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How are random blood glucose tests or hemoglobin A1c screenings used in the diagnosis of diabetes?

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A random blood glucose level of 200 mg/dL or more, plus presence of the following symptoms, can mean that you have diabetes:

Other symptoms include fatigue, blurred vision, increased hunger, and sores that do not heal. Your doctor will check your blood glucose level on another day using the fasting plasma glucose test or the oral glucose tolerance test to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes.

Newer guidelines use hemoglobin A1c as a screening tool for prediabetes or diabetes (the test is normally used to measure blood glucose control in diabetes patients over several months). An HbA1c of 5.7% to 6.4% is consistent with prediabetes and marks a time when it can be reversed by lifestyle changes. An HbA1c of 6.5% or higher is consistent with diabetes.

  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss

SOURCES: American Diabetes Association. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on November 1, 2018

SOURCES: American Diabetes Association. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on November 1, 2018

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How many people have prediabetes?

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