In diagnosing diabetes, your child's doctor will conduct a thorough medical history and physical examination, making note of any symptoms that may be related to diabetes. If your child's doctor suspects diabetes, a series of tests will be recommended to make a definite diagnosis. These may include:

  • Blood Sugar Test — Also known as a glucose test, this is the standard test for diagnosing type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In the test, blood is drawn to check blood sugar levels. For a fasting blood sugar test, your child must not eat or drink anything for at least eight hours prior to the test. A diagnosis of diabetes will be made if your child has a fasting blood sugar level of 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) or higher on two separate days. A normal fasting blood sugar level is between 70 to 100 mg/dl.

    The doctor may order a random blood sugar test. A diagnosis of diabetes will be made if your child has symptoms of diabetes and a random blood sugar level higher than 200 mg/dl, regardless of when your child last ate, on two occasions.
  • Glucose Tolerance Test — This test measures the body's ability to metabolize glucose, the sugar the body uses for energy. After an overnight fast, your child will drink a solution containing a known amount of sugar. Blood is drawn before your child drinks the solution, and again every 30 to 60 minutes after, for up to three hours. Blood sugar levels above normal limits at the times measured may result in a diabetes diagnosis.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes
1500 Owens St., Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 514-6234
Fax: (415) 353-2811
Appointment information

Pediatric Dialysis Unit
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2425
Fax: (415) 353-2768
Appointment information

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