April 17, 2002
Diagnosis and Symptoms
Question from Adelphi, Maryland, USA:
About 11 months ago, I was diagnosed with type�2 diabetes when I went to my doctor and had a blood sugar of 153 mg/dl [8.5 mmol/L], but I was not told to fast before taking the finger test. Is that the proper way to take the test to determine if someone has diabetes?
According to the American Diabetes Association Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes guidelines, the recommended method is testing by measuring plasma glucose in a laboratory, not by fingerstick on a meter. Diagnosis is established if the fasting plasma glucose is equal to or greater than 126 mg/dl [7 mmol/L] or a random plasma glucose is equal to or greater than 200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L] and symptoms of diabetes are present. A diagnosis of diabetes must be confirmed, on a subsequent day, by measurement of a fasting glucose, or random glucose (if symptoms are present). The fasting test (defined as no caloric intake for at least eight hours) is greatly preferred.