Nearly 20.8 million Americans are affected by diabetes, and approximately 30% of them don’t even know that they have diabetes. Routinely taking tests for diabetes is important because sometimes people have no symptoms at all. Therefore, for some tests for diabetes is the only way that diabetes will be detected before it causes serious harm to your body. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, you should periodically get diabetes tests administered if:

  • You have a parent or sibling with diabetes
  • You are overweight
  • You are a member of a high risk ethnic group such as African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
  • You have had gestational diabetes before or have a baby weighing over 9 pounds
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • In previous tests, diabetes was not diagnosed but you had an impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting tolerance result


Diabetes Screening Tests


There are several different tests for diabetes that your doctor can administer to screen you for diabetes. These are:

A fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test – This test measures the blood glucose of a person who hasn’t eaten anything for at least 8 hours. It can be used to diagnose both diabetes and pre-diabetes.

An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) measures the blood glucose after a person fasts for 8 hours and 2 hours after a person drinks a glucose beverage. This test can be used to diagnose both diabetes and pre-diabetes.

A random plasma glucose test is a test which measures the blood glucose in a person with no regard to when a person last ate. This test must be administered along with an assessment of symptoms for a diagnosis to take place. It is not used to diagnose pre-diabetes.


Diabetes Blood Tests


If you are diagnosed with diabetes there are a number of tests for diabetes that are used to track your progress in managing the disease as well as for any problems that you may be having. One of the important diabetes tests is A1c. The Hemoglobin A1c test is an amazing new test that can measure how well you have managed your blood sugar levels over the past three months. This is done by measuring the amount of sugar that has stuck to your red blood cells. Other diabetes lab tests or blood tests may be administered in the beginning to see how if you have developed any complications in diabetes. These tests for diabetes complications may include:

  • Blood tests for cholesterol readings
  • Testing for high blood pressure
  • Urine tests for kidney problems
  • A retinal eye exam
  • A foot exam