Screening for Type 1 Diabetes
The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.
According to the American Diabetes Association, about 1 in every 400-500 children and teens have type 1 diabetes.
Screening is usually only done in people who have symptoms, which may include:
- Weight loss
- Increased urination
- Extreme thirst
- Fatigue, weakness
- Blurry vision
Screening will also be done if you are at high risk for type 1 diabetes, such as:
- Having a family history of type 1 diabetes (especially if you have a twin with the condition)
- Having a personal history of hyperglycemia
If you have symptoms of type 1 diabetes or risk factors, report them to your doctor so that you can be tested.
Random Plasma Glucose Test
Your doctor may do a blood test to check your blood sugar level. A measurement of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) [11.1 mmol/L] or higher indicates that you may have diabetes. Further testing will be done to confirm the diagnosis.
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)
The HbA1c test is a good indicator of your average blood sugar levels over the previous 2-4 months. If your HBA1c level is 6.5% or higher, this indicates a diagnosis of diabetes.
Islet Cell Antibodies
People with type 1 diabetes produce autoantibodies that attack and destroy the islet cells that make insulin. Researchers have found that these autoantibodies appear in the blood long before the development of diabetes symptoms. The immune system seems to slowly attack the pancreas. One way that doctors can screen for type 1 diabetes is to measure autoantibodies. However, this test is not routinely done.
- Kim A. Carmichael, MD, FACP
- Reviewed: 09/2016
- Updated: 09/17/2014
Please note, not all procedures included in this resource library are available at Henry Ford Allegiance Health or performed by Henry Ford Allegiance Health physicians.
All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at HLEditorialTeam@ebscohost.com.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.