The glucose blood test is extremely important to diabetes management plan. Regular checks of the blood glucose levels can help evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts. The doctor may advice you to take a certain glucose blood test either to check if you are in control of your diabetes or to diagnose the reason causing high or low levels of glucose in your blood like diabetes, kidney disease or any other ailments. There are some standard blood glucose tests that are done at the pathology lab or you may also check the levels using self monitoring meters.
Glucose blood test
* Fasting blood glucose test: This test is the most common and highly reliable glucose test. The sample for the test is taken after fasting for at least 8 hours. You are allowed to only have water during the period. Thus it is preferably done in the morning. Studies indicate that the results of this test done in the morning are more accurate than those done in afternoon. It is mostly the first test to diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes.
* 2-hour postprandial glucose test: The test is done exactly 2 hours after you have had food. Normally the glucose levels rise immediately after you eat and come back to normal after 2-3 hours yet they should be in specific range. Any problem in glucose levels can thus be recorded for further analysis.
* Random blood sugar (RBS): This test done at any time throughout the day regardless of when you last ate. Multiple random tests may be conducted throughout the day. Results showing 11.1mmol/L readings indicate diabetes or other problems.
* Oral glucose tolerance test (OGT): The OGT records the response of the body to glucose. Generally you are given a sugary drink and blood glucose measurements are done after 2 hours and 3 hours. The readings are indicative of pre-diabetes and diabetes. The OGT is commonly prescribed to diagnose gestational diabetes.
* The HbA1c blood test: The HbA1c test is done to check how much you are in control of your diabetes. It records the amount of sugar found sticking to hemoglobin. It can be done every 2-6 months by your doctor or nurse. The levels are the average blood glucose level generally for the period of 3 months which is the life span of red blood cells. The target levels should be between 6.5% and 7.5%. Anything higher requires changes to diabetes control plan.
* Home glucose monitors: Lab tests are considered more reliable and accurate if done properly. Diabetics who need to monitor glucose levels several times a day may not find other tests easy. Now-a-days different types of glucose meters are available that allow you to easily undertake glucose blood test without an assistant or nurse. The meters are easy to use, reliable and give you immediate readings. There is so much variety on offer that you can choose one that suits your needs. A major advantage is that their size and portability enables you to take it to office, school or even while traveling. You can even store test results. It can be later reviewed by scrolling or even transferred to your PC. The printed reports can be taken to the doctor who reviews it and advices the needful.
Regular glucose blood test helps you to find if you need to make any changes to your diabetes control plan. You can thus ensure stringent control that would help avoid future complications.