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Diagnostic criteria for diabetes

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Illustration of diagnostic criteria for diabetes, aiding in early detection and treatment.
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Diabetes UK supports the diagnostic criteria published by the WHO in 2006: “definition and diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and intermediate hyperglycaemia”. Diabetes UK also welcomes the 2011 decision by the WHO to accept the use of HbA1c testing in diagnosing diabetes: “use of glycated haemoglobin in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus”.

Information on the diagnostic criteria for diabetes is below. For further information and an explanation of terms and classifications please refer to the full WHO guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the primary diagnostic criteria for diabetes?

Diabetes is diagnosed based on fasting blood sugar levels, oral glucose tolerance tests, and HbA1c levels. Consistent high readings in these tests indicate diabetes.

Are there different types of diabetes, and do they have distinct diagnostic criteria?

Yes, there are different types, such as Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. While the diagnostic tests are similar, the criteria may vary slightly between these types.

Can you explain the role of HbA1c in diabetes diagnosis?

HbA1c reflects average blood sugar levels over a few months. It’s a valuable tool for diagnosis and monitoring, as it provides a more extended view of blood sugar control.

What are the risk factors that may necessitate diabetes testing even without symptoms?

Family history, obesity, physical inactivity, and age are some common risk factors that may warrant diabetes testing, even if there are no apparent symptoms.

Are there any self-testing options available for individuals concerned about diabetes?

Yes, there are home blood glucose monitors that allow individuals to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. However, a healthcare provider should confirm a diabetes diagnosis.
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