Diagnosis of Diabetes

Diabetes is easy to detect with a simple blood test. Several different types can be used, including the following:

A1C test

This test estimates your average blood glucose level over the past two to three months. If you have a level below 6 percent, that’s normal. An A1C level between 6-6.4 percent means you’re pre-diabetic and are at increased risk of developing diabetes. A reading of 6.5 or higher on two separate tests means that you have diabetes.

Random or casual blood sugar test

This test is taken at a random time and doesn’t require fasting. It’s usually done if your symptoms are very severe and your doctor doesn’t want to wait for a test that would require you to fast. A level of 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) suggests that you have diabetes.

Fasting blood sugar test

This test is performed in the morning after you haven’t had anything to eat or drink (other than water) overnight. A reading lower than 100 mg/dL is normal. If your level is 100 to 125, you’re considered prediabetic. If you have a reading of 126 mg/dL or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes.

Oral glucose tolerance test

This test starts with a fasting blood sugar test and takes it a step further. You’ll then drink a special sugary liquid, and your blood sugar levels will be tested over the next two hours. A level lower than 140 mg/dL is normal, 140 to 199 mg/dL means you’re pre-diabetic, and a reading over 200 mg/dL means you have diabetes.

Blood glucose tests are reliable ways to help your doctor determine whether your blood sugar levels are normal or indicate that you have pre-diabetes or diabetes. The sooner you receive a diagnosis, the sooner you can start treatment.