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How Blood Sugar Is Tested

Glucose Screening And Glucose Tolerance Tests

Glucose Screening And Glucose Tolerance Tests

Why do I need a glucose screening test during pregnancy? Most healthcare practitioners routinely recommend a glucose screening test (also called a glucose challenge test or GCT) between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a high blood sugar condition that some women get during pregnancy. Between 2 and 5 percent of expectant mothers develop this condition, making it one of the most common health problems during pregnancy. And because the condition rarely causes any symptoms, testing is the only way to find out whether you have it. Like any screening test, the GCT won't give you a diagnosis. Instead, it's designed to identify as many women as possible who may have a problem and need more testing to find out. So a positive result doesn't mean that you have gestational diabetes. In fact, only about a third of women who test positive on the glucose screen actually have the condition. If you test positive on the screening, you'll need to take the glucose tolerance test (GTT) – a longer, more definitive test that tells you for sure whether you have gestational diabetes. Your practitioner may want you to be screened earlier than 24 weeks if a routine urine test shows a lot of sugar in your urine or if you're considered high risk. If the results are normal, you'll be screened again at 24 to 28 weeks. Of course, if you were diagnosed with diabetes before pregnancy, you won't need to be screened. Instead, you'll continue to work with your practitioner to manage your condition during pregnancy. How is the glucose screening test done? When you arrive for the test, you're given a sugar solution that contains 50 grams of glucose. The stuff tastes like a very sweet soda pop (it comes in cola, orange, or lime flavor), and you have to Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Testing: Why, When And How

Blood Sugar Testing: Why, When And How

Blood sugar testing is an important part of diabetes care. Find out when to test your blood sugar level, how to use a testing meter, and more. If you have diabetes, self-testing your blood sugar (blood glucose) can be an important tool in managing your treatment plan and preventing long-term complications of diabetes. You can test your blood sugar at home with a portable electronic device (glucose meter) that measures sugar level in a small drop of your blood. Why test your blood sugar Blood sugar testing — or self-monitoring blood glucose — provides useful information for diabetes management. It can help you: Judge how well you're reaching overall treatment goals Understand how diet and exercise affect blood sugar levels Understand how other factors, such as illness or stress, affect blood sugar levels Monitor the effect of diabetes medications on blood sugar levels Identify blood sugar levels that are high or low When to test your blood sugar Your doctor will advise you on how often you should check your blood sugar level. In general, the frequency of testing depends on the type of diabetes you have and your treatment plan. Type 1 diabetes. Your doctor may recommend blood sugar testing four to eight times a day if you have type 1 diabetes. You may need to test before meals and snacks, before and after exercise, before bed, and occasionally during the night. You may also need to check your blood sugar level more often if you are ill, change your daily routine or begin a new medication. Type 2 diabetes. If you take insulin to manage type 2 diabetes, your doctor may recommend blood sugar testing two or more times a day, depending on the type and amount of insulin you need. Testing is usually recommended before meals, and sometimes before bedtime. If you manage type 2 Continue reading >>

How Reliable Is The Hb1ac Test For Blood Sugar Testing?

How Reliable Is The Hb1ac Test For Blood Sugar Testing?

The hemoglobin A1c test for diabetes can be affected by a number of things. Even the methods used to test can vary considerably from each other. Something as simple as 1000mg of vitamin C/day (a very common amount to take as a daily supplement) can give an erroneously low number in the HbA1c test. Here is a link to a very good article that looks at these issues. [What can erroneously lower or raise the number, testing methods and alternate testing methods if normal methods are not working properly (giving incorrect high or low numbers).] Continue reading >>

How And When To Test Your Blood Sugar With Diabetes

How And When To Test Your Blood Sugar With Diabetes

Most people with diabetes need to check their blood sugar (glucose) levels regularly. The results help you and your doctor manage those levels, which helps you avoid diabetes complications. There are several ways to test your blood sugar: From Your Fingertip: You prick your finger with a small, sharp needle (called a lancet) and put a drop of blood on a test strip. Then you put the test strip into a meter that shows your blood sugar level. You get results in less than 15 seconds and can store this information for future use. Some meters can tell you your average blood sugar level over a period of time and show you charts and graphs of your past test results. You can get blood sugar meters and strips at your local pharmacy. Meters That Test Other Sites: Newer meters let you test sites other than your fingertip, such as your upper arm, forearm, base of the thumb, and thigh. You may get different results than from your fingertip. Blood sugar levels in the fingertips show changes more quickly than those in other testing sites. This is especially true when your blood sugar is rapidly changing, like after a meal or after exercise. If you are checking your sugar when you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, you should use your fingertip if possible, because these readings will be more accurate. Continuous Glucose Monitoring System: These devices, also called interstitial glucose measuring devices, are combined with insulin pumps. They are similar to finger-stick glucose results and can show patterns and trends in your results over time. You may need to check your blood sugar several times a day, such as before meals or exercise, at bedtime, before driving, and when you think your blood sugar levels are low. Everyone is different, so ask your doctor when and how often you should chec Continue reading >>

What Is A Blood Test?

What Is A Blood Test?

A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken from the body to be tested in a lab. Doctors order blood tests to check things such as the levels of glucose, hemoglobin, or white blood cells. This can help them detect problems like a disease or medical condition. Sometimes, blood tests can help them see how well an organ (such as the liver or kidneys) is working. What Is a Glucose Test? A glucose test measures how much glucose is in the blood. Glucose is a type of sugar used by the body for energy. Why Are Glucose Tests Done? A glucose test is done to check for low or high levels of glucose. Sometimes it's done as part of a routine checkup to screen for problems, and sometimes because a child has not been feeling well. A low glucose level is called hypoglycemia. A high level of glucose is called hyperglycemia. High glucose levels can point to diabetes. How Should We Prepare for a Glucose Test? Your child may be asked to stop eating and drinking for 8 to 12 hours before the test. Tell your doctor about any medicines your child takes because some drugs might affect the test results. Wearing a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt for the test can make things easier for your child, and you also can bring along a toy or book as a distraction. How Is a Glucose Test Done? Most blood tests take a small amount of blood from a vein. To do that, a health professional will: clean the skin put an elastic band (tourniquet) above the area to get the veins to swell with blood insert a needle into a vein (usually in the arm inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand) pull the blood sample into a vial or syringe take off the elastic band and remove the needle from the vein In babies, blood draws are sometimes done as a "heel stick collection." After cleaning the area, the health profession Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Test

Blood Glucose Test

Blood glucose tests are also sometimes called blood sugar tests. They can be done as a fasting sample or as a test called an oral glucose tolerance test. They are usually used to check for or monitor diabetes. What is being tested? This test measures the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucose is a simple sugar that provides energy for the body. People with diabetes often monitor their own blood glucose at home. This is done using a finger-prick test and a special machine, rather than a blood sample taken from a vein. You might have blood taken for a blood sugar level. You might or might not be asked to fast beforehand. There is also a particular test called an oral glucose tolerance test, abbreviated as OGTT or GTT. For this test you fast, then have a blood sample taken, then drink glucose, then have a number of samples taken over a few hours. Why would I need this test? You might need this test if you are at risk of developing diabetes, or if you have had any symptoms or test results suggesting diabetes. The standard blood glucose tests measure your blood sugar level at a particular time. The OGTT measures how you respond to glucose. Pregnant women can develop a particular type of diabetes called gestational diabetes, and might be asked to have an OGTT around 28 weeks of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. How to prepare for this test If you’re asked to fast, you can’t eat anything for 8-10 hours before the test. You should drink only water. If you are having an OGTT, you will need to drink a glucose drink provided after your fasting test, then stay for an additional few hours for further testing. Understanding your results High levels of glucose can indicate diabetes or being at risk of diabetes. There are other conditions t Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Tests

Blood Sugar Tests

A test that measures blood sugar levels. Elevated levels are associated with diabetes and insulin resistance, in which the body cannot properly handle sugar (e.g. obesity). Goal values: Less than 100 mg/dL = normal Between 110–125 mg/dL = impaired fasting glucose (i.e., prediabetes) Greater than 126 mg/dL on two or more samples = diabetes Preparation This test requires a 12-hour fast. You should wait to eat and/or take a hypoglycemic agent (insulin or oral medication) until after test has been drawn, unless told otherwise. Eating and digesting foods called carbohydrates forms glucose (blood sugar). Glucose is needed by your body to provide energy to carry out your normal activities. Insulin is needed by the body to allow glucose to go into the cells and be used as energy. Without insulin, the levels of glucose in the blood will rise. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when either the pancreas (an organ in your body) is not able to produce insulin or the pancreas makes insulin, but it does not work as it should. Fasting blood sugar is a part of diabetic evaluation and management. An FBS greater than 126 mg/dL on more than one occasion usually indicates diabetes. Glycosylated Hemoglobin or Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) Reflects average blood sugar levels over the preceding 90-day period. Elevated levels are associated with prediabetes and diabetes. Individuals with diabetes have an increased risk of a cardiac event. A diabetic person's risk for heart attack is the same as a non-diabetic person, who has experienced one heart attack, having a second heart attack. Aggressive global preventive risk reduction efforts, such as lower LDL targets, diet, exercise and blood pressure control, are recommended. Goal values (per American Diabetes Association guidelines): A range of 5.7-6.4 p Continue reading >>

7 Blood Sugar Testing Mistakes To Avoid

7 Blood Sugar Testing Mistakes To Avoid

1 / 8 Understand Diabetes Testing If you have diabetes, it's imperative that you learn to effectively self-test your blood sugar to keep your glucose levels in check. For example, results from a study of more than 5,000 people living with diabetes showed that even those people who don't take medication for diabetes have better blood sugar control if they test regularly. The study participants' risk of early kidney damage, strokes, and death from diabetes-related causes was also reduced by one-third. Of course, the accuracy of your results is tied to the accuracy of your checking — and to your understanding of what all the numbers mean. "The most important point to me is that people are learning something from checking their blood sugar," says Sacha Uelmen, RDN, CDE, director of nutrition for the American Diabetes Association. "Don't just look at those numbers, write them down, and move on. If you have diabetes, take an active role in your health." To get the most useful readings, learn these common blood sugar testing mistakes and how to avoid them. Continue reading >>

Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Test Strips

Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Test Strips

Update: A lot of our readers ask us where can they find the best deals for test strips. We personally recommend Amazon. You can check the list of selections they offer by clicking here. Blood glucose test strips play a crucial role in helping you to monitor your daily blood glucose level and giving your doctor the data to adjust your medication to control your diabetes symptoms. Without the help from these little disposable strips, life with diabetes can become even more chaotic than ever. But what exactly are these thin little plastic slip and why are they so expensive? Are there any alternative method I can use? Where can I get the best deal on these test strips? This article will answer many of your questions and concerns regarding these blood glucose test strips: Table of Contents History on Glucose Test Strips How Does the Test Strips Work Why Are the Strips So Expensive? And Why the Price Discrepancy? Why Must Diabetic Patients Use Glucometer and Test Strip? How Often Should You Administer A Blood Glucose Test? How to Find Out if Your Glucose Monitor is Accurate? How Accurate Are the Test Strips? How to Find Out if Your Glucose Monitor is Accurate? What is a Urine Glucose Test? Can’t I Use This Procedure Instead? Expiration of Test Strips Medicare Plan B Coverage for Glucose Test Strips Where to Get the Best Deal on Test Strips? Ways to Save of Test Strips How to Avoid Counterfeit Blood Glucose Test Strips Can You Reuse Test Strips? Can You Make Your Own Test Strip? 4 Most Affordable Meters How to Pick the Right Glucometer? How to Dispose Used Test Strips, Lancets, and Needles? What to Do with All These Test Strip Containers? Selling Your Glucose Test Strips A Good Idea? Odd Way to Earn Some Money Back Questions? History on Glucose Test Strips The first glucomet Continue reading >>

Slideshow: A Visual Guide To Type 2 Diabetes

Slideshow: A Visual Guide To Type 2 Diabetes

If you experience symptoms of severe increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, increased hunger, tingling of your hands or feet -- your doctor may run a test for diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 29 million children and adults in the U.S., or over 9% of the population, have diabetes today. Yet, millions of Americans are unaware that they have diabetes, because there may be no warning signs. To confirm the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, your doctor will order a fasting plasma glucose test or a casual plasma glucose. The fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) is the preferred method for diagnosing diabetes, because it is easy to do, convenient, and less expensive than other tests, according to the American Diabetes Association. Before taking the blood glucose test, you will not be allowed to eat anything for at least eight hours. During a blood glucose test, blood will be drawn and sent to a lab for analysis. Normal fasting blood glucose -- or blood sugar -- is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL for people who do not have diabetes. The standard diagnosis of diabetes is made when two separate blood tests show that your fasting blood glucose level is greater than or equal to 126 mg/dL. However, if you have normal fasting blood sugar, but you have risk factors for diabetes or symptoms of diabetes, your doctor may decide to do a glucose tolerance test (see below) to be sure that you do not have diabetes. Some people have a normal fasting blood sugar reading, but their blood sugar rapidly rises as they eat. These people may have impaired glucose tolerance. If their blood sugar levels are high enough, they may be diagnosed with diabetes. Continue reading >>

What Is The Fasting Blood Sugar Test?

What Is The Fasting Blood Sugar Test?

The fasting blood sugar test (FBS) measures the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood when you have not had anything to eat or drink for several hours. This test is also called a fasting plasma glucose test (FBS). Why is this test done? The most common use of this test is to check for diabetes. How do I prepare for this test? The simplest way to check for diabetes is to check your blood sugar before you've had anything to eat or drink in the morning. In most cases you will fast overnight, eating nothing and drinking nothing but water after your evening meal and in the morning before your blood is drawn. If you do shift work, it's best to have your blood checked after your usual sleeping time (after at least 6 hours of sleep) and before you start your active day. When you wake up, you should have nothing to eat and nothing to drink except water before your blood is drawn. You may need to avoid taking certain medicines before the test because they might affect the test result. Make sure your healthcare provider knows about any medicines, herbs, or supplements that you are taking. Don't stop any of your regular medicines without first consulting with your healthcare provider. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions. How is the test done? Your healthcare provider may poke your finger with a lancet and fill a small tube with the blood. Or a small amount of blood may be taken from your arm with a needle. The blood is sent to a lab. Having this test will take just a few minutes. Ask your healthcare provider when and how you will get the result of your test. What does the test result mean? The normal fasting blood sugar range in most labs is 70 to 99 milligrams per deciliter (3.9 to 5.5 millimoles per liter). A fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 mg/dL Continue reading >>

Am I Diabetic? How To Test Your Blood Sugar To Find Out

Am I Diabetic? How To Test Your Blood Sugar To Find Out

If you have not been diagnosed with diabetes but suspect you might have something wrong with your blood sugar, there is a simple way to find out. What you need to do is to test your blood sugar after you have eaten a meal that contains about sixty grams of carbohydrates. You can ask your doctor to test your blood sugar in the office if you have an appointment that takes place an hour or two after you've eaten or, if this isn't an option, you can use an inexpensive blood sugar meter to test your post-meal blood sugar yourself at home. You do not need a prescription to buy the meter or strips. One advantage of testing yourself at home is that with self-testing you do not run the risk of having a "diabetes" diagnosis written into your medical records which might make it impossible for you to buy health or life insurance. To run a post-meal blood sugar test do following: Borrow a family member's meter or buy an inexpensive meter and strips at the drug store or Walmart. The Walmart Relion meter store brand meters sold at pharamcies like CVS, Walgreens, etc are usually the least expensive. Some meters come with 10 free strips. Check to see if the meter you have bought includes strips. If it doesn't, buy the smallest package size available. Strips do not keep for very long once opened, so don't buy more than you need for a couple tests. Familiarize yourself with the instructions that came with your meter so that you know how to run a blood test. Practice a few times before you run your official test. Each meter is different. Be sure you understand how yours works. The first thing in the morning after you wake up but before you have eaten anything, test your blood sugar. Write down the result. This is your "fasting blood sugar." Now eat something containing at 60 - 70 grams of Continue reading >>

Diagnosing Diabetes

Diagnosing Diabetes

In diagnosing diabetes, physicians primarily depend upon the results of specific glucose tests. However, test results are just part of the information that goes into the diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Doctors also take into account your physical exam, presence or absence of symptoms, and medical history. Some people who are significantly ill will have transient problems with elevated blood sugars, which will then return to normal after the illness has resolved. Also, some medications may alter your blood glucose levels (most commonly steroids and certain diuretics, such as water pills). The 2 main tests used to measure the presence of blood sugar problems are the direct measurement of glucose levels in the blood during an overnight fast and measurement of the body's ability to appropriately handle the excess sugar presented after drinking a high glucose drink. Fasting Blood Glucose (Blood Sugar) Level A value above 126 mg/dL on at least 2 occasions typically means a person has diabetes. The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test An oral glucose tolerance test is one that can be performed in a doctor's office or a lab. The person being tested starts the test in a fasting state (having no food or drink except water for at least 10 hours but not greater than 16 hours). An initial blood sugar is drawn and then the person is given a "glucola" bottle with a high amount of sugar in it (75 grams of glucose or 100 grams for pregnant women). The person then has their blood tested again 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours after drinking the high glucose drink. For the test to give reliable results, you must be in good health (not have any other illnesses, not even a cold). Also, you should be normally active (for example, not lying down or confined to a bed like a patient in a Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Testing 101 For People With Type 2 Diabetes: Why, When & What To Do

Blood Sugar Testing 101 For People With Type 2 Diabetes: Why, When & What To Do

The Why I am a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, have run Diabetes Centers in hospitals, have a private practice in medical nutrition therapy specializing in metabolic syndrome, weight loss, and type 2 diabetes, and have written a NY Times Bestselling book on the same topics. January 10, 2012 was the world-wide release of my newest book, The Diabetes Miracle. I have had type 2 diabetes for 15 years. Guess what? If you asked me what my blood sugar is right now, I have no idea. Neither do you! Did you know that unless your blood sugar is over 200mg/dL, you most likely will have none of the traditional diabetes symptoms such as excessive thirst, urination, fatigue, hunger, or wounds that will not heal? If you’ve run blood sugar over 200mg/dL for a period of time, you probably won’t even have symptoms when your sugar exceeds that 200mg/dL point. If you have been prescribed medication for diabetes that is aimed at reducing your blood sugar and you begin to feel shaky, dizzy, nauseated, can’t speak clearly, can’t think, feel wiped out….you may assume that you are hypoglycemic. Are you? Without testing, you really have no idea…your once high readings may have returned to normal range…and your body may assume you are hypoglycemic when you are far from it! If you grab some juice or glucose tabs, you will push that normal sugar right back into the very high range. Or maybe those symptoms really are hypoglycemia and if you don’t treat it, you will lose consciousness, fall down the stairs, drop your child, run off the road. Your Hemoglobin A1C might be 6.3 and you think to yourself: “Wow, my blood sugar is now normal…why should I spend the money and take the time to test?” Do you realize that hemoglobin A1C is your average blood sugar 24 ho Continue reading >>

Procedures & Tests - Blood Sugar Test

Procedures & Tests - Blood Sugar Test

(This procedure/test may also be known as: Blood Glucose Test) What It Is A blood glucose test measures the amount of glucose (the main type of sugar in the body) in a blood sample. Glucose is the body's major source of energy. Our bodies break down food into glucose and other nutrients, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract. Glucose levels in the blood rise after a meal and trigger the pancreas to make the hormone insulin and release it into the blood. Insulin works like a key that opens the doors to cells and allows glucose in. Without insulin, glucose can't get into cells and it stays in the bloodstream. As a result, levels of sugar in the blood remain higher than normal. High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) is a concern because, if left untreated, it can cause health problems, both short-term (such as extreme thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue) and long-term (such as organ failure and nerve damage). Blood sugar that's too low (hypoglycemia) can also be a problem, causing symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and lightheadedness. Diabetes is the most common cause of abnormal rises in blood sugar. People with diabetes either can't make or can't respond to insulin properly. This means they must carefully monitor their glucose levels and follow a doctor-prescribed management plan that uses diet, medications (such as insulin shots), and exercise to keep those levels within a healthy range. Why It's Done The blood glucose test is ordered to measure the amount of sugar in the blood. It may be performed as part of a routine physical, to help diagnose type 1 or type 2 diabetes, or during pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes (high glucose levels during pregnancy that can affect the health of both mother and baby). In a person wit Continue reading >>

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