Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes Milletus

Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Type 1 diabetes diagnosis

If your provider believes that you may have diabetes, he or she will likely conduct a series of tests13 that measure your blood sugar level.

One common form of testing for diabetes is a glycated hemoglobin test (or A1C test). This is a blood test that measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to your hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells). It can be used to indicate your average blood sugar level for the past 2–3 months.

The more glucose is attached to your hemoglobin, the higher your blood sugar level will be. An A1C level below 5.7% is considered normal. An A1C between 5.7–6.4% indicates prediabetes, while an A1C of 6.5% or higher on two separate tests indicates diabetes.

In some cases, the results from A1C tests alone cannot be used to diagnose diabetes. The results may be inconsistent, or you may have certain conditions that can make the A1C test inaccurate (such as if you are pregnant14, as A1C levels can be falsely low in the 2nd trimester, but may rise in the 3rd trimester).

If A1C tests are not sufficient, the following tests may be used to diagnose diabetes:

  • Random blood sugar test: This test involves taking a blood sample at a random time, regardless of when you last ate. A random blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)—or 11.1 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)—or higher suggests diabetes.
  • Fasting blood sugar test: A blood sample is taken after fasting overnight (for at least 8 hours). A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is considered normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100–125 mg/dL (5.6–6.9 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes, while 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests indicates diabetes.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test: This test is most commonly used to diagnose gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), but it can also be used as a screening tool to help diagnose type 2. An oral glucose tolerance test involves taking a blood sample after fasting for at least 8 hours or overnight. The patient is then given a sugary solution to drink, and blood sugar levels are measured again (generally 1-3 hours later, as directed by a provider). In general, a blood sugar level from 140-199 mg/dL (7.8–11.0mmol/L) is considered prediabetes.

It’s important that you see your healthcare provider if you suspect yourself or your child of having diabetes. By determining the right diagnosis, your provider can administer the proper treatment for your condition.


Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

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