Type 2 Diabetes Health Center

Your health care provider may suspect that you have diabetes if your blood sugar level is higher than 200 mg/dL. To confirm the diagnosis, one or more of the following tests must be done.

Diabetes blood tests:

Fasting blood glucose level - diabetes is diagnosed if it is higher than 126 mg/dL two times

  • Hemoglobin A1c test
    • Normal: Less than 5.7%
    • Pre-diabetes: 5.7% - 6.4%
    • Diabetes: 6.5% or higher
  • Oral glucose tolerance test -- diabetes is diagnosed if glucose level is higher than 200 mg/dL after 2 hours

Diabetes screening is recommended for:

  • overweight children who have other risk factors for diabetes, starting at age 10 and repeated every 2 years
  • overweight adults (BMI greater than 25) who have other risk factors
  • adults over age 45 every 3 years

You should see your health care provider every 3 months. At these visits, you can expect your health care provider to:

  • check your blood pressure
  • check the skin and bones on your feet and legs
  • check to see if your feet are becoming numb
  • examine the back part of the eye with a special lighted instrument called an ophthalmoscope

The following tests will help you and your doctor monitor your diabetes and prevent problems:

  • blood pressure checks, done at least every year (blood pressure goals should be 130/80 mm/Hg or lower).
  • hemoglobin A1c test (HbA1c), checked every 6 months if your diabetes is well-controlled; otherwise every 3 months.
  • cholesterol and triglyceride levels, checked yearly (aim for LDL levels below 70-100 mg/dL).
  • kidney tests, which assess for microalbuminuria (protein in the urine above the normal level) and serum creatinine (a marker of kidney dysfunction)
  • eye tests, done either once a year or more often if you have signs of diabetic eye disease.

See the dentist every 6 months for a thorough dental cleaning and exam. Make sure your dentist and hygienist know that you have diabetes.

Review Date: 
May 15, 2012
Last Updated:
August 6, 2014