Diabetes is diagnosed in a number of ways. Often you may have some of the classic symptoms of diabetes. You may also have high blood sugar, which can be detected with a simple blood test. To confirm the diagnosis of diabetes, your doctor may order more than one blood test, perhaps taking a reading at different times of day.
Remember, you have glucose in your blood at all times. The question is: How much? The normal level ranges from 60-140 mg/dL if you have just eaten. A test result of more than 200 mg/dL taken 1-2 hours after a meal, or a fasting blood sugar level of over 140 mg/dL, is usually enough to raise strong suspicion of diabetes. However, if glucose levels are “borderline,” a glucose tolerance test may be used to diagnose diabetes. In this test, you eat a large amount of carbohydrates for 3 days before the test. On the day of the test, having fasted since dinner the night before, your blood glucose level is measured. You then drink a glucose solution and the blood is retested at regular intervals to see how the body handles the glucose.
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Hemoglobin A1 Test
Urine testing is generally not used to diagnose diabetes. That is because the level of blood glucose may not be high enough to spill over into the urine – even though the level in the blood is high enough to qualify as diabetes. A test called Hemoglobin A1 may read “high” in someone with diabetes. However, there may be reasons other than diabetes for a false reading on the Hemoglobin Al test, for example, if a person has anemia. Therefore, experts don’t recommend using this test by itself to diagnose diabetes. The person should always be tested for blood sugar levels.
After the Diagnosis of Diabetes
While a diagnosis of diabetes is never good news(see Diagnosed with diabetes), it is not a cause for panic. But it’s a cause for concern and immediate action. Once you’ve gained a better understanding of the causes of diabetes( see Causes type 1 diabetes) and how it affects your body, you must then learn what you can do to keep your body functioning as normally as possible.