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What is the medical definition of diabetes?

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People with diabetes either don't make insulin or their body's cells no longer are able to use the insulin, leading to high blood sugars. By definition, diabetes is having a blood glucose level of greater than or equal to 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) after an eight-hour fast (not eating anything), or by having a non-fasting glucose level greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL along with symptoms of diabetes, or a glucose level of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL on a two-hour glucose tolerance test, or an A1c greater than or equal to 6.5%. Unless the person is having obvious symptoms of diabetes or is in a diabetic crisis, the diagnosis must be confirmed with a repeat test.

SOURCES: 

American Diabetes Association: "Insulin and Low Blood Glucose." 

American Diabetes Association: "Stomach Fat and Insulin Resistance." 

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: "Your Guide to Diabetes:  Type 1 and Type 2." 

Forouhi, N. , 2006; 49:822. Kim, SH. , 2006; 48:293.  DiabetologiaJournal of the American College of Cardiology

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on May 26, 2019

SOURCES: 

American Diabetes Association: "Insulin and Low Blood Glucose." 

American Diabetes Association: "Stomach Fat and Insulin Resistance." 

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: "Your Guide to Diabetes:  Type 1 and Type 2." 

Forouhi, N. , 2006; 49:822. Kim, SH. , 2006; 48:293.  DiabetologiaJournal of the American College of Cardiology

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on May 26, 2019

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