There are millions of people around the world living with diabetes and millions more who don’t even know if they have the disease. And this is because Type 2 diabetes does not show any signs and symptoms. But only a simple blood test can tell you if are one of those million people who are not aware of the disease. Many people are concerned to know how is diabetes diagnosed.
A blood test is the only clinical method to test for diabetes. Your personal doctor will ask a lot of questions about your lifestyle, your diet plan, smoking or drinking habits, your family history, any allergies, medications going on, any treatments received in the past for other health problems. By knowing this all information, your doctor can give you appropriate information about diabetes and ways to handle it.
You can also be diagnosed with pre-diabetes, a condition when you have higher blood sugar level than normal. And having prediabetes increases the chance of developing diabetes. If you are diagnosed with diabetes then it can be reversed, with the help of timely treatment, diet & exercise plans with proper medication after consultation with your doctor.
Early stages of diabetes may not show any signs and symptoms, so it is important to diagnose it as early as possible. A physician, after a thorough checkup of your lifestyle, will recommend the appropriate test for you. Majorly, there are three types of diabetes, type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. And there are four major tests to diagnose diabetes.
- Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) Test
This test is usually taken in the morning on an empty stomach when you have not eaten anything in last eight hours. On more than one occasion, a level of 126 mg/dl or above generally indicates diabetes.
- less than 100 mg/dl is considered normal
- 100 to 125 mg/dl is considered prediabetes
- 126 mg/dl or higher is considered diabetes
- A1C Test
This test measures how much glycated hemoglobin is in your blood level. Doctors recommend this test to determine your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. Two consecutive A1C report readings over 6.5 percent are an indication of diabetes. A reading between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is indicative of prediabetes.
- 4 to 5.7 percent is considered normal
- 7 to 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes
- 5 percent and greater indicates diabetes
- Oral Glucose Tolerance (OGT) Test
This is the most common test used to diagnose gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes also. This test takes 2 hours to process, where your doctor will take blood sample first when you are fasting. After this you are given a sweet beverage that contains 75 grams of glucose and later after 2 hours, they will take blood sample again to see how your body processed the glucose.
- less than 140 mg/dl is considered normal
- 140 to 199 mg/dl is considered prediabetes
- 200 mg/dl and higher is considered diabetes
- Random Plasma Glucose (RPG) Test
The blood sample can be taken any time of the day, without fasting. If your glucose level is 200 mg/dl or above, then that indicates diabetes.
- 200 mg/dl or greater could indicate diabetes
Sometimes the results may come up false positive or negatives, as all laboratory results can vary from day to day and test to test and also person to person. If your body does not show any signs and symptoms of diabetes, then you may have to go through two consecutive tests. Your doctor will recommend you a treatment plan after the test results.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, then you will need to adjust with treatment plans recommended by your doctor. The treatment plan could include some medications along with diet and exercise plans to manage blood sugar levels in your body. The key to healthy life is to control your blood sugar in advance.