Q:How is diabetes diagnosed?
A: Diabetes is actually quite easy to diagnose. It's managing diabetes day to day that's the bigger challenge! If you suspect you have diabetes, ask your health care provider to check your A1C level (hemoglobin A1C is a long term measure of blood glucose control over the past 2 to 3 months) using blood drawn from your vein (not from your finger). Yes, this recommendation is a change since July 2009. To learn more.
A1C level to diagnose diabetes: > 6.5%
A1C level indicating high risk for diabetes: >6% to < 6.5%
People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes most often develop symptoms of diabetes prior being diagnosed. The common diabetes symptoms are: thirst, frequent urinating, hunger, weight loss and tiredness. It is quite common for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes to not have any symptoms of diabetes at diagnosis. Additionally, people with type 2 diabetes have often had progressively elevated blood glucose levels for many years prior to being diagnosed.
Keep in mind there is no such thing as "borderline diabetes" or a "touch of sugar"- either you have diabetes or you don't.
I f you have diabetes - both type 1 or type 2 - take it seriously! Take action now!
Millions of people around the world currently have blood glucose levels high enough now to diagnose diabetes, but they have not yet been diagnosed. ADA recommends that if you are over 45 years old and/or have several risk factors for diabetes, such as a parent or sibling with diabetes, are overweight, sedentary, are a woman who has had large (>9lbs) babies; get your blood glucose checked now. If your blood glucose is normal, mark your calendar to get your blood glucose checked in another 3 years. If you are at high risk for getting diabetes, then you should start having your blood glucose checked when you are younger than 45 years old. (See FAQ: What is meant by pre-diabetes?)