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Modern Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine - Diabetes Mellitus 

Laboratory Diagnosis

The laboratory diagnosis of diabetes depends on finding glucose in the urine together with an elevated blood sugar. The newest routine diagnostic test for diabetes is a fasting plasma glucose test rather than the previously preferred oral glucose tolerance test. A confirmed fasting plasma glucose value of greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl indicates a diagnosis of diabetes. 

In certain clinical circumstances physicians may still choose to perform the more difficult and costly oral glucose tolerance test. When a doctor chooses to perform this test a confirmed glucose value of greater than or equal to 200 mg/ dl indicates a diagnosis of diabetes. According to World Health Organization standards an oral glucose tolerance test is performed by administering 75 grams of anhydrous glucose dissolved in water and then measuring the plasma glucose concentration 2 hours later. 

Monitoring the Diabetic Patient 

There appears to be a strong relationship between blood sugar levels and the development of the complications of diabetes. Specifically, when blood sugar levels are chronically elevated, the risk of complications is very high. To reduce the risk of developing complications it is important to control elevations in blood sugar by careful monitoring. The availability of home glucose monitoring kits makes this easier now than in the past. 

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