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Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes

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Diabetes health tip

Diabetes: Sorting fact from fiction
Diabetes is a serious illness. To help contain this leading cause of disability and death, it’s important to separate fact from fiction.

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Diagnosing diabetes

Diabetes is not diagnosed by the symptoms it causes. You must have a test to measure blood glucose to find out if you have diabetes.

Diagnosis Tests Tests A1c




126 mg/dL or higher on two occasions

200 mg/dL or higher (with symptoms)

6.5 percent or higher

"Pre Diabetes"

100-125 mg/dL (IFG: when your blood glucose is too high in the morning)

140-199 mg/dL (IGT: when your blood glucose is too high during the day)

5.7 to 6.4 percent

Normal less than

less than 100 mg/dL

less than 140 mg/dL

4 to 5.6 percent

IFG stands for impaired fasting glucose. IGT stands for impaired glucose tolerance.

Note: We used the word glucose instead of the word sugar so it does not get it confused with the sugar in food.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes, fifth edition, ISBN 1-931876-32-0

First published: 12/01/2006
Last updated: 02/05/2013

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts