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Protocol for diagnosing diabetes:


According to the NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases):

  • People over age 45 should be tested for diabetes. If the first blood glucose test is normal, they should be re-tested every three years.
  • People under age 45 should be tested for diabetes if they are at high-risk for diabetes based on these factors:
  • Being more than 20 percent over ideal body weight, or having a body mass index (BMI) of greater than or equal to 27 kgm/m2.
  • Having a first-degree relative with diabetes (mother, father, or sibling).
  • Being a member of a high-risk ethnic group (African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American).
  • Delivering a baby weighing more than 9 pounds, or having diabetes during pregnancy.
  • Having blood pressure at or above 140/90 mm/Hg.
  • Having abnormal blood fat levels, such as high density lipoproteins (HDL) less than or equal to 35 mg/dl, or triglycerides greater than or equal to 250 mg/dl (mg/dl = milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood).
  • Having impaired glucose tolerance when previously tested for diabetes.

A diagnosis of diabetes:

A diagnosis of diabetes is made when any three of these tests is positive, followed by a second positive test on a different day:

  • Fasting plasma glucose of greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl with symptoms of diabetes.
  • Casual plasma glucose (taken at any time of the day) of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl with the symptoms of diabetes.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) value of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl measured at a two-hour interval. The OGTT is given over a three-hour timespan.

A diagnosis of gestational diabetes:

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed with a glucose screening test, which involves drinking a glucose drink followed by measurement of glucose levels after a one-hour interval.

Talk with your physician about your wish to be screened for gestational diabetes.