How do doctors test for diabetes?

I think I may have diabetes. I just scored an 11 on the American Diabetes Association’s online risk test for Type 2 diabetes (anything over 10 is high ristk). I also learned I have 4 of 7 symptoms they list. And my father is diabetic as were both my mother’s parents. I do plan on calling my doctor’s office this week to set an appoinment for testing, but whould like to know what those tests entail. The ADA site mentions blood and urine tests and a complete physical. What would a complete physical include in this instance? Does it include a genital and/or rectal exam? I’m a little freaked out :eek: .

WebMD: Diagnosing Type 2 diabetes.

Neither a genital nor a rectal exam would be part of diagnosing Type 2 diabetes. As for a routine physical, a digital prostate exam is usually given to men only 40 and over.

Blood test?

And a colon exam is usually given to men only 50 and over.

Probably a fasting blood test, possibly a glucose challenge (drinking a super-sweet drink and having your blood sugar tested over a couple of hours), possibly both.

alphaboi867, if it turns out that you do have diabetes or glucose metabolism trouble, do a search here and you’ll find a number of excellent threads on diabetes Q&A, management, etc. If it turns out you’re not, you may want to adopt some of the diet and exercise guidelines as a prevention strategy, since it sounds like you’re at some risk.

I’m only 21 so I know I don’t need to worry about my prostate. I just needed to know whether to insist on seeing my doctor himself or his PA.

The diagnostic test is fasting blood glucose (FBG), where you would get a blood draw in the morning before breakfast. Anything over 126 mg/dl is diabetes. Or, they may test a fingerstick glucose in the office. A random glucose over 200 mg/dl is diagnostic. The ADA has moved away from oral glucose tolerance tests.

Other blood tests that would be sent would be the BUN and creatinine, which are standard measures of kidney function. These are mostly to establish a baseline but can also give an indication if the diabetes has affected the kidneys. While you have a needle in your arm, they should also draw a lipid panel as while everyone thinks of high sugar as the problem in diabetes, high lipids are really just as bad. There’s also a chance that they will test an HbA1C, which is another blood test that gives a history of the level of glucose in your blood over the past few months.

A urine test would quantitate for glucose and protein in the urine. This would probably be a spot urine but if blood work is concerning, you may need a 24 hour urine collection.

The good news is that even if you are “prediabetic” (fasting blood glucose 100-125 mg/dl) or even diabetic, relatively modest lifestyle changes (for instance losing 10 lbs and/or incorporating a little bit of mild exercise) can reverse many cases of early disease. The first step is always going to be lifestyle management, and the fact that you are concerned about diabetes and have a family history is a good enough reason to consider what steps you can take now before you need metformin.

Your regular doctor will have you fast for 12 hours and will have the nurse or the lab tech draw a blood sample. They can do two test to determine your blood sugar level. The first is the one that every diabetic takes everyday and gives an instant readout. This one wil give you doctor instant feedback, if it’s over 125 you are possibly diabetic. I say possiblily because there is a certain amount of error involved in the instant test, say +/- 10%, so it is doutful that he would base his diagnosis on just this test. The second test is performed in the lab and takes a few days to get results. It gives him an idea of you blood sugar level over the past couple of months and will be the basis of his diagnosis. Even this one coming back “high” will not lead to an instant diagnosis of diabetes, it will take several trips to the doctor so that he can get several data points on your condition before he makes his call. Your regular doctor should be quite capable of helping you thru this.

At 21 you are still at risk for Type 1. Kind of young to be seeing Type 2 yet, even if you are significantly overweight. But either one is a possibility. I’ve been recently told that I am Type 2 and am controling it through diet and exercise at this time. It changes your life significantly. Good luck, I hope that you are worrying over nothing.

I’m glad to hear it. I’ve rarely been so nauseated in my life!

You aren’t looking at anything past having some blood drawn, having your finger poked, and peeing into a cup, alphaboi. I usually get results for my glycosolated hemoglobin (HbA1c) the next day, but I don’t know how efficient your doctor’s lab is.

I just took the risk test at the ADA, and I got a score of 0 points. I actually have Type 1, so I am faintly amused.

I am also incredibly angry about the ads promising to reverse or eliminate diabetes, which absolutely cannot be done. Off to report those.

Forgive the resurrection, but I got my tests results back today. Everything came back normal so I don’t have diabetes.

I’m happy for you. I went to that site and took that test. I scored a 10 too.

Did we take the same test? The one I took only had 7 questions and when I went back and retook the test and changed some answers (like) my weight (i miraculously lost 30 lbs!) my score was only 5.

I’m a bit skeptical of a test that asks so few questions. But I’m happy you’re well and it has reminded me that I’m overdue for a check up.

Beg pardon, are women immune to colon cancer? I don’t think so. “Nationally, women account for 51% of all colon cancers”.

And, in terms of giving colon exams “to men only 50 and over”, look here. Both sexes require the same screening.

Every time the nurse put out the “glove and lub” i would just put it right back into the drawer when she left the room.
Now i am a lot more concerned and let the MD have his way.
Its just a life of DEATH issue anyway.

That wouldn’t stop my doctor.

The most reliable test is a fasting blood sugar test. It should read somewhere between 80 and 110 to be normal. Sometimes they will have you drink a very sweet drink and then wait for 2 hours and check the blood sugar again. It should be below 150. If either test is high, then you are probably pre diabetic or diabetic.

Of course, but alphaboi867 was asking for himself, and I was answering for himself. And himself is a him.

From memory (this means I’m not totally 100% positive, but still pretty sure) a diagnosis of diabetes can be made from:
Fasting blood sugar greater than 7 mmol/L
2 random blood sugars greater than 11 mmol/L

I believe these are the Canadian Diabetes Association guidelines. They are also moving away form glucose tolerance testing. Sorry, but I don’t know what these values are in American units.

A converter is here. American units are typically mg/dL.

7 mmol/L = 126 mg/dL
11 mmol/L = 198 mg/dL

These values are rounded off for tests, as previous posters have stated.

Glad to hear your tests were clear, alphaboi.

I found out that I had diabetes in a kind of of interesting way. A little after my 28th birthday, I noticed that I often had blurred vision at work, I was staring at computer screens for 12 hours a day so I attributed it to that. Soon after that I began having incredible urges to drink, sometimes 2 gallons plus of water a day. This of course caused me to have to urinate quite a little bit. A few people were like “dude, you have diabetes”, but with no family history except my grandma’s sister I just brushed it off. Several weeks of this ensued when one day my pregnant sister in law advised that she had gestational diabetes. A few days later for shits and giggles I decided to try out her glucose meter. The reading just came back as “HIGH”, I tested again with a fresh strip and got the same reading “HIGH”. At this point I opened up the manual to find that “HIGH” meant a reading of >600!. I called a local endocrinologist that day and they had me come in the next morning at 7am. After a 12 hour faster, my BG was still 245!. The doctor started me on insulin right away and mentioned had I not come in I would have most likely been dead within two weeks. I did the insulin six weeks and then was able to move over to just glocophagh 500mg BID. I have lost 30 lbs, still 35 to go. I am now 31 and have very good BG numbers and an A1C of <5.