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Diabetes Mellitus Diagnosis

If you think you're at risk of diabetes mellitus, or if you're experiencing symptoms of this disease, you should contact your GP as soon as possible so that you can be tested.

Diabetes mellitus must be diagnosed as early possible and treated effectively so that you can manage the condition and reduce the risk of developing other health problems in the future.

When you visit your GP, they will ask you to describe the symptoms you are experiencing. The first test they will carry out will be to check whether there is any glucose in your urine. Urine does not normally contain glucose, so if there is some present it may be an indicator of diabetes. If glucose is found in your urine sample, your GP will then measure your blood glucose levels.

Your diabetes diagnosis will be confirmed if the test shows that you have a high level of sugar in your blood.

Glucose tolerance test

Another diabetes screening test is a glucose tolerance test (GTT). You may need to have this if your GP finds that your blood glucose levels are not high enough to confirm diabetes diagnosis. You will be given a glucose drink and have your blood tested every 30 minutes, for two hours, to see how your body is dealing with the intake of sugar.

Once your GP has confirmed that you have diabetes, he or she may then decide to carry out further blood and urine tests to determine whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However, they may be able to tell which type you have based on your symptoms and medical history.

  What other health conditions could indicate diabetes?

As well as diabetes screening, doctors can also diagnose this disease when investigating a number of medical conditions that are often associated with diabetes mellitus. These conditions include:

  • High blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Previous gestational diabetes
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Fatty liver
  • Haemochromatosis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Mitochondrial neuropathies and myopathies
  • Friedreich's ataxia
  • Inherited forms of neonatal hyperinsulinism

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