Screening and Diagnosis
Screening for diabetes
Because symptoms of diabetes can be mild at first, you may have the condition and not know it. However, the chronic high levels of blood glucose (sugar) can cause serious complications that affect the eyes, nerves, heart and other organs. That’s why it’s important for all adults to get screened for diabetes every 3 years beginning at age 45.
People with the following risk factors should begin screening at an earlier age and more regularly than 3 years:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- A family history of diabetes
- In women, a history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
Henry Ford: Tests we use to diagnose diabetes
We screen for and diagnose diabetes using blood tests that measure your blood sugar levels. The tests include:
Hemoglobin A1C test for type 2 diabetes
This test provides information about your blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months. You do not need to fast (stop eating) for the A1C test. We use the A1C test to diagnose type 2 diabetes.
- The normal range for this test is 4 to 5.6 percent.
- Levels between 5.7 to 6.4 percent mean that you have prediabetes, which is a higher risk of developing diabetes.
- An A1C of 6.5 percent or higher indicates type 2 diabetes.
Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test
This test measures your current blood sugar levels after you have fasted for at least 8 hours. We use the FPG test to detect and diagnose prediabetes, type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.
- A normal fasting blood glucose level is 100 mg/dL or lower.
- Levels between 100 to 125 mg/dL mean that you have prediabetes.
- A fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dL or higher means that you have diabetes.
Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
This test measures your blood sugar levels twice, so it takes longer than the other 2 tests. We use the OGTT test to detect prediabetes and diagnose all types of diabetes.
We first test your blood after you have fasted for at least 8 hours. Then you drink a sugary drink, which causes your blood sugar to rise. We then test your blood sugar after 2 hours to assess how quickly your blood sugar levels return to normal.
- A normal blood glucose level in the OGTT is 140 mg/dL or lower.
- Levels between 140 to 199 mg/dL indicate prediabetes.
- A OGTT blood glucose level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes.
If your test results show that you have diabetes, the experts at Henry Ford are ready to help you. We offer treatment and support for self-management of diabetes. Find out more about types of diabetes conditions and treatments we offer at our Diabetes Care Centers.
Although you cannot prevent type 1 and gestational diabetes, you can take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes. At Henry Ford, we offer educational programs and support to help you prevent type 2 diabetes or manage other types of diabetes. Find out more about diabetes self-management.