When Should I be tested for Diabetes?

1) Screening for diabetes usually involves obtaining a blood sugar reading before breakfast, also known as a fasting blood sugar. A blood sugar value over 126 mg% indicates type 2 diabetes. Ideal fasting blood sugar is less than 100 mg%.

2) Opinions are divided regarding whether to test all normal adults for diabetes. More agreement about routine diabetes screening exists for people considered to be at higher risk for diabetes. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults with blood pressure of 135/80 (high blood pressure) and those with dyslipidemia (high cholesterol) be screened for type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that all adults over the age of 45 years be screened for diabetes.

3) Diabetes which occurs only during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. In the U.S. it is common practice to screen for the development of gestational diabetes. This testing is generally conducted between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation, by administering a glucose solution by mouth and checking the blood sugar one hour later. If this is abnormal a formal 3 hour glucose tolerance test is performed. 

Gary Pepper, M.D.


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