Diabetes Basics

A Guide on Fasting Blood Glucose Level Test

Fasting blood glucose level is a common diabetes test conducted for determining the normal levels of sugar/glucose levels inside blood. The results obtained indicate the amount of sugar present in blood at all times.

Precisely speaking, the test is performed in order to check for the following:

* To determine the existence of diabetes.
* To check for pregnancy related diabetes (gestational diabetes).
* To check if a person is suffering from abnormally low blood sugar level (hypoglycaemia).
* To monitor treatment of diabetes.

How to perform the test?

As the name suggests, the test is performed after a period of fasting is performed. Individuals need to fast for up to eight hours in order to stabilise their blood sugar levels. The results that are obtained after fasting are devoid of any fluctuations and inaccuracies and form the basis of an accurate prognosis.

A blood sample is collected in order to determine the levels of blood sugar. The skin on the inside of the elbow is cleaned and sterilised with an antiseptic. A small puncture is made with a needle is inserted in the blood vein to extract a small volume. This is then sent for analysis.

Where should you get the test performed?

The test is to be performed at a certified clinical laboratory. Though there are portable blood sugar level monitoring devices available in the market, it is better to use the services of a professional establishment. It is important to adopt the correct method to test it.

Fasting Blood Sugar Test-The Results

The results of fasting blood sugar tests are available in about 1 to 2 hours. They would indicate the level of glucose in blood through a numeric figure designated in the unit milligram/decilitre.

The ideal figure of the results should be in the range of 70 to 99 mg/dl (or less than 5.5 mmol/L). Anything above 126 mg/dl suggests that the person is suffering from diabetes. A figure in between 100 and 125 mg/dl indicates the onset of diabetes (prediabetes). If the result figures drop below 50 mg/dl for men and 40 mg/dl for women and is accompanied by symptoms of hypoglycaemia means that the individual is suffering from insulinoma. This means that you have a tumour which produces high amounts of insulin. However, low levels of blood sugar could also be the result of the following:

* A tumour in the pituitary gland.
* Decreased thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism).
* Addison's disease.
* Liver disease, such as cirrhosis.
* Malnutrition or an eating disorder, such as anorexia.
* Kidney failure.

Note: Individuals are encouraged to not only fast for 8 hours but also stop drinking anything in the six hours leading up to the test.