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Types Of Blood Sugar Test

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Can Diabetes Cause Hearing Loss

Scientists dont have firm answers yet but there appears to be a correlation between hearing loss and diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, a recent study found that hearing loss was twice as common in people with diabetes versus those who didnt have diabetes. Also, the rate of hearing loss in people with prediabetes was 30% higher compared with those who had normal blood glucose levels. Scientists think diabetes damages the blood vessels in the inner ear, but more research is needed.

What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Advancements in technology have given us another way to monitor glucose levels. Continuous glucose monitoring uses a tiny sensor inserted under your skin. You don’t need to prick your finger. Instead, the sensor measures your glucose and can display results anytime during the day or night. Ask your healthcare provider about continuous glucose monitors to see if this is an option for you.

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What Are The Usual Treatments For Diabetes

For type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type of diabetes, losing excess weight, eating a healthy diet that is high in fiber and restricted in carbohydrates, and getting regular amounts of exercise may be enough to lower your blood glucose levels. In many cases, however, medications may be necessary to achieve the desired glucose level. With type 1 diabetes , insulin injections several times a day are necessary. See the article on Diabetes for more on treatment.

There Are Five Primary Types Of Blood Glucose Testing:

  • 2-hour postprandial blood sugar test
  • hemoglobin A1c test
  • oral glucose tolerance test

The Fasting blood sugar test is the most common. This test measures blood glucose levels after not eating for at least 8 hours. After fasting, you drink a liquid to drink that contains glucose. Then you test your blood sugar levels to see how your body processes the glucose after fasting. This test is often the first test done to check for prediabetes and diabetes.

Random glucose testing, also known as a casual blood glucose test, measures blood glucose levels at any time of day. Whether you are in a fasted state does not matter with this test. Random glucose testing can be helpful because a healthy person’s glucose levels should not vary much throughout the day. However, if blood glucose levels vary significantly, it may mean there is an issue.

A 2-hour postprandial blood sugar test is a glucose test that measures glucose levels precisely 2 hours after eating a meal. This test is typically done at home by someone that already has diabetes to gauge if they are taking the right amount of insulin with their meals.

A hemoglobin A1c test estimates one’s average glucose level over the past few months.

The oral glucose tolerance test helps to diagnose diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, also known as gestational diabetes.

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Why The Test Is Performed

Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of diabetes . More than likely, the doctor will order a fasting blood sugar test.

The blood glucose test is also used to monitor people who already have diabetes.

The test may also be done if you have:

  • An increase in how often you need to urinate
  • Recently gained a lot of weight
  • Blurred vision


This test may also be used to screen a person for diabetes.

High blood sugar and diabetes may not cause symptoms in the early stages. A fasting blood sugar test is almost always done to screen for diabetes.

If you are over age 45, you should be tested every 3 years.

If you’re overweight and have any of the risk factors below, ask your health care provider about getting tested at an earlier age and more often:

  • High blood sugar level on a previous test
  • Blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher, or unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • History of heart disease
  • Member of a high-risk ethnic group
  • Woman who has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes
  • Polycystic ovary disease
  • Close relative with diabetes
  • Not physically active

Children age 10 and older who are overweight and have at least two of the risk factors listed above should be tested for type 2 diabetes every 3 years, even if they have no symptoms.

Types Of Blood Sugar Tests

You can take a blood sugar test two ways. People who are monitoring or managing their diabetes prick their finger using a glucometer for daily testing. The other method is drawing blood.

Blood samples are generally used to screen for diabetes. Your doctor will order a fasting blood sugar test. This test measures your blood sugar levels, or a glycosylated hemoglobin, also called a hemoglobin A1C test. The results of this test reflect your blood sugar levels over the previous 90 days. The results will show if you have prediabetes or diabetes and can monitor how your diabetes is controlled.

When and how often you should test your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and your treatment.

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Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

If your test results show you have prediabetes, ask your doctor or nurse if there is a lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program in your community. You can also search for an online or in-person program. Having prediabetes puts you at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but participating in the program can lower your risk by as much as 58% .

What To Expect During Blood Sugar Testing

How to test your blood glucose levels | Diabetes UK

To do a blood test, a lab technician, nurse, or other healthcare professional will use a small needle to draw a sample of your blood. The sample is then sent to a lab for testing.

Some diabetes tests require you to prepare for the test. For example, you may be asked to fast for a set period of time before the test. Your doctor will give you instructions to tell you how to prepare for your tests.

Your blood sugar test results can be affected by other health conditions or medications, so tell your doctor about any illness or stress youre experiencing. And make sure your doctor knows about medications youre taking.

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Urine Test For Blood Sugar

Urine does not normally contain glucose. The kidneys filter our blood, keeping substances the body needs, while getting rid of waste products. Your kidneys constantly reabsorb glucose so that it doesn’t enter your urine. However, if the glucose level goes above a certain level, the kidneys can’t reabsorb all of the glucose. This means that some glucose will ‘spill’ through the kidneys into the urine.

