There are a variety of blood glucose tests that can be done to find out the concentration of glucose in your blood. Among the most reliable and easy test is the fasting blood glucose test that is usually the first one that is prescribed by doctors to diagnose diabetes. It is also called as the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test and exposes the problems related to insulin functioning.
What is fasting blood glucose test?
The FBG test is a carbohydrate metabolism test that measures the glucose levels after at least eight hours of fasting. Fasting triggers a hormone called glucagons produced by pancreas. This causes the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream. Among the non diabetics, their body reacts by producing insulin which prevents hyperglycemia. However, the inability to generate insulin may lead to high glucose levels. This is usually the best test for screening for diabetes. It helps evaluate the effectiveness of medication as well as your dietary therapy which may be a part of your diabetes control plan.
The American Diabetes Association recommends the fasting blood glucose test be preferably done in the morning. It has been seen that if done in the afternoon the readings are lower. The test is done after at least eight hours of fasting. If done overnight when it is easier to go without food, the results are more accurate. You cannot have any food or fluids, only water can be consumed. It is more reliable as results are not affected by age or any exercise you undertake. Fasting blood glucose test is considered as a better indicator of the sugar levels as the system is clear of sugar intake prior to the test. The healthcare provider can take a sample in a few minutes and send it for analysis. It is easy, fast and inexpensive.
Fasting blood glucose test results
The doctors would study the results of the test and advice you whether they are in the normal range of not. Normally for the test the readings of 70 to 100mg/dL are normal levels with no risk involved. However, if the readings are between 100mg/dL to 125mg/dL your doctor may ask you to conduct another blood test. These are levels higher than normal and are considered as pre-diabetes condition. When the glucose readings for the test show 126mg/dL or higher the doctors may order a second test to be taken on another day. If the results of that too are more than 126mg/dL then you have diabetes.
The readings of the test may not always be diabetes only. They may be the result of pancreatitis, Cushing’s syndrome, liver or kidney disease, eclampsia or other acute illness like sepsis or myocardial infarction. Similarly lab results below the normal range indicate problems such as reactive hypoglycemia, renal insufficiency, hypopituitarism etc and further diagnosis would be necessary. A lab result which measures below the normal range can indicate problems such as reactive hypoglycemia, renal or hepatic insufficiency, hypopituitarism, or malabsorption syndrome, and will usually require further diagnostic testing.
Fasting blood glucose test is the easiest, simplest and reliable test which gives you pretty accurate blood glucose level readings. Seek the doctor’s advice if you experience symptoms that may be caused due to blood glucose level fluctuations.