Type 2 Diabetes - Exams and Tests

Diagnostic tests

If your doctor thinks that you may have diabetes, he or she will order blood tests to measure how much sugar is in your blood. The tests used are blood glucose tests and hemoglobin A1c.

To make a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, your doctor will use your blood test results and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) criteria. He or she will also ask you questions about your medical history and do a physical exam for type 2 diabetes.

If it is hard to tell if you have type 2 or type 1 diabetes, your doctor may do a C-peptide test or an autoantibodies test. (Autoantibodies are produced when the body's immune system does not work right.) For example, many people with type 1 diabetes produce the autoantibody zinc transporter 8 (ZnT8Ab). People with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes do not produce ZnT8Ab. These tests may not be able to confirm the type of diabetes you have. Getting a definite diagnosis may take months or years. In either case, your blood sugar levels will need to be controlled right away.

Tests to monitor your health

You'll need to see your doctor every 3 to 6 months. At each visit you'll:

Your doctor might suggest a cholesterol and triglyceride test based on your age or your risk for heart disease. Talk to your doctor about when a cholesterol test is right for you.

For more information, see When to Have a Cholesterol Test.

See a list of tests to monitor diabetes to help you remember what to do and when.

Review your progress regularly

Regular visits and checkups with your doctor are also a good time to:

These visits are also a good time to talk with your doctor about how you're feeling. It's normal to feel frustrated or overwhelmed with all there is to do. If you're having trouble coping, your doctor can help. And if your health is changing and you have complications from diabetes, work with your doctor to make the right medical decisions for you. With your health and quality of life in mind, problem-solve and plan with your doctor.

Continued

Tests to do every year

Dental checkups

Eye exams during pregnancy

If you get pregnant, you will need to have an eye exam sometime during the first 3 months. You'll also need close follow-up during your pregnancy and for 1 year after you have your baby. Pregnancy increases your risk for diabetic retinopathy.1 If you already have eye disease and get pregnant, the disease can quickly get worse.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

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