Doctors can use a variety of blood tests to make a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. You will need to be tested at least twice to confirm a diagnosis. People with risk factors for diabetes are tested more often.

“When your body doesn’t produce enoughinsulin or can’t use it well, you have Diabetes. If your blood sugar becomes too high, it can lead to serious health problems over time.”

The good news is that type 2 diabetesisa manageable condition. Once you’re diagnosed, you can work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan to stay healthy. Early diagnosis and management is important to help prevent serious outcomes.

Read on to learn more about the early signs of type 2 diabetes, the tests doctors use to diagnose the condition, and what to expect during the testing process.

Types of diabetes

Gestational diabetes, type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes are the main types of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes happens when you develop high blood sugar during pregnancy. It’s important to manage gestational diabetes well to reduce the risk of complications for you or your baby.

“After the baby is born, gestational diabetes usually goes away. Having diabetes increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Your doctor will test your blood sugar level after you are pregnant to make sure you don’t have diabetes.”

Type 1 diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin in their bodies. As a result, they need to take insulin every day. Type 1 makes up 5 to 10 percent of all cases of diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s usually diagnosed by early adulthood.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes has a different cause than type 1 diabetes. Unlike those with type 1, people with type 2 diabetes can produce insulin, but their bodies don’t use it very well.

This type makes up 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. It’s sometimes called adult-onset diabetes. Although it can occur at any age, type 2 diabetes is more common in people older than 45.

If you think you have diabetes, talk to your doctor. Severe diabetes related problems can be caused by uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is also associated with high cholesterol. It can cause your LDL or “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides to go up, and your HDL or “good” cholesterol to go down. These changes can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease is a disease..

While diabetes can usually be managed well, it’s important to take your treatment plan seriously. According to the CDC, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

Treatment can help avoid the severe consequences of diabetes. That is why an early diagnosis is important.

Some people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes because they have noticeable diabetes symptoms. Early symptoms can include:

  • Increased or frequent urination.
  • Increased thirst.
  • fatigue
  • blurry vision

Skin conditions

There are also several skin conditions that can sometimes be a sign of diabetes. These include:

  • cuts and sores that won’t heal. The effects of high blood sugar can reduce your skin’s ability to heal. This can lead to infections and skin ulcers.
  • darker, thicker, velvety skin in places where your skin folds. Acanthosis nigricans is a skin pigment condition found in areas like your armpits, neck, hands, knees, groin, and inside the elbows.
  • skin tags. These tiny growths of skin usually happen on your eyelids, armpits, neck, and groin.
  • raised bumps that turn into patches of solid, hard skin. Necorbiosis lipoidica can cause yellow, brown, or reddish patches to form on your skin.
  • unusually thick, hard skin on your fingers, toes, or both. Digital sclerosis can make it difficult to move your fingers.
  • a rash of small, itchy, painful, pimple-like bumps that turn yellow. Eruptive xanthomatosis can happen when a person has high triglycerides. Often, people diagnosed with eruptive xanthomatosis have diabetes. But this condition also happens in people who do not have diabetes.
  • shin spots. Diabetic dermopathy causes visible spots or lines that create a small dent in the skin.

These symptoms do not always indicate diabetes. If you notice any changes, it is a good idea to get checked out by a doctor.

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be gradual. Your doctor will use blood tests to confirm your diagnosis if you have no symptoms.

The amount of sugar in your blood can be measured with these blood tests.

  • A1C is a test for glycated hemoglobin.
  • A test for blood sugar.
  • A random test of blood sugar.
  • The test is for tolerance of sugar.

We will look at each of the tests in more detail later in the article.

Your doctor will request blood tests to confirm your diagnosis. If you have clear symptoms of diabetes, a test will usually be completed more than once.

What to expect during blood sugar testing

A nurse or lab technician will use a small needle to draw a sample of your blood. The sample is sent to a lab for testing.

You have to prepare for the test. You may be asked to fast for a period of time before the test. Your doctor will give you instructions to prepare for your tests.

Your blood sugar test results can be affected by other health conditions or medications, so tell your doctor if you are experiencing any stress or illness. Make sure your doctor knows about your medication.

Who should be tested for type 2 diabetes?

“People are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes through routine screening tests. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you are still tested for diabetes because you may be at risk.”

Routine screening for diabetes typically starts at age 45. You should be screened sooner if you have:

  • high blood pressure.
  • cardiovascular disease is a disease.
  • Are you overweight or obese?
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition.
  • A skin condition.
  • a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • A history of diabetes or a baby weighing over 9 pounds are some of the things that could be considered.
  • Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Alaska Native, or Pacific Islander descents.
  • A high level of cholesterol or a low level of triglyceride.
  • A sedentary lifestyle.

