Type 2 Diabetes - What do the Test Results Mean?
If you're at risk for type 2 diabetes
you may need to get tested
to determine whether or not you have developed the disease. Your healthcare provider will take a family history, discuss
any signs of diabetes
you've been experiencing, assess your risk factors
and determine whether or not you need to be tested and how regularly. What
do the test results mean
, and how do you know if you have diabetes?
The bodies of people with type 2 diabetes have impaired abilities to process foods
that contain carbohydrates, which our bodies convert into sugar. Thus a diabetes test
consists of analyzing your blood sugar to find out how well your body can handle it.
There are several types of tests your doctor may request you get done.
- Fasting blood sugar test: you'll be asked to fast (stop eating)
for at least 8 hours. Many people find it convenient to eat dinner and then
fast overnight, doing the test first thing in the morning. For people without
diabetes, the normal range for this blood test is 70 to 100 mg/dL. If your
blood sugar reading is between 100 and 125 mg/dL, you may be pre-diabetic.
A level of 126 mg/dL or above suggests that you have diabetes.
- Random blood sugar test: this is when your blood sugar is tested
at any time (randomly) - not necessarily after you eat or drink. Blood sugar
levels in a person without diabetes do not fluctuate that much over the course
of a day. Even after a meal, most people wouldn't have blood sugar higher than
200 mg/dL. So if your random blood sugar test result is higher than 200 mg/dL,
it suggests you may have diabetes.
- Oral glucose tolerance test: This is a two-part test. First, your
fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you are given a sugary drink to
consume. Your blood sugar level is measured again one hour and two hours after
you drink. People without diabetes would show a blood sugar level of less than
200 mg/dL even after consuming the drink. A reading of 140 to 199 mg/dL
suggests pre-diabetes, and a reading of 200 mg/dL or more, two hours after you
drink, suggests diabetes.
The above readings are in mg/dL; to get them in mmol/L, see our
chart for blood sugar levels.
Tests are often repeated if the diabetes test results suggest
or diabetes. Your healthcare provider may repeat one or more of these tests,
take a personal and family history, assess your risk factors, and discuss
your symptoms prior to confirming a
diagnosis of diabetes.
Ask your doctor for help on how to read diabetes test results to ensure that you
understand how well you're doing, and to determine your risk.
The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience,
and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual
situation should be directed to your doctor.