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.

Screening Tests

Random Plasma Glucose Test—As part of your routine physical exam, your doctor may draw some blood to check various clinical parameters, including blood glucose. A measurement of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) [11.1 mmol/L] or higher indicates that you may have type 1 diabetes. In this case, your doctor will do further testing to determine if you (or your child) have type 1 diabetes.

See the diagnosis page for a description of these tests.

Islet Cell Antibodies—Evidence increasingly shows that islet cell antibodies appear in the blood long before the development of diabetes symptoms. In many cases, these antibodies seem to mount a relatively slow attack on the pancreas which, if detected early, might prove to be stoppable. While evidence does not presently support screening for islet cell antibodies, as new treatments are developed to prevent these antibodies' attack on the pancreas, screening is likely to take on more importance.

Screening Guidelines

There are no screening guidelines for type 1 diabetes.


American Diabetes Association website. Available at:

Last reviewed April 2007 by David Juan, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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