diabetes also known as sugar, is an autoimmune condition that affects the body’s ability to produce and use insulin hormone secreted from the pancreas. There are different types of diabetes – type 1, type 2, gestational, prediabetes, etc. all these diabetes types are ruled out through a process known as a blood sugar test.
Your doctor may ask for a blood sugar test to check if you have diabetes or prediabetes. It helps in measuring the amount of glucose present in the blood.
Here in this article, you will get to know what exactly a blood sugar test is, when, and how this test is done.
What is a Blood Sugar Test?
It is a process in which the amount of glucose or also called sugar levels present in the blood are measured. Usually, this test helps in diagnosing diabetes.
Apart from that, the doctor can also ask for a blood sugar test in case if you have any symptoms associated or are on a routine body checkup can also order a blood sugar test.
Read More: Causes of Diabetes
As a result blood sugar test is helpful for diabetic people, it gives them an idea about their health and conditions they need to look for.
Instant Blood sugar test results help in the following ways –
- You get info about low or high blood glucose levels.
- It helps people with diabetes to know whether their treatment or medications are working or not.
- Test results can help you understand changes required in your diet and exercise.
- With this, people can get to know if they have prediabetes or diabetes.
- Once ruled out diabetes stays with the rest of life but prediabetes is a reversible condition that can be treated.
- Also, knowing your blood glucose levels helps in diabetes management too.
Certain factors that increase the risk of diabetes –
- Age above 45 – people above this age have chances of high blood glucose levels.
- Gestational diabetes – It occurs when a woman conceives.
- Cardiovascular conditions – High blood pressure, high triglycerides levels, bad cholesterol levels that are too high.
- Insulin resistance or having a family history can also increase risk factors for diabetes.
How many types of blood sugar test are performed?
There are two ways through which blood sugar tests are performed –
- Glucose meter – Many people with diabetes use blood glucose meters to monitor their sugar levels. In it, people themselves prick their fingers for daily testing.
- Blood samples at lab – In it blood samples are taken in which one sample is taken empty stomach that is why this test is performed in morning called fasting blood sugar (FBS) test.
- After that, you need to eat something then blood samples are taken after two hours of it.
- This test is also called the hemoglobin A1C test.
- The result of this test reflects blood sugar levels over the period of last 3 months or 90 days.
- It helps to know if people have prediabetes and also monitors diabetes management.
What are the side effects of blood sugar test?
To perform this test healthcare professionals required blood samples. For that, they inject at veins to take blood samples.
Although people don’t feel more than a sting for few seconds. Some people might have –
- Soreness that goes away within a day.
When to test blood sugar levels?
It depends upon the types of diabetes and the treatment taken for it.
- Type 1 diabetes – Check sugar levels before and after – meal, exercise, snacks, etc apart from that if you change any daily routine, starts a new medication, sick, it can be done 4 to 10 times a day.
- Type 2 diabetes – In case of insulin it can be done several times a day, while in other cases it can be recommended before breakfast and after dinner. Some patients who manage diabetes with diet, exercise, non insulin medications are not needed to test their glucose levels daily.
- Gestational diabetes – It is developed in some women during pregnancy. More often it goes away after childbirth but it is important to keep sugar levels in healthy range during pregnancy. For that doctor may recommend regular blood tests in such cases.
- Low blood sugar levels – sometimes people feel symptoms like sweaty, chill, irritated, sleepy, hungry, weak, angry, numbness in lips or tongue, etc are signs of low blood sugar. It can happen with people of any diabetes type.
- High blood sugar levels – people with diabetes if they feel increase thirst, frequent urination may require urgent doctor intervention. While in cases of controlled diabetes and have symptoms can be caused by stress or any other reason.
How to test your blood sugar levels at home?
For that, you need a glucose meter in it –
- Make sure your hands are washed and dry.
- Then insert the strip in the glucose meter.
- On a test strip, you have to prick a small sample of blood from your finger.
- Then meter will take few seconds to calculate the blood sugar levels.
Also, read instructions carefully before using any glucose monitoring meter. Some of them may require samples from a different site. Don’t use expired test strips and disposed of them once they are used.
If you have any doubt or have any questions about low and high blood sugar levels, It’s always been better to ask an expert or a doctor. Having high sugar levels and treatment of your own can lead to severe health conditions. Make sure to stay in touch with your health care professionals.