Diabetes FAQs

how is diabetes tested

by Marcelle Kuvalis Published 10 months ago Updated 5 months ago

Types of diabetes tests

  • Fasting blood glucose test (most common) – blood glucose levels are checked after fasting for between 12 and 14 hours. ...
  • Random blood glucose test – blood glucose levels are checked at various times during the day, and it doesn’t matter when you last ate. ...
  • Oral glucose tolerance test – a high-glucose drink is given. ...

You'll drink a liquid that contains glucose, and then 1 hour later your blood will be drawn to check your blood sugar level. A normal result is 140 mg/dL or lower. If your level is higher than 140 mg/dL, you'll need to take a glucose tolerance test.

Full Answer

Which test is more accurate to diagnose diabetes?

When researchers compared HbA1c values to the results of oral glucose tolerance testing, HbA1c was much less sensitive. In essence, the OGTT test was the best test to diagnose diabetes. The data came from 9,000 adults who had not been diagnosed with diabetes. In a surprisingly large number of cases, people with normal HbA1c values reacted to sugar as people with diabetes do on the oral glucose tolerance test.

What test is performed to diagnose diabetes?

Why should a person get the A1C test?

  • find prediabetes and counsel you about lifestyle changes to help you delay or prevent type 2 diabetes
  • find type 2 diabetes
  • work with you to monitor the disease and help make treatment decisions to prevent complications

What are the most common ways to detect diabetes?

Type 2

  • Hemoglobin A1c. The A1c test indicates a person’s average blood sugar level over 3 months. ...
  • Fasting plasma glucose test. The fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test requires a person to have no food or drink for 8 hours before giving a blood sample.
  • Random plasma glucose test. ...

How to determine if someone has diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed by measuring blood glucose levels. If your healthcare provider suspects you have diabetes, the first step is usually an in-office finger stick for a test called a random blood glucose level, followed by other blood tests to check your fasting glucose levels and A1c.


What tests are used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes?

Health care professionals most often use the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test or the A1C test to diagnose diabetes. In some cases, they may use a random plasma glucose (RPG) test.

What test numbers tell me if I have diabetes or prediabetes?

Each test to detect diabetes and prediabetes uses a different measurement. Usually, the same test method needs to be repeated on a second day to diagnose diabetes. Your doctor may also use a second test method to confirm that you have diabetes.

Who should be tested for diabetes?

Anyone who has symptoms of diabetes should be tested for the disease. Some people will not have any symptoms but may have risk factors for diabetes and need to be tested. Testing allows health care professionals to find diabetes sooner and work with their patients to manage diabetes and prevent complications .

How to prevent type 2 diabetes?

Making lifestyle changes to lose a modest amount of weight if you are overweight may help you delay or prevent type 2 diabetes . Blood tests help health care professionals diagnose diabetes and prediabetes .

How long does it take for a OGTT to be done?

The OGTT measures blood glucose after you fast for at least 8 hours. First, a health care professional will draw your blood. Then you will drink the liquid containing glucose. For diagnosing gestational diabetes, you will need your blood drawn every hour for 2 to 3 hours.

Why do people with diabetes use A1C?

People with diabetes also use information from the A1C test to help manage their diabetes .

How long does it take to draw blood for a diabetic?

To diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, a health care professional will need to draw your blood 1 hour after you drink the liquid containing glucose and again after 2 hours.

How long does it take to get a diabetes test?

You’ll normally get the test results in a few days. From these results, your healthcare professional will be able to see if you have diabetes. If you didn’t have any of the symptoms of diabetes before you were tested, you’ll need to have the test again to confirm the result.

How long does it take for a blood test to come back for diabetes?

These can be arranged through your GP. A diagnosis of diabetes is always confirmed by laboratory results. You’ll usually get the results of your blood test back in a few days. If you have symptoms that came on quickly and you’ve been taken into hospital, the results should come back in an hour or two.

What is the HBA1C test?

An HbA1c test is the main blood test used to diagnose diabetes. It tests your average blood sugar levels for the last two to three months. You don’t need to prepare for a HbA1c . It’s a quick and simple test where a small amount of blood is taken from a vein in your arm.

How long do you have to fast before a blood test?

It is sometimes called a fasting plasma glucose test or FPG for short. A nurse will take some blood from a vein in your arm. You’ll need to fast for at least eight hours before, without eating or drinking anything apart from water.

What is a glucose tolerance test?

Glucose tolerance test (GTT) This blood test shows if your body is having problems handling the sugar you get from food and drinks. It is sometimes called an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test or OGTT for short. This test is used routinely when diagnosing gestational diabetes. There are two parts.

What is the blood glucose level of a diabetic?

You or your loved one have diabetes if your blood glucose levels are 11.1mmol/l or more - regardless of how recently you ate.

What happens if you don't show up for diabetes screening?

