Diabetes Management

Can Diabetes Be Diagnosed Without Symptoms?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 11 July 2023, Updated on - 12 July 2023

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Diabetes is a health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal. It occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot effectively use it. The most common symptoms include frequent urination, excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing wounds, or recurrent infections. However, what if the person does not show any signs? 

In this article, we talk about how asymptomatic diabetes is diagnosed, even in the absence of any signs. We will discuss why it is important to find it early and what can be done to manage it.

Asymptomatic Diabetes

Asymptomatic diabetes occurs when a person has high blood sugar levels but no symptoms. It can turn into severe type 2 diabetes if it's not taken care of. It can damage blood vessels, nerves, and other vital organs, thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, kidney problems, eye damage, and other related complications. It's important to find asymptomatic diabetes early to prevent the related health consequences.

The Importance of Diabetes Screening

Screening indicates checking for a disease even if a person has no symptoms. It's imperative to do screening for diabetes, including asymptomatic diabetes, because finding it early can help with treatment and lifestyle changes. 

Ways to Diagnose Asymptomatic Diabetes

1. Fasting Blood Glucose Test (FPG test)

Fasting blood glucose test measures blood sugar levels after overnight fasting. A level of 100-125 mg/dL indicates prediabetes, while a level of 126 mg/dL or higher on two separate occasions indicates diabetes. 

2. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

This test involves drinking a sugary drink and checking blood sugar levels at different times. A blood sugar level of 140-199 mg/dL two hours after the drink indicates prediabetes, while 200 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes. 

3. Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) Test

HbA1c test shows the average blood sugar levels over the past few months. An HbA1c level of 5.7-6.4% indicates prediabetes, while a level of 6.5% or higher indicates diabetes.

4. Random Blood Glucose Test

Random blood glucose test measures the glucose levels in the blood at any given time, regardless of when the person last ate. It can be useful in diagnosing diabetes or monitoring glucose levels in individuals with known diabetes.

5. Autoantibody testing

It is a type of blood test used to detect the presence of autoantibodies in the body. Autoantibodies are antibodies that mistakenly target and attack the body's own tissues or organs. These tests are commonly used in diagnosing autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes.

6. Urine glucose testing

Urine examination is used to detect the presence of glucose in the urine. It is commonly used as a screening tool for diabetes or to monitor blood sugar control in individuals with diabetes.

7. C-peptide levels

This refers to the measurement of C-peptide, a molecule released during insulin production in the pancreas. This test helps differentiates between type 1 (low levels) and type 2 diabetes (level varies on the diabetes stage).

Risk Factors and Targeted Screening 

Factors that may increase your risk of developing diabetes include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Family history of diabetes
  • High blood pressure

The Significance of Early Diagnosis

People with the aforementioned risk factors should get themselves screened for diabetes frequently, even in the absence of symptoms. This is because:

  • Finding diabetes early is important to initiate the treatment regime and make the required lifestyle changes. 
  • It can help manage blood sugar levels and prevent or delay the development of more severe type 2 diabetes. 
  • Early diagnosis can help prevent serious diabetes complications such as neuropathy (nerve damage) & retinopathy (eye damage).
  • It also helps people make better choices for their health and improve their overall quality of life. 

Also read:  Diabetes Symptoms: Educate Yourself On The Early Warning Signs

Determining the Frequency of Diabetes Checks

How often should you check for diabetes depends on the age, risk factors, and previous test results. Usually, people without risk factors should get their blood sugar levels checked every three years starting at age 45. However, those with risk factors or a history of prediabetes need more frequent checks to find any problems early.


In conclusion, finding and diagnosing asymptomatic diabetes through screening is very important for early treatment and management. Tests like FPG, OGTT, and HbA1c help find at-risk people and guide the proper treatment and lifestyle changes. Regular check-ups and targeted screening based on risk factors are essential for keeping diabetes under control and reducing the chance of complications. 

You can also determine your blood glucose levels with, Apollo Diabetes Panel Package


Q. Can children have asymptomatic diabetes? 

Yes, children and teenagers can have asymptomatic diabetes, although it is more common in adults. Doctors need to check children at risk, especially if they have family members with diabetes or other factors that increase their chances of getting it.

Q. How can I reduce my risk of getting asymptomatic diabetes? 

To lower your risk of getting asymptomatic diabetes, you can keep a healthy weight, be physically active, eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, limit sugary foods and drinks, and take care of other health conditions you may have, like high blood pressure.

Q. Can stress cause asymptomatic diabetes? 

Stress itself doesn't directly cause asymptomatic diabetes, but long-term stress can affect your blood sugar levels and make you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Managing stress through relaxation techniques and finding ways to reduce stress is good for your overall health.

Q. Can asymptomatic diabetes affect pregnancy? 

Yes, asymptomatic diabetes can affect pregnancy and lead to a condition called gestational diabetes. Pregnant women should be tested for gestational diabetes because it can cause problems for both the mother and the baby.

Q. Is asymptomatic diabetes something you inherit? 

If you have family members with diabetes, you have a higher chance of developing the condition, including asymptomatic diabetes.


 Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.


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