Blood Glucose Test – Monitor Your Blood Sugar Level

Sugar is an important source of energy, especially for the brain. The amount of glucose in the blood is carefully controlled by the endocrine (glandular) system. This system facilitates the storage of sugar and its usage for energy depending on the needs of the body. A blood glucose test is performed to monitor the level of glucose in the blood. It can detect both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, which helps in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.

The different types of blood glucose tests performed are as follows:

Fasting Blood Sugar Test (FBS)

This test measures the level of glucose in the body 8 hours after the last meal. It is the first test performed to diagnose diabetes. The normal range for people with no diabetes is lower than 100 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). If the level of glucose in the blood is between 100 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL, this indicates that the patient has a condition known as prediabetes. In such a scenario, the tests are repeated on a regular basis and dietary restrictions are suggested to the patient. However, if the level of sugar exceeds 126 mg/dL, then the patient is diagnosed with diabetes.

Random Blood Sugar Test (RBS)

This test measures the level of glucose in the body at any point of time. If the level of sugar is between 140 mg/dL and 200 mg/dL, the patient is diagnosed with prediabetes. If the level exceeds 200 mg/dL, then the patient is diagnosed with diabetes.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

This test is performed to diagnose gestational diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. The process involves taking a series of blood glucose measurements after the patient drinks a sweet liquid that contains a high quantity of glucose. A normal blood sugar level after an oral glucose tolerance test is lower than 140 mg/dL. If the blood sugar level is between 140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL, then the patient is diagnosed with prediabetes.

Glycated Hemoglobin Test (A1C)

This test is not performed to diagnose diabetes. Rather, it helps evaluate as to how well a patient is managing diabetes. The A1C test reflects the average blood sugar level in the last 2 to 3 months. The test results reflect the percentage of sugar stuck to the hemoglobin (glycated). The normal range for people with no diabetes is 4 to 6%, while patients with diabetes are requested to maintain an A1C level of less the 7%. However, if the level is greater than 7%, then the patient may need to change the diabetes treatment plan.

The above tests are performed in a laboratory on the blood sample. The results are obtained in a few minutes. Glucose levels in urine can also be measured. Many people with diabetes show the presence of glucose in their urine. However, the level in the blood must be very high before glucose can be detected in the urine. For this reason, tests for glucose in urine are not used to diagnose or monitor diabetes.

Diabetic people must monitor their own blood glucose levels, several times a day, to determine the levels and what oral medications or insulin they may need. This is usually done by placing a drop of blood from a skin prick onto a glucose strip and then inserting the strip into a glucose meter of a blood sugar tester (a small machine that provides a digital readout of the blood glucose level).

It is important to remember that the test results are only a part of a larger picture that has to include your medical history and current health status. In case the test results do not show normal readings, it is imperative that you take immediate action and consult a diabetic specialist right away who can guide you with the right treatment and dietary plan.

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