If you don’t appear to be at risk at the time of screening, this doesn’t mean you aren’t still at risk of developing type 2 in the future. If you later find signs of diabetes it’s worth being screened again, or being tested for diabetes.

What percentage of blood test results indicate diabetes?

Results equal to or greater than 6.5 percent indicate diabetes. Lab tests are standardized by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP). This means that no matter what lab performs the test, the methods to test the blood are the same.

How to diagnose gestational diabetes?

Doctors may use two types of tests to diagnose gestational diabetes. The first is an initial glucose challenge test. This test involves drinking a glucose syrup solution. Blood is drawn after an hour to measure blood sugar levels. A result of 130 to 140 mg/dL or less is considered normal.

What is the second glucose tolerance test?

The second test involves doing a two-hour glucose tolerance test, similar to the one described above. One out-of-range value would be diagnostic for gestational diabetes using this test.

What is diabetes in the body?

What is diabetes? Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to either produce or use insulin. Insulin helps the body utilize blood sugar for energy. Diabetes results in blood sugar (blood glucose) that rises to abnormally high levels. Over time, diabetes results in damage to blood vessels and nerves, causing a variety of symptoms, ...

How does diabetes affect your body?

Over time, diabetes results in damage to blood vessels and nerves, causing a variety of symptoms, including: difficulty seeing. tingling and numbness in the hands and feet. increased risk for a heart attack or stroke. An early diagnosis means you can start treatment and take steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

Why do doctors test for ketone bodies?

Doctors often use them if they think you may have type 1 diabetes. The body produces ketone bodies when fat tissue is used for energy instead of blood sugar. Laboratories can test urine for these ketone bodies.

How long does it take for a woman to test her blood sugar?

An initial blood sugar level is measured. The expectant mom then drinks a high-sugar solution. The blood sugar is then checked hourly for three hours. If a woman has two or more higher-than-usual readings, the results indicate gestational diabetes.

Why do people with diabetes have to be screened?

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often appear suddenly and are often the reason for checking blood sugar levels. Because symptoms of other types of diabetes and prediabetes come on more gradually or may not be evident , the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended screening guidelines. The ADA recommends that the following people be screened for diabetes:

What blood test is used to determine blood sugar levels?

Tests for type 1 and type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test, which doesn't require fasting, indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells.

How to treat type 1 diabetes?

Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump, frequent blood sugar checks, and carbohydrate counting. Treatment of type 2 diabetes primarily involves lifestyle changes, monitoring of your blood sugar, along with diabetes medications, insulin or both.

How to prevent prediabetes?

Make physical activity part of your daily routine. Regular exercise can help prevent prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and it can help those who already have diabetes to maintain better blood sugar control. A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise — such as brisk walking — most days of the week is recommended.

How does exercise affect blood sugar?

Exercise lowers your blood sugar level by moving sugar into your cells, where it's used for energy. Exercise also increases your sensitivity to insulin, which means your body needs less insulin to transport sugar to your cells .

How to control blood sugar if you have type 2 diabetes?

A healthy diet is one with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and legumes, with a limited amount of saturated fat.

What is the blood sugar level of a diabetic?

Regardless of when you last ate, a blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) — 11.1 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) — or higher suggests diabetes. Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast.

Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG)

This test checks your fasting blood sugar levels. Fasting means after not having anything to eat or drink (except water) for at least 8 hours before the test. This test is usually done first thing in the morning, before breakfast.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

The OGTT is a two-hour test that checks your blood sugar levels before and two hours after you drink a special sweet drink. It tells the doctor how your body processes sugar.

Random (also called Casual) Plasma Glucose Test

This test is a blood check at any time of the day when you have severe diabetes symptoms.

What is prediabetes?

Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have "prediabetes"—blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

How to work with a coach for prediabetes?

Working with a trained coach, you’ll learn to eat healthy, add physical activity into your life, and manage stress. With other participants, you’ll celebrate successes and work to overcome challenges. If you have prediabetes, now is your time to take action.

Why are men more likely to have diabetes than women?

Men are more likely than women to have undiagnosed diabetes; one reason may be that they are less likely to see their doctor regularly.

What is the National Diabetes Prevention Program?

CDC's National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program gives you the steps you need to cut your risk for type 2 diabetes in half.

How to keep your risk of prediabetes low?

Keep up the good work! These healthy habits will help keep your risk low: √ Get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week. √ Keep your weight in a healthy range. √ Eat healthy foods, including lots of fruits and veggies.

What type of diabetes is at high risk?

and is at high risk for. type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults.

Which group is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes?

People of certain racial and ethnic groups are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than others. White/Caucasian. American Indian or Alaska Native. Asian American. Black or African American. Hispanic or Latino. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

Can a family history of diabetes cause type 2 diabetes?

A family history of diabetes could contribute to your risk for type 2 diabetes.

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