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Fasting Blood Sugar Test

The fasting blood sugar test is a diagnostic tool that detects diabetes and prediabetes. This test measures the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood following an overnight fast that lasted at least 8 hours. It is a simple blood test performed in the morning before eating or drinking anything other than water.
The test is commonly used because it can help identify diabetes in its early stages before any symptoms appear. It is also used to monitor the glucose levels of diabetics to see how well their treatment is working. The results can reveal important information about your health. If the findings are abnormal, they can help you and your healthcare provider take steps to prevent or manage diabetes.

How does the test work?

The primary sugar in your blood is called glucose or blood sugar. The test measures your blood glucose levels after an overnight fast. 

During the fast, the liver releases glucose into the bloodstream to keep blood glucose levels within the usual range. When you eat, insulin is released by the pancreas to help move glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, where it can be used for energy.

However, diabetes causes the body to either make insufficient insulin or become resistant to its effects, which raises blood glucose levels. These elevated glucose levels can be identified and diagnosed as diabetes using the fasting blood sugar test.

Why is the test carried out?

The early stages of prediabetes and diabetes frequently show no signs. Therefore, unawareness of the condition is possible. 

The fasting blood sugar test is usually requested by medical professionals: 

  • as part of a person’s typical yearly physical exam 
  • for expecting mothers to make sure that the hormones do not contribute to diabetes. 
  • when someone has a family history of diabetes or risk factors for developing diabetes (such as obesity). 
  • when an individual has previously had blood sugar levels that were higher than usual.
  • when a person exhibits symptoms of diabetes, such as a rise in the frequency of urination or blurred eyesight. 

What do the results mean?

The fasting blood sugar test measures the amount of glucose in your blood in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). A fasting blood sugar level of less than 100 mg/dL is considered normal, and further testing might not be required.

Normal fasting blood sugar ranges from 70 to 99 mg/dL. If the test results show a fasting blood sugar level of 100-125 mg/dL, it may indicate prediabetes. Prediabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Prediabetes can progress to diabetes if left untreated, which can result in serious health complications.

Diabetes is typically indicated by test results that reveal a fasting blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL or higher on two different occasions. Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body produces insufficient insulin or is resistant to its effects, resulting in high blood glucose levels. If left untreated, diabetes can cause severe health complications like heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.

The fasting test should be performed twice to guarantee consistent findings and prevent a false diagnosis. This is because Cushing’s syndrome, liver or kidney disease, and pancreatitis can all cause increased blood glucose levels. 

 What should I expect before the test?

Before the fasting blood sugar test, your doctor may give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the test. It is important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure accurate results. You will be asked to fast for at least 8 hours before the test, which means you cannot eat or drink anything other than water. This includes any medications or supplements that may contain sugar or carbohydrates. You should inform your doctor if you are taking any medications or have any medical conditions that may affect the test results.

 What should I expect during the test?

A healthcare professional will use a needle to draw a small amount of blood from your arm for the fasting blood sugar test. The sample will be sent to a laboratory for analysis, which may take a few days to process. Although the process is quick and relatively painless, some people may feel a slight pinch or discomfort when the needle is inserted.

What should I expect after the test?

After the fasting blood sugar test, you can resume your normal activities, including eating and drinking. Your doctor will review the test results with you and determine the next steps, if necessary. 

If your test results indicate prediabetes or diabetes, talk to your doctor about a thorough treatment plan and the required steps to be as healthy as possible. Depending on the severity of your condition, the doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and weight loss. They may also prescribe medications to help lower your blood sugar levels.

Your doctor may repeat the test if you have an elevated fasting blood sugar level to be sure. They will advise you to repeat the fasting blood sugar test every year or two if the result indicates prediabetes. 

Schedule your appointment at Novomed today!

If you suspect you are at risk of developing diabetes, contact us now by calling toll-free 8006686 or clicking the chat icon at the bottom of the screen to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is fasting necessary for the test? 

Fasting is necessary because eating or drinking before the test can affect blood sugar levels and lead to inaccurate results. Fasting ensures that blood sugar levels are stable and not influenced by recent food intake.

Can I drink water before the test? 

Yes, drinking water is allowed before the fasting blood sugar test. However, other liquids, such as coffee, tea, juice, or soda, should be avoided. 

How often should I have a fasting blood sugar test? 

The frequency of fasting blood sugar tests depends on individual circumstances, such as age, overall health, and other medical conditions. Your doctor may recommend testing every 3-6 months if you have diabetes or every 1-3 years if you are at risk of developing diabetes.

Are there any risks associated with the fasting blood sugar test?  

The fasting blood sugar test is a safe procedure with minimal risks. However, some people may experience dizziness or fainting during or after the blood draw. In rare cases, there may be bleeding or infection at the site of the blood draw.

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