A Diabetologist may prescribe you to do a blood sugar test in order to be certain and diagnose diabetes after checking its reports. Blood sugar test is generally done to estimate the amount of glucose in a person’s body.
Various types of tests are done for diagnosing diabetes, but two of the main tests which are most common are:
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I) The Fasting Plasma Glucose Test or Fasting blood sugar test
This test calculates the amount or level of glucose in the blood after an overnight fasting. This is the most common test prescribed, it provides accurate results and is simple enough to be understood by patients as well.
2) Random blood sugar test (RBS)
Random blood sugar test estimates the patient’s blood sugar level during the time they are getting tested. This test does not require the patient to be fasting and could be done anytime.
A human body consumes carbohydrates from foods and converts it into glucose which is considered as one of the main components or sources of energy. Fasting Blood Sugar Test helps in determining whether the patient has prediabetes or diabetes.
The test helps to keep a check on the sugar level, any changes in the report results in adjusting the patient’s diet, exercise, or prescribing diabetes medications. The patients who are ordered for fasting blood sugar test by doctors are:
i) For simple yearly physical examination to monitor the patient’s blood glucose level over time.
ii) Pregnant women in order to ensure that the pregnancy hormones are not giving rise to diabetes.
iii) Patients showing symptoms of diabetes or have a diabetic history in their family.
iv) Patients whose earlier reports showed higher blood sugar levels.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) could lead to seizures or in worst case, coma if left untreated.
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) could lead to ketoacidosis, it is a life-threatening condition which is often a matter of concern for patients with type 1 diabetes.
Before the test
In order to prepare for a fasting blood sugar test, the patient must not consume anything apart from water for 8 to 12 hours approximately. Since the test is usually conducted in the morning, the patient should not consume any breakfast.
During the test
The test is conducted in a hospital where the nurse or the doctor shall draw blood from your elbow for this test. The test is done in the following process:
i) The process starts with the health provider disinfecting the area around the elbow where the blood must be drawn.
ii) Then a band is tied around the patient’s upper arm, this stops the blood from passing momentarily.
iii) A new needle is injected into the vein (It will hurt).
iv) The health provider shall draw the blood into the vial that has the patient’s personal information labeled, attached to the needle.
v) The nurse or the health provider will then remove the band and needle (after the band).
vi) The nurse will put pressure on the needle insertion site, don’t be afraid, this is done to stop the bleeding.
vii) After the needle is removed, the health provider puts a band aid over the area.
After the test, the blood sample is sent for testing to a lab. The result of the fasting blood sugar test may be sent directly within one or two days or even a few hours to the patient’s address or the patient must collect the reports from the hospital himself/herself.
The report of the fasting blood sugar test is represented numerically. If the result shows:
i) 99 mg/dL or lower: it indicates that the patient has normal fasting blood sugar level.
ii) 100 –125 mg/dL: Result in this range indicates the patient having prediabetes. The patient must follow a strict diet and exercises instructed by the doctor so that he/she does not progress further towards diabetes.
iii) 126 mg/dL or above: This states that the patient has high blood sugar in their blood which is a sign of diabetes.
The doctor might prescribe to repeat the test if the result is 126 mg/dL or above, in order to make sure the reports are correct. The patient with prediabetes is recommended to repeat the test in order to understand whether he/ she is progressing towards Type 2 diabetes.
Risks and side effects
The fasting blood sugar test is a very safe and common test with neither risk nor any side effects. On the day, after taking the test, the patient might feel
- Swelling, and
At the area where blood was drawn. This will go away within a single day.
To know more about the concept of fasting blood sugar test, be sure to seek consultation with experts so that immediate and effective solution can be availed.