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For those experiencing symptoms or who have a family history of diabetes, a fasting blood glucose (sugar) test can help a physician determine if a patient has or is at risk for the disease.
Taking the Test
Diabetes is a condition that causes the body to become resistant to insulin, a chemical that helps the body use sugars for energy. If a person's body does not correctly use insulin, there will be a higher level of sugar present in the blood. A blood glucose test is effective in determining if a person is correctly processing insulin.
Typically performed in the morning after a person has not eaten anything for 8 hours or more, the test is able to compare the levels of a person without diabetes to a person who does. Your doctor may recommend this if you have a family history of diabetes, or have been experiencing symptoms such as excessive thirst, sudden weight loss or gain, nausea, or dizziness.
Physicians use three levels to differentiate the results of a fasting blood sugar test.
A glucose level of 70 to 99 mg/dL is a normal fasting glucose results.
A glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dL is considered an impaired fasting glucose result, and can indicate a pre-diabetic condition.
A glucose level of 126 mg/dL or higher may indicate diabetes. If this result occurs, however, an additional fasting blood glucose test should be conducted to confirm this result. (Source: www.labtestsonline.org)
Once you know the results of your fasting blood sugar results, there may be some important questions to ask your doctor. Even if your results are normal, if you have been experiencing symptoms, you may ask your doctor to explore other conditions besides diabetes. Or, ask your physician if you should be re-tested.
For those with pre-diabetes levels, your physician may make recommendations concerning diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors that can keep you from advancing to the diabetic range.
If you are in the diabetic range (126 mg/dL), you may need to take a repeat test or another test that can measure insulin resistance. If your blood sugar levels are high, it's important to begin treatment so your symptoms can quickly lessen. There are many treatment options involved with diabetes. Discuss with your doctor which one may be the best for you.