How to Diagnose Diabetes

There are several ways to diagnose diabetes. Each way usually needs to be repeated on a second day to diagnose diabetes. Testing should be carried out in a health care setting (such as your doctor’s office or a lab). If your doctor determines that your blood glucose level is very high, or if you have classic symptoms of high blood glucose in addition to one positive test, your doctor may not require a second test to diagnose diabetes.

A1C. The A1C test measures your average blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months. The advantages of being diagnosed this way are that you don’t have to fast or drink anything.

•Diabetes is diagnosed at an A1C of greather than or equal to 6.5%

Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG). This test checks your fasting blood glucose 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.

•Diabetes is diagnosed at fasting blood glucose of greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (also called the OGTT). The OGTT is a two-hour test that checks your blood glucose levels before and 2 hours after you drink a special sweet drink. It tells the doctor how your body processes glucose.

•Diabetes is diagnosed at 2 hour blood glucose of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl

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.

•Diabetes is diagnosed at blood glucose of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl