What's Involved in Diagnosing Diabetes?

Who should be tested?

Since rates of diabetes and prediabetes are increasing, it is important that anyone with these signs of having the disease is tested. The symptoms of diabetes type 2 are:

1. Excessive thirst

2. Blurry vision

3. Frequent urination

4. Hunger

5. Fatigue

6. Weight loss

These symptoms can be vague because many people suffer from fatigue, hunger, excessive thirst, and even frequent urination. Type 2 diabetes develops slowly, so if a person is diabetic, they may not notice these symptoms.

The best way to know for sure is by having a diabetes test

There are three tests that are often used to diagnose diabetes.

1. Fasting blood glucose level -- a blood sample is taken after the patient has fasted for around 8 hours. If the glucose level is over 126mg/dL, diabetes is diagnosed. However, this test must be done two times with levels above 126mg/dL. If the patient's glucose level is between 100mg/dL and 126mg/dL, this is considered to be a prediabetes level. The patient does not have diabetes, but may develop it soon. This level is considered as a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. This is the preferred method for diagnosing diabetes. It's easy and does not require a lab visit. The patient can make an early morning doctor's appointment and have blood drawn at this time. The blood sample is forwarded to a lab and the results are then sent to the doctor who can notify the patient of the diagnosis.

2. Oral glucose tolerance test -- this test involves giving the patient a very sugary drink. It is the preferred test to test for gestational diabetes, and it's also used to test patients who have normal fasting blood glucose levels, but show signs of having diabetes. The patient waits for two hours and then has a blood test to determine the level of glucose in the system. The patient is considered to be diabetic if the glucose level is higher than 200mg/dL.

3. Casual plasma glucose test -- this test can be done at any time, without fasting or drinking a sugary drink. Regardless of when a person has eaten last, it can accurately diagnose diabetes. A glucose level higher than 200mg/dL is considered a diabetic level. This test can be repeated again at a later time if necessary.

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