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Blood Glucose. Muthana A. Al-Shemeri. Also known as: Blood sugar; Fasting blood sugar; FBS; Blood glucose; Oral Glucose Tolerance Test; OGTT; GTT; Urine glucose Formal name: Blood Glucose; Urine Glucose. When to Get Tested?
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Blood Glucose Muthana A. Al-Shemeri
Also known as: Blood sugar; Fasting blood sugar; FBS; Blood glucose; Oral Glucose Tolerance Test; OGTT; GTT; Urine glucose • Formal name: Blood Glucose; Urine Glucose
When to Get Tested? • Blood glucose: as part of a regular physical, when you have symptoms suggesting hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, and during pregnancy; if you are diabetic, up to several times a day to monitor blood glucose levels Urine glucose: usually as part of a urinalysis • Sample Required? • A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm or, for a self check, a drop of blood from a skin prick; sometimes a random urine sample is used. Some diabetic patients may use a continuous glucose monitor, which is a small sensor wire inserted beneath the skin of the abdomen that measures blood glucose every five minutes. • Test Preparation Needed? • In general, it is recommended that you fast - nothing to eat or drink except water - 8 hours before having a blood glucose test. In persons with diabetes, however, glucose levels are often checked both while fasting and after meals to provide the best control of diabetes.
The Test SampleWhat is being tested?Glucose is a simple sugar that serves as the main source of energy for the body. The carbohydrates we eat are broken down into glucose (and a few other simple sugars), absorbed by the small intestine, and circulated throughout the body. Most of the body's cells require glucose for energy production; brain and nervous system cells not only rely on glucose for energy, they can only function when glucose levels in the blood remain above a certain level.
Blood Sugar types • Severe, acute hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia can be life-threatening, causing organ failure, brain damage, coma, and, in extreme cases, death. Chronically high blood glucose levels can cause progressive damage to body organs such as the kidneys, eyes, heart and blood vessels, and nerves. Chronic hypoglycemia can lead to brain and nerve damage. • Some women may develop hyperglycemia during pregnancy, which is termed gestational diabetes. If untreated, this can cause these mothers to give birth to large babies who may have low glucose levels. Women who have had gestational diabetes may or may not go on to develop diabetes.
How is it used? • The blood glucose monitoring the glucose levels in persons with suspected diabetes. Blood glucose may be measured on a fasting basis (collected after an 8 to 10 hour fast), randomly (anytime), post prandial (after a meal), and/or as part of an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT / GTT). An OGTT is a series of blood glucose tests. A fasting glucose is collected; then the patient drinks a standard amount of a glucose solution to "challenge" their system. This is followed by one or more additional glucose tests performed at specific intervals to track glucose levels over time. The OGTT may be ordered to help diagnose diabetes and as a follow-up test to an elevated blood glucose.
The glucose test may also be ordered to help diagnose diabetes when someone has symptoms of hyperglycemia, such as: • Increased thirst • Increased urination • Fatigue • Blurred vision • Slow-healing infections
or symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as: Sweating Hunger Trembling Anxiety Confusion Blurred Vision
What does the test result mean?High levels of glucose most frequently indicate diabetes, but many other diseases and conditions can also cause elevated glucose. The following information summarizes the meaning of the test results. These are based on the clinical practice recommendations of the American Diabetes Association.
Some of the other diseases and conditions that can result in elevated glucose levels include: • Acromegaly • Acute stress (response to trauma, heart attack, and stroke for instance) • Chronic renal failure • Drugs, including: corticosteroids, tricyclic antidepressants, diuretics, epinephrine, estrogens (birth control pills and hormone replacement). • Excessive food intake • Hyperthyroidism • Pancreatic cancer • Pancreatitis
Low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) are also seen with: • Adrenal insufficiency • Drinking alcohol • Drugs, such as acetaminophen and anabolic steroids • Extensive liver disease • Hypopituitarism • Hypothyroidism • Insulin overdose • Insulinomas • Starvation