We use effective methods of testing to diagnose all types of diabetes including Type 1,Type 2, latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, mature-onset diabetes of the young, and gestational diabetes. Whether you have a new diagnosis or you’ve lived with diabetes for years, you may be referred to our endocrinologists. They can help you understand how your body manages insulin and what you can do to stay healthy.
Keeping your blood sugar within target ranges will help prevent or delay serious health problems associated with diabetes. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you will need medications and/or insulin therapy to keep blood sugars in check. Some people with Type 2 can manage their diabetes without insulin through diet and exercise, although it's not unusual to eventually require medication or insulin.
Our endocrinologists can develop a treatment plan for you based on your type of diabetes and body’s insulin needs. Our certified diabetes educators and registered dietitians provide ongoing support through individual in-person or virtual sessions. Our goal is to empower you to control your diabetes with confidence and reduce your risk for chronic conditions that can result when diabetes is left untreated.
Testing for Diabetes
Tests to Confirm a Diabetes Diagnosis
If you have a family history of diabetes or experience symptoms like severe fatigue, consistent dehydration (increased thirst and urination), or numbness in your hands or feet, testing may be needed to diagnose the disease or determine your risk of developing it. Results can often be determined during a visit to one of our clinics. Complex or challenging cases are referred to a clinic that specializes in endocrine disorders.
Blood Sugar Test
We may use a point-of-care glucometer to test blood sugar levels with a finger prick in clinic. If more information is needed, we’ll draw blood -- which may include fasting -- to measure your blood glucose levels.
Glycated Hemoglobin (A1C) Test
This blood test measures your average blood sugar for the past two-to-three months. It does not require fasting.
Tests If You Are Diagnosed with Diabetes
Your primary care provider will help you manage your diabetes but may also refer you to an endocrinologist for specialized care. This can be helpful if your cholesterol or blood pressure shows significant changes or you need to be prescribed new medication to manage your diabetes or its side effects.
Blood and Urine Tests
These annual tests may be requested by our endocrinologists to uncover changes in your body that could be affected by blood sugar and proteins. They can help determine if you would benefit from new or different medications.
Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)
This ongoing testing system includes small sensors inserted under your skin to record blood sugar levels each day. These readings are not continuous and our providers can't see information without your permission. Depending on the testing system you choose, information may be saved with an app or other technology so you can easily review results.
Some continuous glucose monitors can beep to alert you if your blood sugar is too low or high. The real-time results help you make dietary choices throughout the day, and you don’t have to perform as many daily finger pricks to monitor your blood. The data gathered also shows patterns in your daily blood glucose.
Our certified diabetes educators teach you to use continuous glucose monitors and can review results with you during an appointment to make adjustments to medications.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
When it comes to your care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our diabetes and endocrinology program is rated as high performing among the nation's top hospitals, and the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.
Resources to Help You Manage Diabetes
Duke provides a variety of ways to help you improve your quality of life with diabetes. Along with free online resources, in-person and virtual diabetes education classes are typically covered by insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Adult Diabetes Education Program
Our certified diabetes educators run virtual group classes that focus on all aspects of diabetes management, including learning about pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes, insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring, and carbohydrate counting. You can also learn more about these topics in individual sessions with our certified diabetes educators. A referral from your provider is required to make an appointment for this program.
Diabetes Education and Nutrition Counseling Program
Certified diabetes educators and dietitians teach you about a range of topics related to diabetes, from how it affects your body to lifestyle management. Learn how to plan meals, deal with emotional challenges, exercise effectively, and more. A referral is required, so ask your provider about enrollment opportunities.
Health Education Library
A collection of Duke-approved videos and other materials can offer answers to many of your questions about diabetes and its impact on your life. It’s free to use and can also be accessed on the My Duke Health app.
Risk Assessment for Diabetes Complications
Complications from diabetes can include heart, kidney, and nerve conditions. We can refer you to specialists as needed and work closely with them to help you manage your diabetes and the chronic conditions that can result.
Work with Exercise Experts
The Duke Health & Fitness Center offers a paid, one-on-one appointment with an exercise physiologist through its Diabetes Exercise Program. The consultation can provide you with the knowledge and confidence to set goals and create a safe and effective exercise plan. The meeting can take place in person or virtually, and any recommendations will be documented in your Duke MyChart account so your Duke Health providers can be a part of your care team.