Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How long does a diabetes test take?"

ZocdocAnswersHow long does a diabetes test take?


Hi. I'm a 31 year old female. Soon I will be tested for diabetes. How long will the test take? Do I need to prepare?


I have good news for you. A diabetes test today is nothing but a simple blood test. You do not need to prepare in any way, you can eat before the test, and the results usually come back between 2 days and a week after the blood is drawn. Diabetes tests used to be a bit more complicated. You would need to come into the doctor's office having not eaten that day so that a "fasting blood glucose test" could be done. I do not use the fasting blood glucose test any more. Today I only use the hemoglobin a1c test. This test is used to look at your average blood sugar over the past 3 months. Any number under 5.5 is considered to be normal, while any number over 6.5 is consistent with a diagnosis of diabetes. A number between 5.5 and 6.5 is called "pre-diabetes" which means that the patient is at risk of developing diabetes, but doesn't have it yet. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Bring with you a list of questions you have about the hemoglobin a1c test (if you have any). If it comes back positive, then you can discuss a management plan thereafter. Good luck.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.