A simple dipstick test can detect glucose in a sample of urine. In a dipstick test a doctor or nurse uses a special chemical strip which he/she dips into a sample of your urine. Colour changes on the strip show whether there is glucose in the urine sample. If you have glucose in your urine, you are likely to have diabetes.

However, some people have kidneys that are more ‘leaky’ and glucose may leak into urine with a normal blood level. Therefore, if your urine contains any glucose, you should have a blood test to measure the blood level of glucose to confirm, or rule out, diabetes.

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How Does Diabetes Lead To Amputation

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to poor blood flow . Without oxygen and nutrients , you are more prone to the development of cuts and sores that can lead to infections that cant fully heal. Areas of your body that are farthest away from your heart are more likely to experience the effects of poor blood flow. So areas of your body like your toes, feet, legs and fingers are more likely to be amputated if infection develops and healing is poor.

When Should I Call My Doctor

HbA1c Test for Diabetes

If you havent been diagnosed with diabetes, you should see your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms of diabetes. If you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should contact your provider if your blood glucose levels are outside of your target range, if current symptoms worsen or if you develop any new symptoms.

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How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed

A medical diagnosis of hypoglycemia typically requires satisfying the “Whipple triad.” These three criteria include:

  • Documented low glucose levels , often tested along with insulin levels and sometimes with C-peptide levels)
  • Symptoms of hypoglycemia when the blood glucose level is abnormally low
  • Reversal of the symptoms when blood glucose levels are returned to normal

Primary hypoglycemia is rare and often diagnosed in infancy. People may have symptoms of hypoglycemia without really having low blood sugar. In such cases, dietary changes such as eating frequent small meals and several snacks a day and choosing complex carbohydrates over simple sugars may be enough to ease symptoms.

Tests For Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using blood tests. Youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your risk is higher for getting gestational diabetes , your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.

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If You Have Questions About Your Diagnosis

It’s usually difficult to take in everything the GP tells you during the appointment.

Talk to family and friends about what the GP told you, and write down any questions you have.

Then make another GP appointment and take your list of questions with you.

There’s also a lot of information on diabetes available.

Who Should Have A Diabetes Test

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You should have a diabetes test if you are at a high risk of type 2 diabetes. An AUSDRISK score of 12 or more is considered high risk.

You may also be at high risk of diabetes if you:

  • have had a heart attack or stroke
  • have had gestational diabetes
  • take medications to treat psychosis

You should have a diabetes test every year if you have pre-diabetes.

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Why Test Blood Sugar Levels

If you take certain medication, like insulin or sulphonylureas, checking your blood sugars is a vital part of living with diabetes. It can help you work out when you need to take more medication, when you need to eat something or for when you want to get up and move around more.

Routine checks can help you know when you might be starting to go too low or too high . Its a way of getting to know your body and how it works. It can help you and your healthcare team spot patterns too. Do you write your results down? You might find that helpful.

But importantly, it will help you stay healthy and prevent serious diabetes complications now and in the future. By complications, we mean serious problems in places like your feet and your eyes. This happens because too much sugar in the blood damages your blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow around your body. This can lead to very serious problems like sight loss and needing an amputation.

The higher your blood sugar levels are and the longer theyre high for, the more at risk you are.

What Happens After The Diagnosis

Usually, the following things happen after your diagnosis:

  • The GP may prescribe medicine. It might take time for you to get used to the medicine and to find the right doses for you.
  • You’ll have to go for regular type 2 diabetes check-ups.
  • You’ll have to look out for certain signs to avoid other health problems.
  • A free education course for type 2 diabetes can help you manage your condition.

    Page last reviewed: 18 August 2020 Next review due: 18 August 2023

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    Can Glucose Testing Be Done When I Have Not Fasted

    Some Americans with type 2 diabetes test blood sugar more often than ...

    You may have non-fasting glucose testing in certain situations:

    • A blood sample collected after a fast of at least 8 hours is preferred when using a glucose test for screening and diagnosing diabetes. However, you may sometimes have your blood drawn for a routine metabolic panel that includes a glucose test when you have not fasted for 8 hours. In this case, if the glucose result is above the cutoff level, then additional testing, such as repeating the glucose test after fasting, may be required.
    • If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be instructed to check your glucose levels after you have eaten as part of monitoring and controlling your glucose levels over time.

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    The Role Of Glucose Testing

    There are several different reasons a doctor may recommend glucose testing for you. These include screening, diagnosis, and monitoring.


    Screening means using tests to find health problems before those problems cause any symptoms or signs that you or your doctor might notice.

    If you are over 40, overweight or obese, or have a heightened risk of developing diabetes, your doctor may order one or more screening glucose tests to find prediabetes or diabetes. People with prediabetes have glucose levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.


    Diagnosis is the use of tests and procedures to determine what underlying health condition might be causing noticeable signs and symptoms.

    If you have symptoms of diabetes, high blood sugar, or low blood sugar, your doctor may order glucose testing for you. Glucose testing may be accompanied by other blood or urine tests to make an accurate diagnosis.


    If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, your doctor may want you to track your blood glucose levels with an at-home glucose testing or monitoring device. Your doctor may also recommend periodic laboratory testing during check-ups to learn how your condition is being managed.

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