Blood tests are used to check for signs of diabetes.

“Next, let’s take a closer look at some of the tests used to diagnose diabetes.”

A1C is a question.

The A1C test measures your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. It’s sometimes called the glycated hemoglobin test.

This test measures the amount of glucose (sugar) attached to the hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying protein in your red blood cells. The higher your A1C, the higher your recent blood sugar levels have been.

“The A1C test has an advantage. You don’t have to be fast. The blood sample can be collected at any time.”

Here is what your A1C test results could mean.

A1C Result
Below 5.7% Normal
5.7 to 6.4% Prediabetes
6.5% or higher Diabetes

A1C testing is also used to monitor your blood sugar control after you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. If you have diabetes, your A1C levels should be checked at least twice a year.

Factors that can affect A1C results

A1C is a measure of sugar in your blood. The most common type of hemoglobin is hemoglobin A. There are many different types of hemoglobin. Some people have a hemoglobin variant that can affect their A1C results.

About 7 percent of people around the world are born with hemoglobin variants, and most people don’t know they have it. Some hemoglobin variants are more common in people of African, Mediterranean, or Asian heritage.

Having a hemoglobin variant can cause your A1C test result to be incorrectly high or low. If your doctor finds that your A1C results don’t seem to be consistent with your symptoms or your other test results, they will likely ask for additional tests.

Some health conditions such as anemia, The disease of the kidneys., and liver failure can also affect A1C results. Don’t worry — your doctor will repeat the tests before making a diagnosis.

The fasting plasma glucose test measures your blood sugar at the time of the test. This is different from the A1C test, which measures blood sugar levels over a longer period of time.

For the A test for blood sugar., a sample of your blood will be taken after you’ve fasted for at least 8 hours, usually overnight. This means that you have consumed no food or drinks during that time. Your doctor will tell you if you can sip water while fasting before the test.

Your test results will usually be expressed in a certain amount.

What could your results mean?

Fasting plasma glucose Result
up to 99 mg/dL Normal
100 to 125 mg/dL Prediabetes
126 mg/dL or higher Diabetes

Random blood sugar testing is usually used for people who have symptoms of diabetes. A random blood sugar test can be done at any time of day. You do not need to fast before this test.

No matter when you last ate, a random blood sugar test of 200 mg/dL or above suggests that you may have diabetes. This is particularly true if you already have symptoms of diabetes.

The The test is for tolerance of sugar. (OGTT) measures your blood sugar before and after you drink a sugary liquid that’s specially formulated for the test. Like the A test for blood sugar., you’ll be required to fast overnight beforehand.

You will have a blood sugar test before your appointment. You will drink the liquid. Your doctor will test your blood sugar levels after you leave the hospital.

This test detects diabetes better than other tests, such as the A test for blood sugar.. But it’s more costly and takes longer than other blood sugar tests.

For an The test is for tolerance of sugar., here’s what your results could mean:

Oral glucose tolerance Result
up to 140 mg/dL Normal
140 to 199 mg/dL Prediabetes
200 mg/dL or higher Diabetes

A different version of this test is used to diagnose gestational diabetes. The numbers your doctor will use to make a diagnosis are also different.

Initially, your test results may vary. For instance, a A test for blood sugar. may show that you have diabetes but an A1C test may show that you don’t. The reverse can also be true.

How does this happen? It could mean that you’re in an early stage of diabetes, and your blood sugar levels may not be high enough to show on every test. Some blood sugar test results can also vary day to day based on a variety of factors, like stress or illness.

Your doctor will need to repeat any tests to confirm your diagnosis.

If you have doubts about your results, you should always ask more questions or get a second opinion.

Once you know you have type 2 diabetes, you can work with your doctor to create a treatment plan. This can include a plan for:

  • healthy weight loss.
  • Changes to your diet are possible.
  • medication
  • Testing for blood sugar.

It is important to follow through with your treatments. Talk to your doctor about your blood sugar goal and how often you should test it. Monitoring your blood sugar and tracking your symptoms is important for your long-term health.

There is no cure for type 2 diabetes. This condition is manageable with many effective treatment options.

If you are over the age of 45 and have symptoms of diabetes, you should talk to your doctor about getting tested.

Taking the tests and understanding the results is the first step. It is important to see your doctor about your results. You doctor will need to test you more than once to confirm your diagnosis.

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you should work with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan that works for you.

By following your treatment plan, you can help to prevent the problems of diabetes.