague and weak at first, because this type of diabetes usually develops slowly.

The finger prick

The GP can do a so-called diabetes test by taking some blood with a finger prick and putting it in a device that measures and displays blood glucose levels. If the blood glucose level is higher than 8 mmol/l when you have not eaten anything, additional testing is required.

The glucose tolerance test

This test was used more often in the past than it is today, because there are now cheaper and more efficient alternatives on the market. The glucose tolerance test determines your blood glucose level when you are fasting. Next, you need to drink a glass of water with 75 grams of glucose in it. When you are tested again 3 hours later, your blood glucose level should not be higher than expected. However, this test only works adequately if you are in good health, do not use medication and get sufficient exercise. The test is mainly still performed on pregnant women suspected of having diabetes.

The urine test

When the body is unable to properly process the glucose in the blood, the glucose eventually ends up in the urine. When glucose is found in the urine, this may indicate diabetes . The urine test is generally not used to make a diagnosis but only serves as a preliminary examination, as a blood test provides more reliable results.

The HbA1c test

Using the so-called HbA1c test, the doctor can determine the blood glucose level of the past 2 to 3 months . When blood glucose levels are high, glucose attaches to the hemoglobin molecules in the red blood cells . This will remain there for about 2 to 3 months. This test is mainly used to measure the effect of diabetes treatment .

Diabetes and complaints

Various complaints can arise as a result of high blood sugar levels. The symptoms of being very thirsty and having to urinate a lot are symptoms that occur in almost all people with diabetes.

Pee a lot

visit the toilet more often than average . This is because the glucose is normally retained by the kidneys , which at a certain point is no longer possible because it becomes too much. The glucose is then released in the urine. Glucose has the property of removing fluid from the body , causing you to urinate more.


Because you urinate so much , you also lose a lot of fluid , which means there is a lurking risk of dehydration . You become more thirsty and sometimes drink about 6 to 8 liters per day. However, drinking too much soda can make your thirst even worse because soda contains glucose. You may also experience dry mouth due to dehydration.


Because a lot of glucose is lost in the urine, you may lose weight . Glucose is an energy source and when a lot of glucose is lost, a lot of your energy is also lost. As a result, your body will look for other energy sources in the body, including by burning fats , which will cause you to lose weight. Weight loss mainly occurs in people with type 1 diabetes . Losing weight can also make you hungrier , causing some people to eventually gain weight.

Flu-like feeling

Because you have fewer energy sources, you may also feel tired and exhausted . You may feel weak, lethargic, and need more sleep than average . This is because glucose is an energy source, which can be used less when you have diabetes.

Being able to see less clearly

We can see clearly through our eye lens . However, if the lens of the eye becomes too dry because the body dehydrates, your vision will become less clear. When the moisture balance is restored and the lens attracts more moisture, the eye lens can become too moist and cause clouded vision. These complaints disappear again after the glucose level decreases.


People with diabetes often have persistent infections . People have reduced resistance due to too much glucose. The white blood cells work less well, which significantly increases the risk of infections.

Hypers and hypos

If the treatment of diabetes does not go completely well, the value of the blood sugar level can become strongly disturbed and fluctuate. As a result, hypers and hypos arise . A hyper occurs when the blood sugar level is too high. The complaints that people had before the treatment of diabetes return. When the blood sugar level is too low, a hypo occurs .

Later complaints

If you have had diabetes for a long time, despite treatment, complaints may arise that you did not have before. However, not everyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes will experience these complaints. Examples of later complaints are:

  • Eye complaints
  • Kidney complaints
  • 70% of diabetics have hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart complaints (the risk of arteriosclerosis increases)
  • Joint problems
  • Nervous complaints


Risk factors for type 2 diabetes

There are a number of factors that increase the risk of diabetes. However, diabetes is not contagious and is not caused by eating too much sugar .

Diabetes in the family

Diabetes appears to contain a hereditary component . However, it has not yet been determined which genes are related to this.


Being overweight increases the risk of diabetes because the more fatty tissue one has, the less sensitive the cells of the muscles and tissues become to insulin. This mainly applies to the so-called abdominal fat : the fatty tissue stored around the abdomen. There are a number of medications that tackle both obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Lack of exercise

Exercise helps maintain weight, helps convert glucose into energy , makes the body cells more sensitive to insulin and stimulates blood circulation in the body . By exercising enough you can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 50%.


The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with age . This is partly because as we get older we often exercise less, gain weight and lose muscle mass.

Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents

Unfortunately, more and more children and adolescents are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This is partly caused by unhealthy diet , lifestyle , less exercise and risk behavior .
A lot changes in the body during puberty . This also applies to the release and resistance of insulin .

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