Fasting Blood Sugar Test
A fasting blood sugar test provides a snapshot of your blood sugar level before you have eaten. The doctor measures the amount of sugar in your blood after youve fasted for at least eight hoursusually overnight.
A fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter indicates that you have prediabetes. A blood sugar level of 126 milligrams per deciliter or higher on two separate tests means you have diabetes.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
A fasting plasma glucose test is taken after at least eight hours of fasting and is therefore usually taken in the morning.
The NICE guidelines regard a fasting plasma glucose result of 5.5 to 6.9 mmol/l as putting someone at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly when accompanied by other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
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Measuring Blood Sugar Levels In A Laboratory
Blood sugar levels can be measured a lot more accurately by taking a blood sample from a vein and having it tested in a laboratory. Blood sugar is sometimes measured as part of a routine blood test in hospital or at the doctors. A special kind of test called a glucose tolerance test involves taking blood samples to see how the body deals with larger amounts of sugar. You have to drink a liquid with a lot of sugar in it before the blood samples are taken.
Most people with diabetes have the HbA1c levels in their blood measured regularly. HbA1c is a measure of how high your blood sugar levels have been on average over the last two to three months This indicates how well controlled your blood sugar is and whether your diabetes treatment might need to be adjusted.
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What Problems Can Happen With Type 2 Diabetes
Not having the right amount of sugar in the blood can lead to:
- hyperglycemia.This is when blood sugars are too high. Someone with hyperglycemia may be extra thirsty and pee more than usual. If high blood sugars arent treated, they can get very sick and have health issues later in life, like heart and kidney problems.
- diabetic ketoacidosis . This serious condition needs treatment right away. When theres not enough insulin in the body to let the glucose into the cells, the body starts to break down fat instead of sugar. Symptoms of DKA can include nausea, vomiting, belly pain, fast breathing, and in severe cases, unconsciousness. DKA happens more often in people with type 1 diabetes, but it can sometimes happen to those with type 2 diabetes.
- hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state . Like DKA, this is a serious condition that needs treatment right away. People with HHS have severe dehydration and very high blood sugars.
- hypoglycemia. This is when blood sugars are too low. It can sometimes happen when people with type 2 diabetes are treated with insulin. If a person with diabetes gets more insulin than they need, their blood sugar level can drop too low. Symptoms can include headache, weakness, shakiness, anxiety, and sweating.
What If The Blood Glucose Check Result Doesnt Sound Right
If youre not convinced that a result is correct, heres a suggested check list:
- Have the strips expired?
- Is the meter too hot or too cold?
- Is the calibration code correct?
- Is the battery low or flat?
All meters will give a different result with a different drop of blood. As long as there is not a big difference there is not usually cause for concern.
The accuracy of all meters can be checked with meter-specific liquid drops called control solutions. If you are concerned, you can arrange to have your meter checked with a control solution. Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator or pharmacist can help you with this.
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How To Start Intermittent Fasting
The first step, always, is talking with your physician or care team. They should be able to help you weigh the benefits and risks, identify dietary approaches to avoid nutritional deficiencies, and, if necessary, adjust any medications youre taking to avoid problems. Safety must come first, Horne says.
However, dont be surprised if your health care provider isnt enthusiastic about fasting diets. These plans are still relatively new, and theyre generally not taught in medical school. People may encounter pushback, or their physician may not be very familiar with these regimens, Horne says. If your doctor says that fasting isnt right for you, thats one thing. But if she or he seems dismissive of fasting diets in general, it may be worth seeking a second opinion from a provider who has experience with these plans.
Intermittent fasting can be risky for some. But there is now evidence that it may be a helpful, or even superior, alternative to classic weight-loss plans for people with Type 2 diabetes.
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Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy
Blood glucose control is one of the most important factors during pregnancy. Tight blood glucose control, helps to ensure the best chance of a successful pregnancy.
Diabetes control is important for people who have diabetes going into their pregnancy as well as people who develop diabetes during their pregnancy .
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What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Continuous glucose monitoring is another way to check your glucose levels. Most CGM systems use a tiny sensor that you insert under your skin. The sensor measures glucose levels in the fluids between your bodys cells every few minutes and can show changes in your glucose level throughout the day and night. If the CGM system shows that your glucose is too high or too low, you should check your glucose with a blood glucose meter before making any changes to your eating plan, physical activity, or medicines. A CGM system is especially useful for people who use insulin and have problems with low blood glucose.
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Diabetes And The Hemoglobin A1c Test
The hemoglobin A1c test , is an important diabetes blood test used to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. This diabetes test provides an average of your blood sugar control over a six- to 12-week period and is used in conjunction with home blood sugar monitoring to make adjustments in your diabetes medicines. The HbA1c level can also be used to diagnose diabetes if a value of equal to or greater than 6.5% is found.
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Diabetes By The Numbers
Staying healthy with type 2 diabetes is a numbers game. Get the scoop on the health indicators you should be measuring and why.
When you have type 2 diabetes, youve got to know your numbers. Its not just about blood sugar. To successfully manage diabetes, there are several measurements that you should take, or have taken, on a regular basis. Keeping track of the following numbers can help you live well with type 2 diabetes and lower your risk of complications.
Blood sugar levels. This is probably the type 2 diabetes measure youre most familiar with. Testing your blood sugar regularly allows you to see how certain foods, exercise, and other activities affect your blood sugar levels on a day-to-day basis. Many people with type 2 diabetes need to test once or twice a day to make sure blood sugar levels are in target range. If your blood sugar is very well controlled, you may only need to check a few times a week, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The American Diabetes Association recommends aiming for a blood sugar level between 70 to 130 mg/dl before meals and less than 180 mg/dl one to two hours after a meal. To keep your blood sugar within this range, follow a healthy, well-rounded diet and eat meals and snacks on a consistent schedule. If your blood sugar is not well controlled, talk to your doctor about adjusting your diabetes management plan.
Target Blood Sugar Levels In Children With Diabetes
Children younger than 6 years oldBlood sugar in mg/dL Bedtime 110-200
Children under 6 years of age should have blood glucose levels that range from about 80 to 200 mg/dL each day. This range is considered healthy, and the amount of glucose in a childs body will fluctuate from the time they wake up to after theyve eaten meals and again before bedtime. For this reason, kids with diabetes or hypoglycemic episodes may have to have their blood sugar levels tested in the middle of the night by their parents. Many children with type 1 diabetes wear a continuous glucose monitor , which displays glucose levels all the time and mostly eliminates the need for finger sticks.
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Blood Sugar Control During Pregnancy
Good blood glucose control reduces the risks of complications developing for the mother and baby.
The target HbA1c for mothers before and during pregnancy is 6.1% .
People with diabetes before their pregnancy will be advised to keep excellent control of their blood sugar before and throughout the pregnancy.
The first eight weeks of the pregnancy are a critical period and so it is highly recommended that strong control is achieved prior to becoming pregnant wherever possible.
Mothers who develop gestational diabetes will be treated initially with diet and exercise but may be put onto oral hypoglycaemics or insulin injections if blood sugar levels remain high.
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Measuring Blood Sugar Levels Yourself
You can measure your blood sugar levels yourself using an electronic device called a blood glucose meter. To do this, you prick your fingertip with a small needle, and place a drop of blood on a test strip. The strip is inserted into the blood glucose meter. Shortly after, your blood sugar level is displayed on the device’s screen. More specifically, the procedure involves the following steps:
- First of all, lay out everything you need. This includes a blood glucose meter, a blood-sampling device with a fine needle , and a test strip.
- Wash your hands before measuring your blood sugar because dirt can distort the results.
- Take a test strip out of the package and insert it into the glucose meter.
- Gently prick the tip of a finger with the needle. It hurts less if you prick the side of the finger. Gently squeeze the tip of the finger until a small drop of blood comes out. It should just fill the test field on the strip.
- Then carefully place the drop of blood on the test strip without smearing it.
- After a short while your blood sugar level will be displayed on the meter. Modern devices can save the measurements along with the date and time, and this information can be transferred to a computer or smartphone. If this isn’t possible, it’s a good idea to write the measurements down in a special diary or app, for instance.
Tips For Tracking Your Blood Sugar Patterns And Using Your Results
Here are some great tips:
Have a blood sugar chart on your phone or a written notebook nearby to compare your numbers
For my patients during the class entitled, Monitoring your Blood Glucose, I pass out individual notebooks, and packs of different colored highlighter pens for pattern management. Inside, there are copies of an enhanced blood sugar log.
Patients log their blood sugars at different times of the day, and color-code them with highlighters. This helps patients to pick out their blood sugar patterns, and to do different things to adjust their blood sugars to get them in a target range.
Patients may either take a walk following a high carbohydrate meal, take more insulin if they are correcting blood sugar with insulin, decrease the amount of carbohydrates at the next meal, etc. By seeing what their blood sugars are at different times of the day, they can work their blood sugars into their target ranges. Once blood sugars are in the target range, their A1C should also be on target.
I have included a copy of the enhanced blood sugar log that I use to make a pattern notebook for my patients. Readers here at TheDiabetesCouncil are welcome to copy the form for their own use in self-managing their diabetes. You can also download our comprehensive log book here.
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Measuring Sugar In Your Urine Yourself
You can also measure the blood sugar levels in your urine on your own. Having sugar in your urine is usually a sign of very high blood sugar levels. The extra sugar in the bloodstream is usually only removed via the kidneys at blood sugar concentrations of about 10 mmol/l and above. In order to measure the amount of sugar in your urine, you need a urine test strip and a container for collecting urine.
Its important to talk with your doctor about the best time of day to do the urine test, and whether to do it before or after eating. When measuring sugar in your urine yourself, you need a sample of urine that hasnt been in your bladder for long. So you wouldn’t use morning urine which has collected overnight. Instead, its more typical to urinate and collect a sample about an hour after the last time you went to the toilet. The test strip is then dipped into the sample. After about two minutes, the color pads on the test strip show the results.
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