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The 5 Tests You May Need If You’re a Diabetic

The 5 Tests You May Need If You’re a Diabetic

These are tests we can all get, but they’re particularly important for diabetics. And when you’re dealing with health issues, you want to keep on top of these numbers.

Fasting Plasma Glucose Test

This is your basic don’t-eat-anything-before-you-come-in blood draw. And really, don’t. Because morning appointments result in more accurate testing than afternoon ones. They think it’s because the fasting period is longer.

  • Results: prediabetes measures run between 100 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL. Below is normal. Above is diabetes.

Random (or Casual) Plasma Glucose Test

You don’t need to fast for this blood test. It’s assumed you had carbs and the numbers are adjusted.

  • Results: below 140 mg/dL is fine. Above 200 mg/dL, especially with symptoms, is probably diabetes. But you might need to take another test to confirm.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

Blood sugar tests are, of course, important tests for diabetics. And this one is more accurate – and more inconvenient. You fast. You go in. They draw your blood. Then they give you a super sweet liquid to see if your insulin response can take a punch. A couple hours later, they draw more blood (insert vampire emoji here).

  • Caution: tell your doctor everything – everything – you’re taking in the way of medications, supplements, herbs, and even (especially) controlled substances. Or you may get to go through this again.
  • Results: same numbers as the random plasma test, but if you’re over 200 mg/dL, diabetes isn’t a guess anymore.

Hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, A1c, or Glycated Hemoglobin

A lot of names – apparently the parents couldn’t agree on what to name the baby. But if you’re in range of diabetes, this kid is your new best friend. It gives a quick and dirty reading on your average blood sugar over the last two or three months.

  • Results: Normal is between 4% and 5.6%. A result between 5.7% and 6.4% indicates an increased risk of diabetes. And higher numbers don’t just mean you have diabetes. They track your risk of complications.


Not a blood sugar test, the creatinine test checks kidney function.

  • Results: Normal for adult men runs 0.6 to 1.2 mg/dL. For adult women, 0.5 to 1.1 mg/dL. Readings above 5.0 (2.0 in babies) indicate serious kidney problems.


These are important tests for diabetics and prediabetics. Don’t put them off.