Diagnostic Criteria for Type 2 Diabetes
A patient with two fasting plasma glucose levels of 126 mg per dL (7.0 mmol per L) or greater is considered to have diabetes mellitus. Although high fasting blood glucose (blood sugars) can be an indication of type 1 diabetes (which develops over days or weeks instead of years) most patients will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA).
Some doctors may use a 2-hour postprandial (2 hours after eating) oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) instead of the fasting test. The OGTT measures blood glucose 2 hours after 75 g of glucose is given. Any 2-hour postprandial reading over 200 is considered diabetic. Also, any two casual readings of 200 mg/dL or higher is hgih enough to diagnose a person with diabetes.
Remember, the while fasting glucose tolerance tests are preferred for diagnosis, any two abnormal tests are sufficient to classify a person as having type 2 diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by two main problems: the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body is not able to properly use the insulin it produces (insulin resistance). Onset of type 2 diabetes is always gradual, usually occurring over a long period of time.
- Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and can affect children as well as adults.
- There is an equal incidence of diabetes mellitus in both males and females.
- A family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus, celiac disease (gluten enteropathy, or sprue), polycystic ovarian syndrome (in women), metabolic syndrome, or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, are often found in those with “immune-mediated form” of diabetes mellitus.
FAQS About Medical Tests for Type 2 Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes
- What is a fasting glucose test?
- What is an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)?
- What is a glucose challenge test?
Type 2 Diabetes: Unlucky Genes or Lifestyle?
Current research indicates that people with type 2 have an inherited genetic predisposition to developing pre-diabetes. Diabetes may then be triggered by virus, chemical, or environmental factors, like an unhealthy diet or sedentary lifestyle.
The most commonly associated (and controllable) trigger for type 2 diabetes is your lifestyle habits. A diet high in processed carbohydrates and unhealthy fats has been associated with an increase change of developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Having a stressful or sedentary lifestyle is another major contributing factor in onset of type 2 diabetes. Also, studies have linked poor sleep and sleep deprivation to increasing your chances of becoming a type 2 diabetic.
What is considered to be normal blood sugar ranges?
- Fasting morning blood glucose less than 110 mg/dL
- 2 hour PPG (post prandial glucose, or, after ingesting glucose) less than 140 mg/dL
What if you are not in the normal range, but not in the diabetic range?
Blood glucose levels higher than normal, but lower than diabetic ranges, classify a person as having impaired glucose homeostasis, specifically as follows:
- People with fasting glucose levels from 110 to 126 mg/dL have impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
- People with 2 hour postprandial (two hours after being given glucose) blood glucose levels between 140-200 mg/dL have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).
Both IFG and IGT are associated with an increased risk in developing type 2 diabetes and may classify a person as being pre-diabetic. Although there is no cure for type 1 or type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes may be completely reversed if properly treated. Lifestyle changes, including weight loss and an exercise program, as well as possible oral medications such as Glucophage may prevent onset of type 2 diabetes.