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August 12, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Vancouver, Washington, USA:

I am 34 years old, had gestational diabetes almost four years ago, and I the symptoms continued after delivery, but I never returned to the doctor. The symptoms lessen or increase depending upon certain factors. I am currently without medical insurance and am curious regarding testing that is free, convenient, and simple. Can I test myself?


From: DTeam Staff

You should contact hospitals and the American Diabetes Association in your area to see if they offer free community screenings. November is Diabetes Month. and many organizations coordinate screenings during that time.


[Editor’s comment: As indicated in Jane’s reply, testing for diabetes should include blood sugar levels performed by a medical laboratory. The timing of the sample (fasting, random, or postprandial) would influence how high a level is considered abnormal. See Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes for further information. Home glucose testing, if done, might be positive, which would make the situation more urgent to get lab testing done to confirm the abnormal results. However, home glucose testing, if negative, would not exclude diabetes.