According to SA guidelines, a fasting laboratory
glucose (done in the morning after fasting for 8 hours) is considered normal if
it is less than 6.1, pre-diabetes if it is between 6.1 and 7, and diabetes if
it is 7 or more. Normally we would want two abnormal results, or one abnormal
result with associated symptoms like tiredness, weight loss, drinking lots of
water and passing too much urine. The other way to test glucose is to do a
glucose tolerance test where you go to the lab fasting and they give one
75grams of glucose to drink in water and then test your glucose levels after 2
hours. The cut off for diabetes is a level of 11.1 or higher at 2 hours and
normal is less than 7.8. Between these two levels is considered pre- diabetes.
Some patients will be normal on one test and abnormal on another, so sometimes we
may do both. We don’t normally use the fingerprick test, as the levels
are a bit more variable
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