Diagnosing Diabetes

Everyone, at some point in life, should be tested for diabetes. However those who have a family history of type 2 diabetes or any other risk factors (eg, old age, obesity, poor diet and low activity levels, stressed lifestyle, etc.) should go for testing regularly.

Diagnosing Diabetes

Who should be tested for diabetes?

  • Anyone who recognises that they have a risk factor
    OR
  • If you think you have diabetes

Everyone, at some point in life, should be tested for diabetes. However, those who have a family history of type 2 diabetes or any other risk factors (eg, old age, obesity, poor diet and low activity levels, stressed lifestyle, etc.) should go for testing regularly.

Type 2 diabetes may not show any symptoms for several years. If you any one of the risk factors then you should get tested as soon as possible.


Pre-diabetes – do you have this?

One in four adults over 25 years has either diabetes or a condition known as pre-diabetes (impaired glucose metabolism). Pre-diabetes means 'before diabetes', and people with pre-diabetes are at the highest risk of progressing to diabetes.
Pre-diabetes is very similar to full-blown diabetes. The ability to keep blood glucose levels on an even keel and in a good range are affected. A doctor can test you to find out if you have pre-diabetes.
There are two types of pre-diabetes:
  • Impaired Fasting Glucose
  • Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Both are conditions in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.


Testing for risk and for diabetes

To find out if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, or if you are at risk of diabetes, please go to your doctor and ask for a test. In Australia, under Medicare, you are eligible to get tested at little to no cost, particularly if you go to a bulk billing general practice.
Health checks through Medicare, for example:
  • Item 713: Diabetes Risk Assessment for patients aged 40-49
  • Item 717: 45 year old health check
  • Item 700: 75+ health assessment

 

 

 

Fasting Plasma Glucose Tolerance Test
  • No food or drink for 8-12 hours before test
  • Take blood and test glucose levels
 
Possibly then an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Drink oral glucose
  • Test blood two hours later
If necessary, this test will be followed by the following test

 

 

 



References:
  1. Rizwana Kousar, (2010) What is Diabetes?, Community Education Series, Melbourne. Australian Community Centre for Diabetes, 2010

Did you know?

An estimated 275 Australians develop diabetes every day.

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Diabetes Info was created by:

Australian Community Centre for Diabetes Victoria university - Melbourne Australia

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The Australian Community Centre for Diabetes would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional owners of the land you are on.