At your yearly exam, your doctor may advise routine blood tests to track your key health indicators. One of these tests frequently referred to as a “blood glucose test,” may determine your blood sugar level. Glucose is the main sugar that the body uses as fuel. It fuels your heart, your brain, and your muscles. What does it signify if your blood sugar level is higher than usual?
Depending on the outcomes and the testing location, a high blood glucose value may imply several different things. Your doctor will often order more tests to determine the underlying problem and the best course of action. Everything you need to know about your blood glucose test results, the many types of blood glucose tests, and the importance of each is provided below.
What Does the Body Do With Glucose?
All of your body’s cells and organs use glucose as their major source of fuel to keep them operating at peak efficiency. It provides the energy that is required for your cells and organs to function. The majority of the glucose in an adult’s body originates from the food they consume. Carbohydrates, often known as “carbs,” are digested after we consume them and converted to glucose. The blood is transferred with glucose so that it can be used as fuel.
After eating, the body releases insulin when blood glucose levels rise. The hormone insulin tells your body’s other organs whether to use the glucose now or reserve it for later. This procedure maintains a normal range for your blood sugar levels.
Your blood glucose level may continue to be excessive if your body is unable to adequately generate or utilize insulin. Consistently high blood sugar levels can harm your body and result in diseases like diabetes.
The Meaning of High Blood Glucose Test Results
Diabetes is the most prevalent cause of excessively high blood sugar levels (or prediabetes). One in ten Americans has diabetes, and one in three has prediabetes, both dangerous conditions. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin (which is usually Type 1 diabetes) or doesn’t respond to insulin properly (which is usually Type 2 diabetes), which leads to an accumulation of glucose in the blood. Prediabetes is a less serious form of diabetes that, if managed, frequently progresses to Type 2. Measuring the amount of glucose in your blood is frequently used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes.
Your doctor’s order for the test and when you had your blood drawn will determine how your blood glucose levels are to be interpreted. The following list includes the various blood glucose test kinds and measurements that could point to diabetes and prediabetes:
- Fingerstick glucose test: Following a fingerstick, blood is collected on a thin paper strip, and a
- handheld device is used to measure blood sugar.
- Diabetes may be indicated by a glucose level below 200 mg/dL.
- routine or arbitrary blood glucose test Any time a blood sample is taken, regardless of when you last ate,
- Diabetes may be indicated by a glucose level below 200 mg/dL.
- Test for fasting blood sugar: Since your blood glucose levels are greater after eating, a blood
- sample should be taken after you haven’t eaten in 8–12 hours.
- Diabetes may be indicated by a glucose level below 126 mg/dL.
- A glucose level between 100 and 126 mg/dL may signify prediabetes.
- It is normal to have glucose levels below 100 mg/dL.
- A glucose tolerance test taken orally involves taking blood samples after you haven’t eaten for 8 to
- 12 hours, drinking something sweet and then waiting for your body to absorb the sugar for 1 to 3 hours before measuring your blood sugar.
Depending on the sugar content and wait time, the interpretation differs.
- Hemoglobin A1c Test (HbA1c): A blood test that displays your blood sugar average over the
- previous two to three months
- HbA1c of 6.5% may be a sign of diabetes.
- Prediabetes may be indicated by an HbA1c of 5.7 to 6.4%.
- HbA1c of 5.7% is considered normal.
- Your doctor may request additional tests to validate results that come back high on a fingerstick
- glucose test or a normal glucose test.
Why is high blood sugar bad?
While glucose is a source of energy for the cells that comprise your organs, it can be poisonous in large doses and cause long-term bodily harm. Long-term blood sugar elevation without therapy can cause several issues, including a higher chance of:
Disease type 2
- Poor blood flow to your arms and legs may necessitate amputation of the affected limbs.
- blindness or a loss of vision
- renal disease
- cardiac arrest
While prediabetes and diabetes are both curable diseases, the conditions that might occur from elevated blood sugar may sound frightening. These severe effects of diabetes may be avoided with prompt and persistent therapy that lowers blood sugar.
How Do You Feel When Your Blood Sugar Is High?
You might not notice any symptoms right away when your blood sugar is high. But there are several minute adjustments you could detect that point to diabetes:
- uncontrollable hunger or thirst
- Urination more frequently (especially at night)
- Inadvertent weight loss
- Hands or feet that are tingly or numb
- dry skin
But there are certain signs you can see if your blood sugar spikes dangerously high:
- Headache \sConfusion
- Having trouble focusing
- breath with a fruity fragrance
- stomach ache
- mouth arid
You should speak to your doctor or get help from a doctor right away if you have signs of high blood sugar. Urgent therapy may be necessary for extremely high blood sugar levels.
How Do You Lower Blood Sugar Levels?
Making dietary changes, working out, using oral or injectable drugs, and altering your diet are all effective strategies to lower blood sugar. Your blood sugar level, the length of time it has been higher, and the type of diabetes you most likely have will all influence the best strategy to lower it for you.
Diet – If you have prediabetes or early Type 2 diabetes, changing your diet and exercise routines can help you stop or reverse the development. Less than 200–225 grams of carbs per day are advised by the CDC in terms of diet. Your body will manage the carbohydrates at a slower rate and prevent blood sugar increases if you consume meals with a low glycemic index, such as fruit, oatmeal, lentils, and pasta.
Exercise: Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. Experts recommend 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day (swimming, running, vigorous walking). Every 20 to 30 minutes, you should take a little break from your sedentary pursuits, such as watching television.
Medication: If lifestyle adjustments are inadequate or you have more severe Type 2 diabetes, you may need to take medication to lower your blood sugar. There are numerous drugs available that can reduce blood sugar. Based on your current medications and other medical issues, your doctor will decide which ones are best for you. If your pancreas is not making enough insulin, there may be times when you need to administer injections to lower high blood glucose levels. This is typically required in type 1 diabetes and occasionally in severe type 2 diabetes.
Some people with diabetes, particularly those who are using insulin, may need to check their blood glucose levels every day, or sometimes multiple times a day. Either the finger-prick method or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) are options to check their blood glucose levels every day, or sometimes multiple times a day. Either the finger-prick method or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) are options. Your doctor can advise you on whether blood glucose testing is necessary and assist you in selecting the best monitor for your needs.