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How to test for diabetes at home

While it is possible to test for diabetes at home, it's important to have all information confirmed by a healthcare provider. Here's how.

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While there are a few ways to test for diabetes at home, testing your Hemoglobin A1C as well as antibodies at your doctors office are the definitive ways to get a diabetes diagnosis. 

How do you know you should be concerned about having diabetes?

If you suspect you have diabetes, you may be experiencing symptoms like frequent urination, increased yeast infections, extreme thirst, dizziness, blurry vision, some weight loss, and more. 

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to see your doctor and have them checked out. 

Additionally though, some people don’t experience symptoms of diabetes before being diagnosed.

If you have risk factors like family history, weight, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or a sedentary lifestyle, you should be screened for early detection.

How do you get tested for diabetes

It’s advised to get tested for diabetes at your doctor’s office. 

Most people have a Hemoglobin A1C test at their annual physical. The Hemoglobin A1C measures your 3 month average of blood sugars and assigns a value. 

If that value is above 5.8%, you have prediabetes, or diabetes and will be given options for treatments to lower blood sugars. 

There are a few tests other tests for all types of diabetes including: 

Fasting blood sugar test

This test is typically given after you’ve been fasting, or not eating for roughly 8 or more hours. A fasting value of 99 mg/dL or lower is normal. Anything higher indicates diabetes.

Glucose Tolerance Test

A glucose tolerance test measures your blood sugar after drinking a liquid glucose drink. You’ll drink the drink, and fast to get your fasting levels. Then again and have your glucose checked 1, 2, and 3 hours afterwards. At 2 hours, anything at 140 mg/dL is considered normal, higher indicates diabetes. 

Random Blood Sugar Test

This measures your blood sugar at the time it’s taken, and doesn’t require fasting. A blood sugar level of 200 mg.dL or higher indicates diabetes. 

Learn more about what normal blood sugar ranges are for people with diabetes. 

Additionally, if it’s suspected that you have Type 1 Diabetes, you may undergo additional antibody testing to confirm your diagnosis is due to an autoimmune response. 

Can you get tested for diabetes without insurance?

While you can get tested for diabetes without insurance, tests and medications may be costly. 

There are a few ways to test at home prior to a doctor’s visit. 

How to test at home for diabetes

While you should always have your diagnosis confirmed by a healthcare provider, there are ways to test for diabetes at home.

At Home A1C Test Kit

An at home A1C test kit is one way to test your A1C at home. 

The kit uses a small blood sample in a reader to determine your A1C. 

It is relatively painless to do on your own, and accurate. 

But, an at home A1C test won’t give you an indication about your overall picture of health. It’s important to verify test results with your doctor for the appropriate course of treatment. 

Fingerstick Glucose Test

If you’re experiencing diabetes symptoms, you can also monitor your glucose with a blood sugar meter and fingerstick. 

Fingersticks are a helpful way of measuring blood glucose for people with diabetes – especially if you don’t have access to a constant glucose monitor. 

You can take your finger sticks during a couple of different times per day like fasting without food, or postprandial, which measures two hours after your meal. 

If your levels are elevated above 140 mg/dL after meals or above 99 mg/dL fasting, you should get tested at your doctors office as soon as you can. 

Always see a doctor if you think you may have diabetes

While you can test for diabetes at home, it’s important to recognize that not all people with diabetes have obvious symptoms and it’s critical to get screened if you have risk factors like a family history of diabetes. 

Always have your diagnosis confirmed by a doctor so you can start the right treatment, and avoid potential diabetes complications.

About Mila

Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m earning my Master’s degree in Applied nutrition.

I’m a journalist and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach living with  LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen, and teaching you about diabetes self-management.

I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals and tips on diabetes self-care.

Be sure to download my FREE Diabetes Community App Glucose Guide, or reach out for FREE 1:1 diabetes health and habit coaching.

How can I help with your diabetes management?

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