Screening for Type 1 Diabetes
Screening GuidelinesAccording 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
- Having a family history of type 1 diabetes (especially if you have a twin with the condition)
- Having a personal history of hyperglycemia
Screening TestsRandom Plasma Glucose TestYour 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 AntibodiesPeople 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.
American Diabetes Association. Diabetes statistics. American Diabetes Associationwebsite. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/. Accessed August 4, 2010.
Annals of Internal Medicine. Development of islet cell autoantibodies and type 1 diabetes. Annals of Internal Medicine website. Available at: http://www.annals.org/content/140/11/I-64.full. Published June 1, 2004. Accessed August 5, 2010.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Type 1 diabetes. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated July 15, 2010. Accessed August 4, 2010.
Kassel K. Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/. Updated February 2010. Accessed August 9, 2010.
- Reviewer: Kim A. Carmichael, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 09/2014
- Update Date: 09/17/2014