Blood sugar testing: Things you should know 

The human body transforms carbohydrates from food into glucose to absorb as energy. If a person has too much or too little glucose in their blood, it indicates a significant medical condition. The amount of glucose, or sugar in your blood is measured by a blood glucose(sugar) test.

If you’re someone who is suspected of having abnormal levels of sugar in your blood (diabetes when it’s too high, and hypoglycemia when it’s too low), your doctor will suggest any of the following blood sugar tests to confirm diagnosis. 

Tests to check blood glucose levels 

There are several tests that measure your blood sugar levels, but we’ve listed down some of the simplest and most commonly used tests – 

Random blood sugar test 

If diabetes is suspected, a blood sample collected at any moment can be used as a test. Diabetes is diagnosed when the blood sample contains sugar levels of 11.1 mmol/L or higher. To confirm the diagnosis, a fasting blood glucose test may be performed.

Fasting blood sugar(glucose) level 

As the name suggests, this test measures your blood sugar levels after an overnight fast. In other words, before a fasting blood glucose test, you can’t eat or drink anything except water for 8-10 hours. A fasting blood sugar level of 99 mg/dL or less is considered normal, while 100 to 125 mg/dL implies prediabetes. Anything above 126 mg/dL indicates diabetes.

A1C Test/ HbA1c test.

It is a blood test used to identify diabetes type 1 and type 2. If you already have diabetes, you can take the test to see how effectively you’re controlling your blood sugar levels. The results of an A1C test indicate your average blood sugar level over the previous two to three months. The level is normal if the findings are less than 5.7 per cent, 5.7% to 6.4% is diagnosed as prediabetes, and 6.5% or higher on two separate tests indicates diabetes. 

Tests to monitor blood sugar at home

A majority of diabetics must monitor their blood sugar(glucose) levels on a regular basis. Blood sugar levels reveal how well the condition is managed and help in significantly reducing the likelihood of developing conditions like kidney disease or vision loss.

If you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, this might seem like a hassle. But being conscious of your blood sugar numbers will help you and your doctor determine what’s working and what’s not, in terms of treatment and medicines. 

Blood glucose monitor 

A blood glucose monitor comes with a little, sharp needle (called a lancet) which is used to prick the finger. The drop of blood drawn is placed on the test strip. The test strip is then inserted into a blood glucose metre that displays your blood sugar level. You can get the readings in less than 15 seconds and also save the information for later use.

You will also find newer metres that test sites other than your fingertips like your upper arm, forearm, and the base of the thumb and thigh. 

Continuous glucose monitoring system 

People with diabetes who wish to track their blood glucose levels around the clock can also use a continuous glucose monitoring device (CGM). These devices have a compact, easy-to-insert sensor that you wear for 14 days before being replaced. The sensor contains an adhesive surface that allows it to stick to your skin. The CGM also includes a transmitter that can be integrated into the sensor or used as a separate device. Some CGMs last longer than 14 days, but these have to be implanted beneath your skin by a doctor. 

In conclusion, if you’re someone living with diabetes, work closely with your healthcare provider to track and monitor your blood sugar levels. It will also help your doctors figure out which test is best for blood sugar for you. If the cost is a problem, there are several insurance plans that can help you out. 

Ayu Health Hospitals in Bangalore have partnered with over 100 insurance providers across India to provide quick cashless services for all treatments. If you have trouble reaching your blood sugar goals, don’t lose hope. Contact the best healthcare team at Ayu Health Hospitals and take control of your life today! 

For more information on blood sugar test costs in Bangalore and diabetes treatment, call us at +91 – 6366 100 800 or book an appointment

References

Tests for Blood Sugar (Glucose) and HbA1c | Patient

How to Test Your Blood Sugar Levels

Home Blood Sugar & Glucose Testing Methods for Diabetes

Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them to Manage Your Diabetes | NIDDK

A1C test – Mayo Clinic

Diabetes and Retina Disease- Is there a strong link?

