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Diabetes – Screening Tests



The people who have risk factors for type 2 diabetes need to be screened. The screening test is a very simple blood test. The most common blood test used right now is called a Hemoglobin A1c – it reflects your blood sugar for the last two or three months. We’ve got cutoffs that tell us if you have diabetes or if you are at risk for diabetes and it can be done at any time of the day. Your primary care doctor can order it – you don’t have to be fasting for it. People can also sometimes be tested with a fasting blood sugar and sometimes people use a test called an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. That’s when you go to a lab, you drink some sugary stuff, and they test your blood sugar in about two hours. That’s the test that’s often used for pregnant women these days. If one of those tests is abnormal, it’s usually repeated just to confirm the condition. However, if you have classic symptoms of diabetes – if you’re thirsty all of the time, you’re drinking a lot of water, you’re having to urinate a lot – classic symptoms and one abnormal test, that’s good enough for a diagnosis.

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