Can You Check Fasting Blood Sugar Levels at Home?

Doctors insist on knowing the fasting blood sugar level of their patients more often than not. Undergoing the test is a simple process with blood being drawn from the veins after the body has been deprived of food for an average of 8 to 10 hours. The blood is tested for the presence of glucose and conclusions are drawn from the test results. Some healthcare professionals may obtain the necessary blood by pricking the finger as well.

Why is the fasting blood sugar test necessary?

Understanding the amount of glucose present within an individual’s blood is usually done by checking the fasting blood sugar level in the laboratory. This is a diagnostic test that is one of the commonest fasting blood tests today. The results enable the individual and medical professionals to understand the state of health before affirming the diagnosis and recommending treatments.

The fasting blood sugar test is the most important screening test done to confirm diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes. Although the test measures the amount of glucose in the blood, it is commonly referred to as blood sugar levels in common parlance.

The purpose of testing blood sugar levels after fasting

The concerned doctor may consider getting the test done for several reasons. It is often a precautionary measure to rule out diabetes as the underlying cause of a specific condition. Again, the medical professional may check the amount of glucose in one’s blood to confirm a diagnosis. It is interesting to note that Type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and diabetes during pregnancy often have no visible symptoms. The person in question may be oblivious to the condition and continue to lead an unhealthy lifestyle without an inkling of the associat reasons:

  • As a part of regular health monitoring
  • During pregnancy to ensure that the pregnancy-related hormones in the blood are not causing diabetes
  • To rule out diabetes as the underlying cause of the present ailment
  • It is a standard procedure to check the health condition of individuals with a family history of diabetes
  • To assess the general health of an obese individual
  • To rule out diabetes in individuals who have had increased blood sugar levels in the past

Results of fasting blood sugar test

The fasting blood sugar level is sure to vary with the age and health condition of an individual. However, the most important conclusions drawn from the results of the test are the following:

ResultFasting Blood Sugar Test
Diabetes126 mg/dL or above
Prediabetes100 – 125 mg/dL
Normal99 mg/dL or below

 

Having an increased amount of glucose in the blood after fasting for more than 8 hours is not always conclusive. However, it is certainly indicative of diabetes when the levels exceed 99 mg/dL. The doctor is likely to advise lifestyle changes and recommend a healthy, balanced diet for individuals with blood sugar levels between 100 – 125 mg/dL. For people with confirmed diabetes, medication becomes necessary in addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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An Alternative Blood Glucose Test

The doctor may order a random blood sugar instead of the conventional diabetes tests to understand the need for testing further. Knowing the random blood sugar levels enables the medical professional to assess the amount of glucose present in the circulating blood of the concerned person at any given point in time.

Symptoms warranting random blood sugar test

Individuals can check their blood sugar levels randomly too. Some of the symptoms that may make the concerned person think of taking the test include the following:-

  • Blurry vision
  • Palpitation of the heart
  • Extreme or sudden fatigue
  • Nausea

An untrained individual may not be able to decipher the symptoms properly all the time. Instead, there are several instances of patients with diabetes who test themselves too often for any conclusive results. A doctor is the best person to understand the need for testing one’s blood glucose levels based on the existing systems or previous reports. A medical professional may feel the need to do the test in the clinic when the patient shows the following symptoms:

  • Steady weight loss for a period
  • Increased hunger and/or thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Very slow healing of wounds
  • Reduced clotting of blood

Reasons to check random blood sugar

This is a quick test that can be done at any instance. It is usually done for people who have already been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes. An urgent need for supplementary insulin may be felt after reading random blood sugar levels. Individuals can test themselves at home by using a glucometer.     

Understanding random blood sugar test results

When the blood glucose levels are 200 mg/dl or more, the doctor may feel the need to order a more reliable blood sugar test to corroborate the evidence. Such a level is a strong indication of diabetes but the doctor would want to confirm the results without any doubts before proceeding with the treatment.

An earlier research study indicates that random blood sugar levels of more than 100 mg/dl pose a greater risk for developing diabetes rather than the presence of traditional risk factors such as obesity and poor lifestyles.

Inaccuracy of blood sugar test results

Numbers do not lie! Yet the results may not always be accurate despite being done carefully. It would not do to conclude that you are a diabetic based on the results of a simple test. A majority of doctors feel the need for corroborating the evidence by ordering blood sugar tests regularly. A proper conclusion may be reached by checking several test reports together.  

You may see a sudden spike in blood sugar levels due to:

  • Overeating
  • Leading sedentary life
  • Side effects of medicinal drugs
  • Existing chronic conditions
  • Stress
  • Pain
  • Dehydration
  • Menstruation

Wrap Up

Keeping track of one’s blood sugar levels is necessary. The results help to understand the health condition and take precautions as and when necessary. Diabetic individuals can test themselves at any anytime by using a glucometer to check random blood sugar levels. However, a doctor may diagnose one’s condition based on fasting blood sugar levels

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