How to take a diabetes test

The onset of diabetes can be dangerously fast and extremely risky for health and life.

If you are experiencing diabetes symptoms such as extreme hunger and thirst, weight loss, frequent urination, blurred vision, and a fruity smell to your breath, you should get tested for diabetes as soon as possible.

Taking a diabetes test is the only way to tell for sure if you have the condition.

Who should take a diabetes test?

If you are thinking of getting tested for diabetes, you should probably do so, as the risks involved in having the test are very low.

There are a few false positives, it’s inexpensive, easy, and can give you peace of mind.

Here are some reasons why you should get tested for diabetes:

  • You have a family history of the disease (type 1 or type 2)
  • You have several risk factors for the disease, including but not limited to: being sedentary, being overweight or obese, being over 45, or having high blood pressure or heart disease
  • You experience symptoms of diabetes, including but not limited to: rapid weight loss, extreme thirst, frequent need to urinate, blurred vision, extreme tiredness, or a fruity breath odor
  • You currently have pre-diabetes
  • You are pregnant and have a family (or personal) history of gestational diabetes

Because there is a possibility of developing pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes with few or no symptoms, it is recommended that you get a blood test at your annual visit to your doctor or self-test your blood sugar with a home test every year if you are in a high-risk group.

How hard is it to take a diabetes test?

The diabetes test is extremely easy and can be done with a blood test at home or at your doctor’s office.

There are two different types of blood tests that can be used to detect diabetes:

Finger test

The fingerstick test is done with a blood glucose meter, which can be purchased over the counter at any local pharmacy and performed at home or at your doctor’s office.

The test measures your current blood sugar level. Normal blood sugar levels in people who don’t have diabetes include:

  • Fasting blood sugar (morning, before eating): less than 100 mg/dL
  • 1-2 hours after a meal: less than 140 mg/dl
  • 2-3 hours after eating: less than 100 mg/dL

If your glucose level is higher than 100 mg/dL more than 2 hours after eating, you most likely have diabetes or prediabetes.

However, a definite diagnosis of diabetes can only be made after a more thorough laboratory test, so you should always see your doctor right away if your blood sugar is high.

You can buy a 100 stick meter on amazon for $25 to self-test your blood glucose regularly.

HbA1c test

The HbA1c test is the main blood test used to diagnose diabetes. Measures your average blood sugar over the last 3 months.

You can take the test at your doctor’s office or use a test kit to measure A1c at home.

The American Diabetes Association has established the following A1c guidelines for using the test as part of diagnosing diabetes:

Table of A1c levels and their meanings

You can buy A1c test kit on Amazon for $65.

The home test kit is very easy to use as shown in this short video:

If your A1c result indicates that you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, see your doctor right away for further testing and a treatment program.

Gestational diabetes test

There is a routine oral glucose tolerance test performed on all pregnant women around 28 weeks gestation, during which a sugary liquid with glucose is drunk (usually contains about 50 grams of sugar!) and the doctor measures the postprandial blood glucose level (with a fingertip test) ) a few hours later to see how your body (and pancreas) reacts.

Gestational diabetes rarely develops before 26-28 weeks of pregnancy, but if you’re concerned about insulin resistance and onset of diabetes earlier, a test can be ordered earlier.

If you are pregnant and taking a test for gestational diabetes with an oral glucose tolerance test, a blood sugar level below 140 mg/dL two hours after drinking the liquid is normal, a blood sugar level between 140-199 mg/dL indicates pre-diabetes and a reading of 200 mg/dL or more indicates gestational diabetes.

Doctors usually do these tests twice if they think there’s been a mistake or to confirm a diagnosis.

Are the tests accurate?

It is possible that you have diabetes but the result of these blood tests is negative (this could simply mean that you currently have low blood sugar!) or that you are not diabetic but your blood sugar is higher than normal (you may have forgotten fasting for a fasting blood sugar test).

There are always outliers, and that’s why sometimes doctors like to repeat tests before making a final diagnosis.

However, unless the meter is malfunctioning or there is no confusion in the laboratory, these tests are very reliable and can almost always pinpoint a diagnosis of diabetes.

