How to Determine Whether You Have Diabetes, Prediabetes or Neither

T A Varkey

Diabetes mellitus, often referred as Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar). This is either because the insulin production is inadequate, or the body cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience frequent urination and they will become progressively thirsty and hungry

Doctors can determine whether a patient has a normal metabolism, prediabetes (blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to merit a diabetes diagnosis) or diabetes in one of three different ways - there are three possible tests:

The HbA1C test

The term HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin. It develops when haemoglobin, a protein within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body, joins with glucose in the blood, becoming 'glycated'. By measuring glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), clinicians are able to get an overall picture of what our average blood sugar levels have been over a period of weeks/months.

  • At least 6.5% means diabetes
  • Between 5.7% and 5.99% means prediabetes
  • Less than 5.7% means normal

The FBS (Fasting Blood Sugar) testBlood sample will be taken after an overnight fasting to test

  • At least 126 mg/dl means diabetes
  • Between 100 mg/dl and 125.99 mg/dl means prediabetes
  • Less than 100 mg/dl means normal

The OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test)

In oral glucose tolerance test, glucose is given and blood samples taken afterward to determine how quickly it is cleared from the blood.

  • At least 200 mg/dl means diabetes
  • Between 140 and 199.9 mg/dl means prediabetes
  • Less than 140 mg/dl means normal