Blood Sugar Test

by Carol Gomes

Blood sugar test measures the amount of glucose present in the blood. Our foods like carbohydrates are the main source of glucose in our body. To convert carbohydrates into energy, insulin that is produced in the pancreas is required.

Blood sugar testing helps to diagnose diabetes, pre-diabetes or determine who well you are managing your diabetes. The long-term complications can also be avoided by doing blood glucose tests constantly. The blood sugar testing should be done usually in the morning or at bedtime.

There are various types of blood glucose tests. Fasting blood sugar test is done to diagnose diabetes or pre-diabetes. It is done 8 hours after being empty stomach. If the sugar level is more than 126 mg/dL then it is diabetes. This should be confirmed by repeating the test again the next day. If the glucose level is between 100-125 mg/dL then it is pre-diabetes which could lead to diabetes in near future. And below 99 mg/dL is considered to be normal range of blood sugar level.

2-hour postpranidal blood sugar test is done two hours after the meals. It can be done at home using a glucometer. In this case the blood sugar testing is done by pricking the finger slightly with a sharp needle and placing the drop of blood on the test strip. The meter then displays the blood sugar level in 15 seconds or lesser time. The glucometers and test strips are available in the local pharmacists shop. It can also provide the average blood sugar level for a particular period.

Random testing for blood glucose is done anytime regardless of when you had your meals. This blood sugar test is done many times throughout the day. Blood sugar level below 100 mg/dL is normal and above 200 mg/dL is diagnosed as diabetes. To determine whether it is type 1 or type 2 diabetes, other tests are conducted.

Oral glucose tolerance test for blood sugar is conducted after the consumption of a glucose sweet drink. It is commonly used for diagnosing gestational diabetes amongst pregnant women.

There are also devices to test for blood sugar that have a small plastic catheter that is inserted under the skin, which collects small amounts of fluid and measures the glucose after 72 hours.

A1C test aims at testing for blood glucose how well the diabetes is controlled by determining the average blood sugar level for past 2-3 months. It is also called, as glycated haemoglobin test since it shows what percentage of haemoglobin is glycated or sugar coated. If the A1C level is higher than 7%, it calls for attention to alter the diabetes treatment.

Testing for blood glucose is also beneficial to regularly monitor the status on diabetes control and treatment. It also brings forth the condition of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). These blood glucose tests are essential to be done regularly if the diabetics consume insulin or anti-diabetes drugs daily.

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