Diabetes Mellitus - Diagnosis
A patient with the symptoms listed above may be suspected of having diabetes. The diagnosis can be confirmed very easily and quickly with a blood and/or urine test. The amount of glucose present in the blood or urine can be measured. If the level is unusually high, it is likely the person has diabetes.
The simplest test for diabetes uses paper strips that change color when dipped into urine. The color of the strip is compared to a chart that comes with the strips. The chart shows how much glucose is present in the urine.
Blood tests can also be used to test for glucose. These tests tend to be more accurate than urine tests. A sample of blood is taken from the patient's arm. The sample is then analyzed in a laboratory. The amount of glucose present is determined. That amount is compared with the amount present in a healthy person's blood. A high level of glucose suggests the presence of diabetes.
People with diabetes often test their own blood many times a day. They use home glucose test kits that contain a small needle and a chart. They use the needle to produce a single drop of blood (often from their fingertip). The drop is then placed on a spot on the chart that contains a chemical that reacts with glucose. The color produced on the spot can be compared to the chart. It shows the level of glucose in the blood.