Diabetes Testing


This week I received the following question from http://foodpicker.org :

My fasting glucose number was 127.  Does this sound like pre-diabetes or diabetes?  What should I do to control by blood sugar?

Fasting plasma glucose is defined as getting your blood sugar tested when you have not had anything to eat in the past 8 hours.  According to national guidelines, diabetes is indicated if  fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test  reveals it as 126mg/dL or above.

FPG Test
Plasma Glucose Result (mg/dL) Diagnosis
99 or below Normal
100 to 125 Pre-diabetes
(impaired fasting glucose)
126 or above Diabetes*

This being said, diabetes is not officially diagnosed unless you have an impaired fasting glucose for 2 separate blood tests, preferably on separate days. Your doctor should perform these tests and confirm your results. Sometimes oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) will be performed, where you will fast 8 hours and then drink a very sweet, glucose-containing fluid. You will then be tested 2 hours later. In this case, 200 mg/dL or above indicates diabetes. Again, 2 separate tests will need to be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

If you do confirm that your FPG is still higher than 126 mg/dL on two different occasions, don’t panic. You must consider these important points first:

1) In your case, you have caught the disease early and you can take action now.
2) You have the awesome power to control your diabetes, and not let it control you!

Learning to control your blood sugar through diet is an excellent way to start. Even if you find you don’t have diabetes or have pre-diabetes, it is good to take action now. Diabetes education can have a lot of information packed into it, so signing up for a class might be beneficial. Your doctor can provide you with these contacts, or you can check out my post, “Newly Diagnosed…now what?” for more info on contacts in your area.

Take small steps. Watching your carbohydrate intake (starches, fruit, milk) alone will drastically improve results. Replace high carbohydrate foods with ones high in fiber, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Try to eat 3 meals a day at consistent times to keep your blood sugar from spiking and plummeting. Begin testing your blood sugar yourself each day at different times  to see how you are doing.  If you are not physically active, get moving!  Take a stroll through your neighborhood, or do something pleasant outdoors with a friend or spouse.

Don’t forget to maintain communication with your doctor. He/she may have specific recommendations for you, and may prescribe medication to help you along.

Until next time!

Source: National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/diagnosis/#diagnosis

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