Question:When should I get screened for diabetes, and how often should it be done?
Answer:The American Diabetes Association recommends routine screening for diabetes to begin at approximately age 45. The screening involves a fasting blood sugar. Abnormal is considered 126 (mg/dL) and with that value, the patient will need to come in and have a second test done. If the second test is greater than 126 (mg/dL), that is considered diagnostic for diabetes. The normal range is typically between 80 and 120 (mg/dL), but we are watchful of our patients who have blood sugars 100 (mg/dL) or above.
In addition, this screening can be done at a younger age given certain caveats -- that is, individuals who are overweight or obese, primarily those individuals with a BMI of greater than 25, individuals with a family history of diabetes -- particularly if they have a parent or a sibling that has the disease -- or individuals with the constellation of medical problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease.