Talk to Your Doctor

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  1. What kind of tests do you use to determine if I have prediabetes?
  2. What are my blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers?
  3. What should they be?
  4. What actions should I take to reach these goals?
  5. How do you prefer to treat someone with prediabetes?
  6. Is the Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program a good fit for me? If so, would you refer me?

For more information about what to ask your doctor, click here for a resource from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

 

Should I Be Tested?

Anyone 45 years old or older should consider getting tested for diabetes (especially if you are overweight). Also, consider getting tested if you are younger than 45, overweight, and one or more of the following risk factors is true:

  • Smoke;
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes;
  • Are physically active fewer than three times per week;
  • Ever had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes);
  • Gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds; or 
  • Are African American, Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are also at higher risk).

 

HOW DOES A DOCTOR TEST FOR PREDIABETES?

The most accurate way to find out if you have type 2 diabetes is to talk to your doctor and request a blood test. The three types of blood tests that are commonly used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes are the A1c test, fasting plasma glucose level test, and the oral glucose tolerance test.  

A1c Test

The A1c is a blood test results show what a person’s average blood sugar has been for the past 2-3 months. A normal range of blood sugar is less than 5.7 percent.

Normal: < 5.7%

Prediabetes: 5.7%-6.4%

Diabetes: ≥ 6.5%

Fasting Plasma Glucose Level Test

The fasting plasma glucose level test measures glucose (blood sugar) in a person who has been fasting (not eating) for at least eight hours—this is the most common test used to diagnose type 2 diabetes. A fasting plasma glucose level less than 100 milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood is considered normal. If a person’s fasting glucose levels are between 100 to 125 milligrams/deciliter, the person’s doctor may tell them that they have prediabetes.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (2-hour Post-Glucose Challenge)

This test is done two hours after a person fasts (for at least eight hours) and then drinks a beverage containing sugar. A blood glucose level between 140 and 199 mg/dL is considered “impaired glucose tolerance,” or prediabetes. This test is also used to diagnose gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy).

 

 

 

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This initiative is brought to you by
Live Well San Diego: Healthy Works
and Aging & Independence Services.