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Main > Specialty Areas > Endocrinology >
Diabetes

Diabetes Diagnosis

Diabetes is diagnosed in one of three ways:

  • A fasting plasma glucose test
  • An oral glucose tolerance test
  • A random plasma glucose test
  • All of the above involve drawing blood to measure the amount of glucose in it.

    Diagnosing diabetes is clear and simple. A blood sample must be taken from the arm on two different days and the blood glucose level must be:

  • Greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl, after fasting (no food for the previous 8 to 12 hours)
  • Greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl with the symptoms of diabetes (in this case blood glucose can be taken any time of day)
  • Greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl at the 2 hour point of an oral glucose tolerance test. (This test is given over 3 hours. Blood glucose is taken while fasting, then a glucose syrup is consumed, and then several blood samples are taken once an hour for 3 hours.)
  • Two blood tests is now the preferred method of diagnosing diabetes rather than the oral glucose tolerance test. The blood tests are less expensive and easier to do. Forget the terms "borderline diabetes" or "a touch of sugar." They don't exist for a diabetic – either you are diabetic or not. It's that simple.

    Who is Prone to Diabetes

    Impaired fasting glucose is a new category of elevated blood glucose and is defined as:

  • A blood sample taken from the arm with a resulting blood glucose greater than or equal to 110 mg/dl but less than 126 mg/dl while fasting.
  • Another category – impaired glucose tolerance – is defined as:

  • Blood glucose results from an oral glucose tolerance test greater than or equal to 140 mg/dl but less than 200 mg/dl at the 2-hour point of the test.
  • Both of these categories indicate a higher than normal blood glucose level, but not high enough to diagnose diabetes. The elevation in blood glucose indicates a risk for developing diabetes. To prevent diabetes stay at a healthy weight, be active, and have your blood glucose checked annually.

    ‹‹ Symptoms of Diabetes Diabetes Treatment: Generally ››

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