ZocdocAnswersHow long does a diabetes test take?

Question

How 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?

Answer

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.

This answer 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 or (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.