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    If you experience symptoms of severe increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, increased hunger, tingling of your hands or feet -- your doctor may run a test for diabetes.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 29 million children and adults in the U.S., or over 9% of the population, have diabetes today. Yet, millions of Americans are unaware that they have diabetes, because there may be no warning signs.

    Did You Know?

    Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive care services, including screening tests for type 2 diabetes, at no cost to you. Learn more.

    Health Insurance Center

    To confirm the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, your doctor will order a fasting plasma glucose test or a casual plasma glucose.

    Diabetes and the Fasting Plasma Glucose Test

    The fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) is the preferred method for diagnosing diabetes, because it is easy to do, convenient, and less expensive than other tests, according to the American Diabetes Association.

    How Do I Prepare for the Blood Glucose Test?

    Before taking the blood glucose test, you will not be allowed to eat anything for at least eight hours.

    What Happens During the Blood Glucose Test?

    During a blood glucose test, blood will be drawn and sent to a lab for analysis.

    What Do the Results of the Blood Glucose Test Mean?

    Normal fasting blood glucose -- or blood sugar -- is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL for people who do not have diabetes. The standard diagnosis of diabetes is made when two separate blood tests show that your fasting blood glucose level is greater than or equal to 126 mg/dL.

    However, if you have normal fasting blood sugar, but you have risk factors for diabetes or symptoms of diabetes, your doctor may decide to do a glucose tolerance test (see below) to be sure that you do not have diabetes.

    Some people have a normal fasting blood sugar reading, but their blood sugar rapidly rises as they eat. These people may have impaired glucose intolerance. If their blood sugar levels are high enough, they may be diagnosed with diabetes.

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