For centuries, doctors have been diagnosing type 2 diabetes by dipping their pinkie finger into a urine sample and picking up on very high sugar. Some doctors still use urine tests to pick up type 2 diabetes, but nowadays there are easier ways to diagnose the blood sugar disorder.
Almost all diabetes tests are now conducted on blood samples, which are collected in a visit to the doctor, or an obstetrician if you're pregnant. These tests are more accurate than urine tests, which only pick up on type 2 diabetes if sugar levels are very high and the diabetes is more advanced.
The main types of blood tests for type 2 diabetes are as follows...
Five blood tests doctors use to diagnose type 2 diabetes
#1: Fasting blood sugar test
This is one of the most common tests because it’s quick and easy to perform. After fasting overnight, your doctors draw your blood early in the morning and tests it to see if your blood sugar
falls into a normal range. A normal result would be 70-99 mg/dL or less than 5.5 mmol/L.
#2: Two-hour postprandial test
“Prandial” means meals. This test is done two hours after you’ve eaten. A normal result is 70-145 mg/dL or less than 7.9 mmol/L.
#3: Random blood sugar test
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Your doctor performs a blood sugar test at random or in other words, regardless of when you last ate a meal. A normal result is 70-125 mg/dL or less than mmol/L.
#4: Oral glucose-tolerance test
This is the most common test for pregnant women. Doctors typically draw blood once, then make you drink a syrupy glucose solution and draw blood at 30 and 60-minute intervals for up to three hours to see how well your body is handling the dose of sugar. Results will depend on how much glucose is in the solution, which can vary.
#5: Hemoglobin A1C test
This test measures how quickly sugar sticks to your red blood cells, which normally have a lifespan of three months. It therefore tests how high your blood sugar has been over the past couple months. A normal result is 4% to 6% for non-diabetics and 7% or lower for diabetics.
If you have an abnormal result on any of these tests for diagnosing type 2 diabetes
, you’ll need to have more testing.
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