To make a diabetes diagnosis, the doctor will check glucose levels with one or more of the following methods:
- Fasting glucose: No food or drinks, except water, for at least eight hours. Results of 126 or greater indicate diabetes.
- AIC: Average glucose for two to three months. Results of 6.5 or greater indicate diabetes.
- Oral glucose tolerance test: Glucose levels are tested before and two hours after drinking a special sweetened drink. Results of 200 or more indicate diabetes.
Prediabetes is a diagnosis that warns blood glucose levels are higher than they should be, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes puts you at risk for developing heart disease. Be screened for prediabetes if you are older than 45 and overweight or younger than 45 and habitually inactive, have a family history of diabetes, have high blood pressure, have polycystic ovary syndrome or a history of vascular disease.
Whether prediabetes, type 1 or type 2, appropriate management can greatly improve your quality of life. Patients may learn how to better manage glucose levels to minimize or avoid associated health conditions, thereby reducing associated risks. Some patients have even reversed their diagnosis.
Unmanaged or poorly managed diabetes can result in frequent urination, feeling thirsty, feeling hungry despite eating, extreme fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing cuts and bruises, weight loss even though you are eating enough and pain, tingling or numbness in your hands and feet. In addition to these symptoms, unmanaged illness can lead to associated conditions of the skin, eyes, heart and nerves. It can also impact your ability to heal after surgery and lead to other surgical complications.