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How is diabetes and prediabetes diagnosed?

Blood tests are usually used to diagnose both diabetes and prediabetes. Testing should be carried out in a health care setting (such as your doctor’s clinic or in a certified laboratory).

Some of the tests that are used for diagnosis of diabetes are:

1. A1C (also called the Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)/ glycosylated hemoglobin test):It measures your average blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months. This test does not require you to remain fasting. Diabetes is diagnosed if you’re A1C is greater than or equal to 6.5%.

2. Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG): This test checks your fasting blood glucose levels. Fasting means you’re not allowed to have 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. A fasting blood glucose level of greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl is needed for diagnosing diabetes.

3. 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 fluid containing sugar. 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.

4. Random Plasma Glucose Test: This test is a blood check at any time of the day when you have severe diabetes symptoms to give an idea of your blood glucose level. The random blood glucose of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl is required for diagnosis of diabetes.

Cut-off values- At a glance
Diabetes Cut-Off Values

Who are at risk of developing diabetes?

People with the following risk factors are more likely to develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes:

  • 40 years of age or older
  • Overweight (BMI is higher than 25)
  • Have a close relative (parents or siblings) with type 2 diabetes
  • Being a member of a high risk group such as African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
  • Having a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)
  • Physically active less than three times a week
  • Have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels
  • Having a history of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS

What are the common symptoms of diabetes?

Symptoms Of Diabetes