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.