Did you know that India is called the Diabetes Capital of the world? 

Indians are more prone to have diabetes – our systems are more resistant to insulin, the hormone which influences blood sugar levels. When the sugar levels in blood are not in control, it results in diabetes. 

While diabetes on its own, has harmful effects on the functioning of our body, there are also many side effects which sometimes cause irreparable damage. One of such side effects is that of vision problems. Specifically, diabetes can also cause damage to the retina in the eye. 

Retina is the part of the eye where light falls to form the image that we see. This condition, in which a diabetic person has vision problems because of the damage to the retina is called diabetic retinopathy. 

The different ways diabetes affects the retina

What happens in diabetes is that the glucose levels in your blood go up. So, there is a change in the blood flow. Due to these changes either some organs are deprived of enough blood supply or there is excess supply that leads to leaks or bursting of blood vessels. 

Due to this problem in blood circulation, the retina gets affected adversely and this results in diabetic retinopathy. 

There are two ways the retina gets affected by diabetes. 

  1. Blurry vision

Retinal blood vessels are responsible for circulation of blood to the retina. In a Type 1 Diabetes patient, these blood vessels become weakened. The result of the weakening of blood vessels is leakage of fluid into the retina. 

Leakages cause small blood clots to form. These cause vision problems such as blurriness, seeing spots or floaters. This condition is also called Non- proliferative diabetic retinopathy. 

  1. Loss of vision

In more severe cases, the blood circulation in the retina becomes very low. This lack of oxygen causes new blood vessels to grow from the retina. However, these blood vessels too start leaking and cause great damage to the retina. In many cases, glaucoma or scarring of the retinal tissue is also observed. 

The fluids that accumulate in the retina can also put a lot of pressure on the eye and damage the optic nerve. 

This condition, also called proliferative diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss and if it is left untreated, it can lead to blindness. 

Treatment Options for Diabetic Retina Disease

Before understanding what the treatment options can be, the extent of damage has to be assessed. 

Retina disease has a slow progression, and hence, sometimes the mild symptoms go unnoticed. Here are some symptoms you can look out for:

  • Trouble seeing at night
  • Blurry vision
  • Seeing dark spots or floaters 

If the onset of retina disease is so slow, how does a doctor diagnose that it is what it is?

A thorough eye check-up including a retina examination will help the doctor understand the extent of retina disease. This complete eye check-up will need to include dilation of the eye. The process takes about 2-3 hours which involves dilating the eye using eye drops administered at regular intervals during this time. 

Once the eye is completely dilated, the doctor checks it for all the different conditions according to your symptoms. 

Based on the eye exam and the severity of the disease, the doctor will suggest the next steps. 

The treatment options vary from a simple change in glasses and medication to surgery to make the necessary corrections. 

However, there is one important and simple step you can take to keep your eyes healthy and avoid the damage from a retina disease.

Keeping your diabetes in check.  

When sugar levels are kept under control, the damage to the eye also is minimal. 

Some simple things you can follow are:

  • Maintain a balanced diet
  • Avoid eating too many carbs and focus on getting enough fibre, vitamins and minerals from your diet- basically, eat more vegetables and fruits
  • Snacks which are deep fried or contain high concentration of sugars are bad for you
  • Exercise everyday
  • Smoking and consuming alcohol directly affects the sugar levels. Practice self-control to keep away from these habits
  • Take your medication on time
  • Go for a diabetes check up every three months to monitor your sugar levels
  • For your eyes, make sure you visit the ophthalmologist at least once a year for a detailed examination. This will rule out chances of serious damage to your eyes.

Click the image below to know if you are at risk of diabetes.

Ayu Health hospitals have the full range of services to help you manage your diabetes. Diagnostic tests, experienced doctors, plethora of healthcare services such as minor treatments to major surgeries are all available at fixed costs in the best hospitals around you. Call 6366100800 to know more!

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