Diabetes Type 1 Diagnosis Lab Tests

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Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition. If a patient has this condition, his or her pancreas fails to produce sufficient amounts of insulin, which results in his or her blood sugar not being well-controlled. The cause of this type of diabetes remains unknown, but it is believed that there are environmental factors that contribute to triggering this disease, and it is thought that some patients are simply genetically predisposed. Diabetes type 1 lab tests are often done as part of a full diagnostic workup.

Hemoglobin A1c Test

This lab test is a blood test. A sample of the patient’s blood is drawn from a vein. This test is done to see how well a patient’s blood sugar is being controlled over a two to three month period. A result of six percent of less is considered normal. If the patient has a level above seven percent, it may indicate diabetes. Once a patient is diagnosed, they usually should have this test done every three to six months to help keep an eye on how well their blood sugar is being controlled.

Glucose Testing

There are a few different glucose tests that may be done as diabetes type 1 lab tests. The patient’s fasting blood glucose level is often tested. If, one two separate occasions, the patient’s test results are above 126 mg/dL, he or she is usually diagnosed with diabetes.

An oral glucose tolerance test is another type of glucose test that may be done. If, after two hours, the patient has a test result of above 200 mg/dL, he or she is usually diagnosed with diabetes.

A random blood glucose level test may also be done. If the patient has a level above 200 mg/dL, and has certain signs and symptoms, such as increased urination, fatigue, and thirst, he or she may have diabetes. Further testing will be done to confirm fatigue and suspected diabetes.

Ketone Testing

This is a lab test done using urinalysis. It is done to check for ketones in the urine and blood. A blood test to look for ketones is more accurate than a blood test. Normal results mean that no ketones were found in the urine or blood. If they are found, it is considered abnormal.

This test is done if the patient’s blood sugar levels are above 300 mg/dL, if the patient is pregnant and diabetes is suspected, and if the patient has symptoms that indicate high blood sugar, such as vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. It may be done for others reasons determined by healthcare providers.


MedlinePlus. (2010). Type 1 Diabetes. Retrieved on February 19, 2011 from MedlinePlus: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000305.htm

Lab Tests Online. (2008). Diabetes. Retrieved on February 19, 2011 from Lab Tests Online: https://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/diabetes-2.html