To start off, let us highlight what Type 2 Diabetes is. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas, which helps cells absorb glucose (sugar) circulating in the blood to be converted into energy.
Type 2 Diabetes is when the pancreas produces insufficient insulin or stops producing it altogether, leaving the blood with dangerously high levels of glucose in it, which can lead to the onset of severe medical conditions like cardiovascular and neuropathic diseases. Genetics and environmental factors such as being overweight and inactive are contributing factors to Type 2 Diabetes.
As the early stages of Type 2 Diabetes do not show obvious symptoms, it is difficult to detect this disease, which often leads to the onset of cardiovascular problems.
Our question today is whether it is possible to identify Type 2 Diabetes with a simple grip strength test? The answer surprisingly is yes, according to researchers in Oakland University, Rochester in America.
As stated by Elise C. Brown, Ph.D., lead investigator at Oakland University, “Our study identifies the levels of handgrip strength/weakness that correlate with [Type 2 diabetes] in otherwise healthy men and women, according to their body weights and ages”.
So, researchers are studying another approach to diagnose Type 2 Diabetes, by testing patients for apparent muscle weakness which is a reduction in the strength of a person’s grip.
This way of diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes can be used on patients of all ages, not necessarily seniors, although it is a fact that seniors do suffer from muscle weakness and may find their grip not as strong as it used to be due to the aging process.
Studies conducted by Oakland University though promising, are however still in the primary stages of research. Though the loss of grip strength in otherwise healthy adults can be a diagnostic tool, researchers are working to determine specific grip strength values that signify Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes can be initially diagnosed by the loss of grip strength. This however is not a conclusive method of diagnosing, as there are many variables on this topic that have yet to be determined by the researchers.
Oakland University researchers working in collaboration with the University of West Scotland are conducting research on the possibility of working out a specific grip strength cut chart as a guideline that will make it possible for medical practitioners to perform preliminary testing for diabetes.
To explain a bit about grip strength cut tests, they are normally conducted by a medical practitioner as an initial test for muscle weakness. The patient is given a hand-held dynamometer to squeeze with full force, normally 3 times per hand, after which an average score is calculated for both hands.
A patient’s risk is determined by gender, weight and age. “We excluded people from our sample who had heart disease, cancer or stroke, which are comorbidities associated with diabetes,” Elise Brown explained. “That allowed us to more accurately screen for diabetes specifically.”
Brown went on to further elaborate “High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which can lead to heart disease, vision loss, kidney failure and other problems. The longer a person goes without diagnosis and intervention, the greater their risk for complications.”
In the US alone, the total expenditure related to treatment of Diabetes amounted to approximately US400 billion in 2017.
The research team at Oakland University are studying all the possible variables to put together a possible solution for initial detection of Type 2 Diabetes.
If researchers from Oakland University and the University of West Scotland are able to set the standards for a grip strength cut chart, medical practitioners will have another alternative to diagnose Type 2 Diabetes with a simple dynamometer.
16th April 2020 23:50
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