Diagnosing Diabetes and Learning About Prediabetes
How is diabetes diagnosed?
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 greater 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
What is prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a condition when your blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough to be diabetes. This condition puts you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Results indicating prediabetes are:
- An A1C of 5.7% – 6.4%
- Fasting blood glucose of 100 – 125 mg/dl
- An OGTT 2 hour blood glucose of 140 mg/dl – 199 mg/dl
Check out our FREE program for tips on living with type 2.
Help us raise $1 million for diabetes research and other essential programs.
New tools for meal preparation made easy!
Bee Well for Life gives fitness tips and helps Stop Diabetes!
Great recipes tap the salad bar, deli, and freezer case to get food on the table.
Learn to make delicious vegetarian dishes with this easy-to-follow cookbook.
Celebrate the holidays with Diabetes Forecast! Best deal–order today!
Food is an important part of the African American culture. See our recipes.
Stay on track with our holiday meal planning tips. Recipes everyone will enjoy!
Was your child recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes? Order this free kit.
This personal tracking program is key to diabetes management.
Watch our Stop Diabetes PSA and share with your friends and family.
Recipes for Healthy Living, a holiday survival guide & more!
Get helpful tips for stress-free traveling with diabetes.
Check out our parent mentor volunteer program full of parents just like you!