How do I know if I have diabetes?
• Many people are unaware that they have diabetes, especially in its early stages when symptoms may not be present.
• There is no definite way to know if you have diabetes without undergoing blood tests to determine your blood glucose levels (see section on Diagnosis of diabetes).
• See your doctor if you have symptoms of diabetes or if you are concerned about your diabetes risk.
How is diabetes diagnosed?
The fasting blood glucose (sugar) test is the preferred way to diagnose diabetes. It is easy to perform and convenient. After the person has fasted overnight (at least 8 hours), a single sample of blood is drawn and sent to the laboratory for analysis. This can also be done accurately in a doctor’s office using a glucose meter.
• Normal fasting plasma glucose levels are less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl).
• Fasting plasma glucose levels of more than 126 mg/dl on two or more tests on different days indicate diabetes.
• A random blood glucose test can also be used to diagnose diabetes. A blood glucose level of 200 mg/dl or higher indicates diabetes.
When fasting blood glucose stays above 100mg/dl, but in the range of 100-126mg/dl, this is known as impaired fasting glucose (IFG). While patients with IFG or prediabetes do not have the diagnosis of diabetes, this condition carries with it its own risks and concerns, and is addressed elsewhere. Back to Diabetes.