What are Diabetes Exams and Tests?
Your doctor 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 different times.
- Hemoglobin A1c (A1C) test. Diabetes is diagnosed if the test result is 6.5% or higher.
- Oral glucose tolerance test. Diabetes is diagnosed if the glucose level is higher than 200 mg/dL 2 hours after drinking a special sugar drink.
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 of 25 or higher) who have other risk factors
- Adults starting at age 45 every 3 years, or at a younger age if the person has risk factors
If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you need to work closely with your doctor. You will likely need to see your doctor every 3 months. At these visits, you can expect your doctor to:
- Check your blood pressure
- Check the skin and bones on your feet and legs
- Check if your feet are becoming numb
- Examine the back part of the eye with a special lighted instrument
The following tests will help you and your doctor monitor your diabetes and prevent problems.
- Check the skin and bones on your feet and legs.
- Check if your feet are getting numb (diabetic nerve disease).
- Have your blood pressure checked at least once a year (blood pressure goals should be 140/80 mmHg or lower).
- Have your A1C test every 6 months if your diabetes is well controlled. Have the test every 3 months if your diabetes is not well controlled.
- Have your cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked yearly.
- Get tests once a year to make sure your kidneys are working well (microalbuminuria and serum creatinine).
- Visit your eye doctor at least 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.