Your doctor will go over your diabetes test results with you and help you understand what the results mean. Depending on the amount of glucose in your blood, your blood test results may be "normal." If your diabetes tests are normal, you do not have diabetes. However, if you've been having diabetes-like symptoms, something else may be going on. Your doctor may want to investigate further to see if you have other health problems.
After your blood glucose test has been confirmed with a second test on a different day and analyzed by the laboratory, your doctor will read the test results and take into consideration your physical exam, your symptoms and your medical history to give you one of the following diagnoses:
- impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance (also called "prediabetes")
- type 1 diabetes
- type 2 diabetes
- gestational diabetes, if your blood glucose levels are high and you are pregnant
Test Results Show Possible Prediabetes
If your tests show impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance, or IGT, you do not have diabetes, but your blood glucose levels are higher than normal. Doctors call this "prediabetes." This means that you are at greater risk for developing diabetes and heart disease. Your doctor will want to test your blood glucose often to monitor your condition.
As many as 70 percent of people with prediabetes eventually develop diabetes, but there are steps you can take to protect your health. Your doctor may suggest you lose weight and exercise to lower your blood glucose levels. Weight loss and a healthy lifestyle can help delay or even prevent diabetes.
Test Results Show Diabetes
If your blood glucose is too high, you and your healthcare provider will need to develop a diabetes treatment plan and take immediate steps to control your blood glucose levels.
Your doctor will likely diagnose type 1 diabetes if you:
- are age 30 or younger
- are lean and have had recent unintentional weight loss
- have had acids called ketones build up in your blood or urine
Your doctor will likely diagnose type 2 diabetes if you:
- are older than age 30
- are overweight
- don't have ketones in your blood or urine
Test Results Show Gestational Diabetes
If your blood glucose levels are too high, this can cause your growing baby problems at birth. It can also cause problems for you. These problems are different than those in mothers who had diabetes before pregnancy. However, you can prevent problems. You and your doctor need to make a treatment plan and take steps to lower your blood glucose immediately.
Written by award-winning health writer Bobbie Hasselbring
Reviewed by Beth Seltzer, MD
Last updated June 2008