Blood sugar, also known as Blood Glucose, is a vital parameter to determine the health of an individual. Glucose is our body’s primary source of energy and is derived from food that contains carbohydrates. The Blood Sugar Levels of the human body rises quickly after we consume our meals. By testing glucose levels in our body, it is possible to know the amount of glucose that’s present in our body.
To maintain a normal blood sugar level and to keep it from rising high, the pancreas releases insulin at regular intervals. Insulin also ensures that glucose is stored in the body and utilised as per its requirement.
Normal and Diabetic Blood Sugar Levels
Here is a ready reckoner for Blood Sugar Levels for healthy individuals and those with diabetes:
For Healthy individuals:
• While fasting: Between 70 to 99 mg/dl
• After meals: Up to 140 mg/dl
• While fasting: Between 70 to 125 mg/dl
• After meals: up to 162 mg/dl for those with Type 1 diabetes and up to 154 mg/dl
Testing for Diabetes
There are various diagnostic tests available to check Blood Sugar Levels in adults. Early diagnosis is quite important for diabetes as treatment can be started quickly. It is absolutely mandatory to check Blood Sugar Levels if you:
• are over 40 years of age,
• have a family history of diabetes
• or lead a sedentary life.
Your doctor will ask for blood and urine tests to be carried out to confirm glucose levels. A urine test is required since there is a possibility of glucose entering the urine after overflowing through the kidneys.
Types of Blood tests for diabetes
• Haemoglobin A1C test (HbA1C): This test is carried out to measure the level of sugar that our red blood cells carry. When A1C levels are 6.5% or higher in two consecutive tests, it is a clear indicator of diabetes. If A1C levels are between 5.7% and 6.4%, it is considered to be pre-diabetes, where the person is at a high risk of developing diabetes. Levels below 5.7% are considered to be normal. This test will have to be conducted at twice a year if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. The HbA1c test can be carried without any need for fasting and at any time of the day.
• Random Blood sugar test: In this diagnostic test, commonly known as RBS test, a blood sample is extracted at any random time. Irrespective of the time of your meal, a blood sugar level of 200 mg/dl or above in an RBS test would indicate diabetes. If there are accompanying signs of diabetes like unexplained thirst or frequent urination, then diabetes is definitely suggested.
• Oral glucose tolerance test: You will have to abstain from food overnight, and the fasting blood sugar is then measured. You will be served with a sugary drink, and for the next couple of hours, your Blood Sugar Levels will be tested every 30 minutes. If the blood sugar level is 200 mg/dl or higher, the patient is declared as diabetic.
• Two-hour post-prandial test: Post-prandial implies post meal, which is when the test is conducted two hours after a meal. Before the test, an adult is asked to drink 75 grams of glucose while he or she is fasting and any kind of movement is restricted for two hours. The blood test is then carried out where a value of 200 mg/dl implies the person has diabetes.
Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia
In addition to diabetes, the two main conditions that can arise due to blood sugar imbalance are Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia. When Blood Sugar Levels drop critically below 70 mg/dl, hypoglycemia can occur. Similarly, when Blood Sugar Levels rise during fasting (greater than 90-130 mg/dl) and post-meal ( greater than 180 mg/dl) tests, the condition is described as hyperglycemia.
How we can help
Maintaining a normal blood sugar level is important as diabetes can lead to various health problems. Body organs like the eyes, nerves, blood vessels and kidneys can be damaged due to high Blood Sugar Levels and hence it is important to check their levels. However, through regular checks with Portea, the risks associated with these problems can be minimised to a huge extent.