Can these tests tell you what type of diabetes you have?

No, just that you have diabetes. Treatment may depend on the type of diabetes you have, so it’s important to know what type you have.

Many doctors will only look at a patient’s age, weight, and family history to diagnose the type of diabetes.

This leads to many people over 30 at diagnosis or overweight being misdiagnosed as type 2 when in fact they have type 1 diabetes or LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults).

If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, an “autoantibody” test is strongly recommended. Autoantibodies are proteins that are present when the immune system starts attacking itself, leading to autoimmune disease.

If autoantibodies are present, you have type 1 diabetes or LADA and will need a different treatment regimen than type 2 diabetes.

How expensive are these tests?

The good news is that taking a diabetes test can be really simple and not too expensive. If you want to test in the comfort of your own home, you can buy an over-the-counter glucometer at any drug store or on Amazon for $25-$30.

A home A1c test kit with 4 tests is around $65 on Amazon.

You can also get a rapid blood glucose test at your primary care doctor’s office, but you will have to pay a co-payment for the visit, and this cost depends on your health insurance.

Taking an HbA1c test at your doctor’s office is fairly routine, but the cost will depend on the type of insurance you have. Laboratory services are usually provided at a surcharge of $5 to $50.

Without insurance, it’s all much more expensive, but if you feel you may have undiagnosed diabetes and you don’t have insurance, go to your local emergency department for immediate medical attention.

Should children with a predisposition to diabetes be tested?

Yes! If you live with the condition yourself, you may be concerned that your child or children will develop diabetes.

That’s reasonable: According to the American Diabetes Association, if you’re a man living with type 1 diabetes, your child has a 1 in 17 chance of developing type 1 diabetes. If you’re a woman with type 1 diabetes and you gave birth to them before age 25, the risk is 1 in 25.

If you had your children after the age of 25, the risk for your children is 1 in 100, which is about the same as the general population.

Fortunately, antibody tests are now available to determine risk for children, especially if they have a sibling in the family who has type 1 diabetes. These tests measure antibody responses to insulin, islet cells, or to an enzyme called glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). .

A high level of antibody response indicates that the baby has a higher one probability developing type 1 diabetes, but this does not guarantee that this will happen.

If you live with type 2 diabetes or have a family history of type 2 diabetes, the likelihood of your children developing type 2 diabetes is also increased, but not guaranteed.

Talk to your doctor if you want to request an antibody test for your children, especially if you or their siblings are already living with diabetes.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if I should get tested for diabetes?

If you are experiencing diabetes symptoms such as extreme hunger and thirst, weight loss, frequent urination, blurred vision, and a fruity smell to your breath, you should get tested for diabetes as soon as possible.

Do routine blood tests indicate diabetes?

Yes, diabetes can be easily detected with a routine blood test.

Can you do a diabetes test at home?

Yes, you can test for diabetes at home with a fingerstick test or an HbA1c test that can be purchased online. However, if you test positive, you should always contact your medical team immediately so they can perform additional tests to confirm the diagnosis and start a treatment program.

Can a urine test detect diabetes?

Yes, but they are not as accurate as blood tests and are no longer used for diabetes screening


As rates of type 1, type 2, and even gestational diabetes continue to rise in the United States, it’s more important than ever to make sure you know how to take a diabetes test if you feel you may have an undiagnosed diabetes condition.

The only definitive way to diagnose diabetes is a blood test that measures the amount of glucose in the blood in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). using a quick fingertip test, measured on a glucometer.

Pregnant women are routinely screened for gestational diabetes between 26 and 28 weeks of gestation with an oral glucose tolerance test.

Depending on your health insurance, getting a diabetes test is easy and relatively inexpensive.

However, if you experience diabetes-like symptoms for a few days and feel sick, seek medical help immediately.

Especially if you are experiencing rapid weight loss, extreme thirst, fatigue, blurred vision, fruity smell of breath, and frequent urination, as these are classic symptoms of diabetes that healthcare professionals need to address immediately.

#diabetes #test

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *