Fasting Blood Glucose: An Introduction
SHARE RATE★★★★★ Fasting blood glucose is the fastest and simplest test used to diagnose diabetes. It also plays a role in ongoing monitoring of blood glucose control if you have type 2 diabetes. The test measures the level of glucose (a type of sugar) in your blood. Having high blood glucose can be a sign that your body is not functioning normally and that you may have diabetes. If you have high blood glucose and it is not treated, it can lead to a range of dangerous health complications. However, finding out that you have elevated blood glucose is powerful information that you can use to keep yourself healthy. If you know that your blood glucose is high, you can take steps to lower it, by losing weight (if you are overweight or obese), getting regular moderate physical activity, and taking a medication that lowers blood glucose.1 Why measuring blood glucose is important in diagnosing type 2 diabetes Our bodies require energy to function properly and we get that energy from the foods we eat. Our diet (everything we eat and drink) includes three main sources of energy (also known as calories): protein, fat, and carbohydrates (sugars, starches, and fibers).When the body digests most sources of carbohydrates, they are transformed through digestion into a very important source of instant energy, a form of sugar called glucose. Our bodies depend on the action of a number of different natural body chemicals called hormones, including insulin, amylin, incretins, and glucagon, working together in conjunction, to control how we use glucose. In type 2 diabetes, these hormones no longer work in the way they should and this results in elevated blood glucose.2-6 How is a fasting blood glucose test done? A fasting blood glucose test requires taking a sample of blood. Before Continue reading >>
Prediabetes Symptoms And Diagnosis
What is prediabetes? About 41 million Americans between the ages of 40 and 74 have "prediabetes." Prediabetes is a condition that can be considered an early, yet potentially reversible stage of the development of type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is sometimes called impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose (IGT/IFG), depending upon the test that yielded the abnormal result. In prediabetes, a person's blood sugar (glucose) levels are slightly higher than the normal range, but not high enough for a true diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes have a significant risk of developing full-blown diabetes. In the Diabetes Prevention Program study, about 11% of people with prediabetes developed type II diabetes each year during the three year follow-up time of the study. Importantly, people with prediabetes generally have no symptoms of the condition. Testing for Pre Diabetes Doctors generally use one of two different blood tests to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes. One is called the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) in which a person's blood glucose level is measured first thing in the morning before breakfast. The normal fasting blood glucose level is below 100 mg/dl. A person with prediabetes has a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl. If the fasting blood glucose level is to 126 mg/dl or above, a person is considered to have diabetes. The second test used in the diagnosis of diabetes is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), although this test is no longer commonly used as in the past. This test may be used to diagnose gestational diabetes in pregnant women. In this test, a person's blood glucose is measured in the morning after fasting overnight and again two hours after drinking a glucose-rich beverage. The normal value for blood glucose Continue reading >>
What Is Pre-diabetes?
What Should I Do If I Have It? Are you one of the estimated 54 million people in this country who have pre-diabetes? If you have pre-diabetes, you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also are at increased risk of developing heart disease. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes. Those with pre-diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within a decade unless they adopt a healthier lifestyle that includes weight loss and more physical activity. First, let's define what "pre-diabetes" is and is not. Diabetes is defined as having a fasting plasma blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or greater on two separate occasions. If diabetes symptoms exist and you have a casual blood glucose taken at any time that is equal to or greater than 200 mg/dl, and a second test shows the same high blood glucose level, then you have diabetes. In general, people who have a fasting plasma blood glucose in the 100-125 mg/dl range are defined as having impaired fasting glucose. If your doctor gives you an oral glucose tolerance test, and at two-hours your blood glucose is 140-199 mg/dl, you have "impaired glucose tolerance". Either of these is medical terminology for what your doctor is probably referring to when he says you have "pre-diabetes." Be sure to ask your doctor what your exact blood sugar test results are when he tells you that you have "pre-diabetes." Some physicians are not as familiar as they should be with the new national guidelines for diagnosing diabetes. They may be telling you that you have pre-diabetes, when in fact you have actual diabetes. Among those who should be screened for pre-diabetes include overweight adults age 45 and older and those u Continue reading >>
How Blood Sugar Affects Your Body
When you have diabetes, your blood sugar (glucose) levels may be consistently high. Over time, this can damage your body and lead to many other problems. How much sugar in the blood is too much? And why is high glucose so bad for you? Here’s a look at how your levels affect your health. They're less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least 8 hours. And they're less than 140 mg/dL 2 hours after eating. During the day, levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals. For most people without diabetes, blood sugar levels before meals hover around 70 to 80 mg/dL. For some people, 60 is normal; for others, 90. What's a low sugar level? It varies widely, too. Many people's glucose won't ever fall below 60, even with prolonged fasting. When you diet or fast, the liver keeps your levels normal by turning fat and muscle into sugar. A few people's levels may fall somewhat lower. Doctors use these tests to find out if you have diabetes: Fasting plasma glucose test. The doctor tests your blood sugar levels after fasting for 8 hours and it’s higher than 126 mg/dL. Oral glucose tolerance test. After fasting for 8 hours, you get a special sugary drink. Two hours later your sugar level is higher than 200. Random check. The doctor tests your blood sugar and it’s higher than 200, plus you’re peeing more, always thirsty, and you’ve gained or lost a significant amount of weight. He’ll then do a fasting sugar level test or an oral glucose tolerance test to confirm the diagnosis. Any sugar levels higher than normal are unhealthy. Levels that are higher than normal, but not reaching the point of full-blown diabetes, are called prediabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 86 million people in the U.S. have this condition, which can lead to diabetes Continue reading >>
What Are Normal Blood Glucose Levels?
If you get a physical every year, chances are that your doctor orders a blood test that will tell you, among other things, if your blood sugar level is “normal.” If it’s not, you may have diabetes, or be at risk for it in coming years. But what’s this strange thing called “normal” anyway? There’s two main ways to measure blood glucose, depending on where you’re located. If you’re in Europe: In Europe, blood sugar is measured using millimoles per litre. A “normal” blood glucose level comes in at around 4 – 7 mmol/L or 4 – 8 mmol/L for a child with Type 1 diabetes before meals. Two hours after a meal, a normal blood sugar range should be under 9 mmol/L for people with T1D. For T2D, the upper range is slightly lower at 8.5 mmol/L. You can find additional information on the Diabetes UK website. If you’re in the US: The clinical definition puts “normal” blood glucose at 70-120 mg/dL (milligrams per decilitre) if you’ve fasted eight to twelve hours, or 70-160 mg/dL if you did not fast. That probably makes perfect sense if you have “M.D.” after your name. If you don’t, here’s the translation: 70 to 120 milligrams per deciliter. Clear as … uh…. blood, right? Don’t worry, it’s just the mathematics of measuring density. Here’s an easier way to remember ideal levels, courtesy of doctor Mehmet Oz: Optimal blood glucose is less than 100 after a fast, less than 125 if you weren’t fasting. But even then, remember, glucose levels are like the tide, constantly ebbing and flowing, depending on when – and what – we last ate. What is blood glucose anyway? Blood glucose means the same thing as blood sugar. But ironically enough, the amount of sugars coursing through our blood is not based on our intake of sugar, but how many carbohyd Continue reading >>
Why Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)
Hi, I just found this site and would like to participate. I will give my numbers, etc. First, my last A1c was 6.1, the doc said it was Pre-diabetes in January of 2014, OK, I get it that part, but what confuses me is that at home, on my glucometer, all my fastings were “Normal” however, back then, I had not checked after meals, so maybe they were the culprits. Now, I am checking all the time and driving myself crazy. In the morning sometimes fasting is 95 and other times 85, it varies day to day. Usually, after a low carb meal, it drops to the 80’s the first hour and lower the second. On some days, when I am naughty and eat wrong, my b/s sugar is still low, and on other days, I can eat the same thing, and it goes sky high, again, not consistent. Normally, however, since February, my fbs is 90, 1 hour after, 120, 2nd hour, back to 90, but, that changes as well. In February, of 2014, on the 5th, it was horrible. I think I had eaten Lasagne, well, before, my sugars did not change much, but that night, WHAM-O I started at 80 before the meal, I forgot to take it at the one and two hour mark, but did at the 3 hour mark, it was 175, then at four hours, down to 160, then at 5 hours, back to 175. I went to bed, because by that time, it was 2 AM, but when I woke up at 8:00 and took it, it was back to 89!!!! This horrible ordeal has only happened once, but, I have gone up to 178 since, but come down to normal in 2 hours. I don’t know if I was extra stressed that day or what, I am under tons of it, my marriage is not good, my dear dad died 2 years ago and my very best friend died 7 months ago, I live in a strange country, I am from America, but moved to New Zealand last year, and I am soooo unhappy. Anyway, what does confuse me is why the daily differences, even though I may Continue reading >>
* What Is A Normal Blood Sugar?
Normal blood sugars after a high carbohydrate breakfast eaten at 7:30 AM. The blue line is the average for the group. The brown lines show the range within which most readings fell (2 standard deviations). Bottom lines show Insulin and C-peptide levels at the same time. Click HERE if you don't see the graph. Graph is a screen shot from Dr. Christiansen's presentation cited below. The term "blood sugar" refers to the concentration of glucose, a simple, sugar, that is found in a set volume of blood. In the U.S. it is measured in milligrams per deciliter, abbreviated as mg/dl. In most of the rest of the world it is measured in millimoles per liter, abbreviated as mmol/L. The concentration of glucose in our blood changes continually throughout the day. It can even vary significantly from minute to minute. When you eat, it can rise dramatically. When you exercise it will often drop. The blood sugar measures that doctors are most interested in is the A1c, discussed below. When you are given a routine blood test doctors usually order a fasting glucose test. The most informative blood sugar reading is the post-meal blood sugar measured one and two hours after eating. Doctors rarely test this important blood sugar measurement as it is time consuming and hence expensive. Rarely doctors will order a Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, which tests your response to a huge dose of pure glucose, which hits your blood stream within minutes and produces results quite different from the blood sugars you will experience after each meal. Below you will find the normal readings for these various tests. Normal Fasting Blood Sugar Fasting blood sugar is usually measured first thing in the morning before you have eaten any food. A truly normal fasting blood sugar (which is also the blood sugar a norm Continue reading >>
What Is Prediabetes? Prediabetes is a “pre-diagnosis” of diabetes—you can think of it as a warning sign. It’s when your blood glucose level (blood sugar level) is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough to be considered diabetes. Prediabetes is an indication that you could develop type 2 diabetes if you don’t make some lifestyle changes. But here's the good news: . Eating healthy food, losing weight and staying at a healthy weight, and being physically active can help you bring your blood glucose level back into the normal range. Diabetes develops very gradually, so when you’re in the prediabetes stage—when your blood glucose level is higher than it should be—you may not have any symptoms at all. You may, however, notice that: you’re hungrier than normal you’re losing weight, despite eating more you’re thirstier than normal you have to go to the bathroom more frequently you’re more tired than usual All of those are typical symptoms associated with diabetes, so if you’re in the early stages of diabetes, you may notice them. Prediabetes develops when your body begins to have trouble using the hormone insulin. Insulin is necessary to transport glucose—what your body uses for energy—into the cells via the bloodstream. In pre-diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or it doesn’t use it well (that’s called insulin resistance). If you don’t have enough insulin or if you’re insulin resistant, you can build up too much glucose in your blood, leading to a higher-than-normal blood glucose level and perhaps prediabetes. Researchers aren’t sure what exactly causes the insulin process to go awry in some people. There are several risk factors, though, that make it more likely that you’ll develop pre-diabetes. These are Continue reading >>
A condition in which blood glucose levels are elevated, but not yet within the diabetic range. Prediabetes is also known as impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). The new term was inaugurated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in March 2002 to promote public understanding of this increasingly widespread problem. According to HHS, nearly 57 million Americans have prediabetes. Studies have shown that most people with blood glucose levels in the prediabetes range go on to develop Type 2 diabetes within 10 years; the condition also raises the risk of having a heart attack or stroke by 50%. Prediabetes can be controlled, and in many cases even reversed, through lifestyle changes. Prediabetes can be detected by either of the two standard tests currently used to diagnose diabetes. In the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG), a person fasts overnight and then has blood drawn for testing first thing in the morning, before he eats. Until recently, a normal fasting blood glucose level under 110 mg/dl was considered to be normal and fasting blood glucose in the range of 110 to 125 mg/dl indicated impaired fasting glucose (IFG), or prediabetes. In late 2003, an international expert panel recommended that the cutoff be lowered to 100 mg/dl, so now people with a fasting blood glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dl are considered to have prediabetes. A fasting blood glucose level over 125 mg/dl indicates diabetes. (A second test must be done on a subsequent day to confirm a diagnosis of diabetes.) In the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), a person’s blood glucose is tested once after an overnight fast and again two hours after he has consumed a special, glucose-rich drink. A normal blood glucose Continue reading >>
What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level?
The aim of diabetes treatment is to bring blood sugar (“glucose”) as close to normal as possible. What is a normal blood sugar level? And how can you achieve normal blood sugar? First, what is the difference between “sugar” and “glucose”? Sugar is the general name for sweet carbohydrates that dissolve in water. “Carbohydrate” means a food made only of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. There are various different kinds of sugars. The one our body uses most is called “glucose.” Other sugars we eat, like fructose from fruit or lactose from milk, are converted into glucose in our bodies. Then we can use them for energy. Our bodies also break down starches, which are sugars stuck together, into glucose. When people talk about “blood sugar,” they mean “blood glucose.” The two terms mean the same thing. In the U.S., blood sugar is normally measured in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dl). A milligram is very little, about 0.00018 of a teaspoon. A deciliter is about 3 1/3 ounces. In Canada and the United Kingdom, blood sugar is reported in millimoles/liter (mmol/L). You can convert Canadian or British glucose levels to American numbers if you multiply them by 18. This is useful to know if you’re reading comments or studies from England or Canada. If someone reports that their fasting blood glucose was 7, you can multiply that by 18 and get their U.S. glucose level of 126 mg/dl. What are normal glucose numbers? They vary throughout the day. (Click here for a blood sugar chart.) For someone without diabetes, a fasting blood sugar on awakening should be under 100 mg/dl. Before-meal normal sugars are 70–99 mg/dl. “Postprandial” sugars taken two hours after meals should be less than 140 mg/dl. Those are the normal numbers for someone w Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Test
A blood glucose test measures the amount of a sugar called glucose in a sample of your blood. Glucose is a major source of energy for most cells of the body, including brain cells. Carbohydrates are found in fruit, cereal, bread, pasta, and rice. They are quickly turned into glucose in your body. This raises your blood glucose level. Hormones made in the body help control blood glucose level. Continue reading >>
Print Overview Prediabetes means that your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes. Without lifestyle changes, people with prediabetes are very likely to progress to type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, the long-term damage of diabetes — especially to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys — may already be starting. There's good news, however. Progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes isn't inevitable. Eating healthy foods, incorporating physical activity in your daily routine and maintaining a healthy weight can help bring your blood sugar level back to normal. Prediabetes affects adults and children. The same lifestyle changes that can help prevent progression to diabetes in adults might also help bring children's blood sugar levels back to normal. Symptoms Prediabetes generally has no signs or symptoms. One possible sign that you may be at risk of type 2 diabetes is darkened skin on certain parts of the body. Affected areas can include the neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles. Classic signs and symptoms that suggest you've moved from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes include: Increased thirst Frequent urination Fatigue Blurred vision When to see a doctor See your doctor if you're concerned about diabetes or if you notice any type 2 diabetes signs or symptoms. Ask your doctor about blood glucose screening if you have any risk factors for prediabetes. Causes The exact cause of prediabetes is unknown. But family history and genetics appear to play an important role. Inactivity and excess fat — especially abdominal fat — also seem to be important factors. What is clear is that people with prediabetes don't process sugar (glucose) properly anymore. As a result, sugar accumulates in the bloodstream instead o Continue reading >>
What Are “normal” Blood Sugar Levels?
Physicians focus so much ondisease that we sometimes lose sight of what’s healthy and normal. For instance, the American Diabetes Association defines “tight” control of diabetes to include sugar levels as high as 179 mg/dl (9.94 mmol/l) when measured two hours after a meal. In contrast, young adults without diabetes two hours after a meal are usually in the range of 90 to 110 mg/dl (5.00–6.11 mmol/l). What are Normal Blood Sugar Levels? The following numbers refer to average blood sugar (glucose) levels in venous plasma, as measured in a lab. Portable home glucose meters measure sugar in capillary whole blood. Many, but not all, meters in 2010 are calibrated to compare directly to venous plasma levels. Fasting blood sugar after a night of sleep and before breakfast: 85 mg/dl (4.72 mmol/l) One hour after a meal: 110 mg/dl (6.11 mmol/l) Two hours after a meal: 95 mg/dl (5.28 mmol/l) Five hours after a meal: 85 mg/dl (4.72 mmol/l) (The aforementioned meal derives 50–55% of its energy from carbohydrate.) Ranges of blood sugar for healthy non-diabetic adults: Fasting blood sugar: 70–90 mg/dl (3.89–5.00 mmol/l) One hour after a typical meal: 90–125 mg/dl (5.00–6.94 mmol/l) Two hours after a typical meal: 90–110 mg/dl (5.00–6.11 mmol/l) Five hours after a typical meal: 70–90 mg/dl (3.89–5.00 mmol/l) * Blood sugars tend to be a bit lower in pregnant women. What Level of Blood Sugar Defines Diabetes and Prediabetes? According to the 2007 guidelines issued by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists: Pre-diabetes: (or impaired fasting glucose): fasting blood sugar 100–125 mg/dl (5.56–6.94 mmol/l) Pre-diabetes: (or impaired glucose tolerance): blood sugar 140–199 mg/dl (7.78–11.06 mmol/l) two hours after ingesting 75 grams of glucose Continue reading >>
Is My Blood Sugar Normal?
“Is my blood sugar normal?” seems like a simple question – but it’s not! The answer can vary dramatically based on your situation. Let’s look at some of the factors to consider. Please remember: you should figure out your personal goals in consultation with your doctor. Normal Blood Sugar in Diabetic vs. Non-Diabetic First, a quick note on how we measure blood sugar. In the USA, blood sugars are measured by weight in milligrams per deciliter, abbreviated as mg/dL. Most everyone else uses millimole per liter, abbreviated mmol. If you are in the USA, look at the big numbers, most everyone else look at the small numbers. In a person without diabetes, blood sugars tend to stay between 70 and 100 mg/dL (3.8 and 5.5 mmol). After a meal, blood sugars can rise up to 120 mg/dL or 6.7 mmol. It will typically fall back into the normal range within two hours. In a person with diabetes, the story is much more complex: Below 70 mg/dL Below 3.8 mmol Low Blood Sugars (Hypoglycemia). When blood sugars drop below this level, you may start feeling hunger, shakiness, or racing of the heart. Your body is starved for sugar (glucose). Read how to detect and treat low blood sugars. 70 mg/dL to 140 mg/dL 3.8 mmol to 7.7 mmol Normal Blood Sugar. In this range, the body is functioning normally. In someone without diabetes, the vast majority of the time is spent in the lower half of this range. 140 mg/dL to 180 mg/dL 7.7 mmol to 10 mmol Elevated Blood Sugars. In this range, the body can function relatively normally. However, extended periods of time in this zone put you at risk for long-term complications. Above 180 mg/dL Abovoe 10 mmol High Blood Sugars. At this range, the kidney is unable to reabsorb all of the glucose in your blood and you begin to spill glucose in your urine. Your bo Continue reading >>
The “normal Blood Sugar Range” May Be Misleading You
A fasting blood sugar test measures the amount of a type of sugar, called glucose, in your blood after you have not eaten for at least eight hours. Checking for an ideal fasting blood sugar is one of the most commonly performed tests to check for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. So what should your fasting blood sugar be? The normal blood sugar range is 65-99 mg/dL. If your fasting blood sugar is between 100 and 125 mg/dL, you have “impaired fasting glucose,” also referred to as “prediabetes.” If your fasting blood sugar is more than 126 mg/dL on two or more occasions, you have full-blown diabetes. What Is Prediabetes? People defined as having impaired fasting glucose/prediabetes are individuals whose blood sugar levels do not meet criteria for diabetes, yet are higher than those considered normal. These people are at relatively high risk for the future development of diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), prediabetes is not a disease itself but rather a risk factor “for diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease.” However, the ADA also state that prediabetes can be considered an “intermediate stage” in the diabetes disease process.(One might wonder how prediabetes can be a both a risk factor for diabetes and an intermediate stage of the diabetes disease process simultaneously). In addition to increasing the chance of developing diabetes, it’s well-established that people with impaired fasting glucose/prediabetes are more likely to be overweight or obese, especially with what’s known as abdominal or visceral obesity. They also are more likely to have high triglycerides and/or low HDL cholesterol, and hypertension. Even Normal-Range Blood Glucose Levels Can Increase Diabetes Risk There’s a lot more at stake for thos Continue reading >>