Glucose is a type of sugar that is produced in the body as it digests the carbohydrates found in food. While glucose provides the body with its main source of energy, it needs the hormone insulin in order to effectively use glucose. When the level of glucose rises in the blood, this triggers the pancreas to create and release insulin into the blood system.
There are three primary types of Diabetes mellitus. The most common is Type 2 Diabetes, also known as hyperglycemia. While glucose is essential, too much of it, as in Type 2 Diabetes may damage not only blood vessels, but kidneys, eyes and nerves as well.Type 1 Diabetes (hypoglycemia) occurs when the glucose level is too low which may lead.
Whether by too little insulin production or the failure of cells to properly use the glucose, Type 2 Diabetes can lead to seizures and unconsciousness. Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women. Fortunately, the condition is normally resolved following the birth of the child.Tests to measure the amount of glucose in the blood stream are done in order to diagnose and monitor pre-diabetes and diabetes.
Blood glucose levels may be measured in several ways. Probably the best known and most widely administered test is the Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS). Blood sugar may also be measured two hours after the beginning of meals (postprandial) and randomly. The oral glucose tolerance test is done over time to document the pattern of glucose production after a patient drinks to a sweet liquid.
The test results indicate when impaired glucose tolerance occurs. Random or casual blood sugar tests are usually performed by patients themselves to measure blood sugar levels throughout the day in order to gather more information on the individual’s glucose intolerance patterns.
Finally, the GlycohemoglobinA1C (HbA1c) is a blood test that measures the amount of glucose attached to red blood cells. This is the primary test used to diagnose diabetes. It is also an indicator over time as to how well diabetes is being managed.
Recommended blood sugar (glucose) levels for these tests are provided by the World Health Council, American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Medical Association (AMA). These organizations do differ a little in their recommended ranges; however, they essentially agree on the ranges as listed below. It is important to understand that there are many things that can influence blood glucose levels.
Some drugs, such as corticosteroids, will cause a high blood glucose level. Several physiological conditions, such as pregnancy,Cushing’s syndrome, heart or stroke, may elevate these numbers also, while still other conditions, such as hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, and cirrhosis of the liver, may cause low blood sugar levels.
Blood glucose levels are considered normal with FBG test results between 70 and 100 mg/dl or HbA1cunder 6.0 mml/l. The WHO and AMA recommend diagnosis of pre-diabetes at FBG levels of 110 – 126 mg/dl and HbA1clevels of 6.0 - 6.4 mml/l. The ADA is more conservative and believes that pre-diabetes occurs at FBG levels as low as 100 mg/dl. The diagnosis of diabetes millinus is recommended by all organizations at FBG levels equal to or higher than 126 mg/dl or HbA1c levels equal to or higher than 6.5 mml/l.