For more information about what to ask your doctor, click here for a resource from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Anyone 45 years old or older should consider getting tested for diabetes (especially if you are overweight). Also, consider getting tested if you are younger than 45, overweight, and one or more of the following risk factors is true:
The most accurate way to find out if you have type 2 diabetes is to talk to your doctor and request a blood test. The three types of blood tests that are commonly used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes are the A1c test, fasting plasma glucose level test, and the oral glucose tolerance test.
The A1c is a blood test results show what a person’s average blood sugar has been for the past 2-3 months. A normal range of blood sugar is less than 5.7 percent.
Normal: < 5.7%
Diabetes: ≥ 6.5%
Fasting Plasma Glucose Level Test
The fasting plasma glucose level test measures glucose (blood sugar) in a person who has been fasting (not eating) for at least eight hours—this is the most common test used to diagnose type 2 diabetes. A fasting plasma glucose level less than 100 milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood is considered normal. If a person’s fasting glucose levels are between 100 to 125 milligrams/deciliter, the person’s doctor may tell them that they have prediabetes.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (2-hour Post-Glucose Challenge)
This test is done two hours after a person fasts (for at least eight hours) and then drinks a beverage containing sugar. A blood glucose level between 140 and 199 mg/dL is considered “impaired glucose tolerance,” or prediabetes. This test is also used to diagnose gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy).