In his next consultation, my patient, Ajay Keshawani told me that he was delighted that his name was mentioned on HealthPotli’s blog and he uses the app frequently. He had been a good, loyal and empowered patient. This time he had come to visit me with one of his good friends, Sanjay, who is a diabetic for the last 6 years.
Ajay and Sanjay had read my last article on HealthPotli and were left with a big question mark. They were curious to know why I had taken their HBa1C and not blood sugar tests to monitor diabetes.
Indeed, what Ajay had asked, every patient should know. One should be well aware of the different blood sugar tests and their significance.
Fundamentally, the new testing methods pathologists use presently measure glucose unlike old obsolete test that measured many sugars. Therefore, the tests should be referred as ‘Blood Glucose Tests’ and not ‘Sugar tests’.
There are 3 common Glucose tests differentiated on the basis of food timings.
- Fasting Blood Glucose:
Considered to be the most reliable method of screening for diabetes, the patient has to maintain a fasting state of at least 6 hours for this test. Most of the times, patients take tea or juice early in the morning before undergoing the test. One should remember that there should be zero calorie consumption before the test and only water can be taken. This test gives an accurate check for diabetes and pre-diabetes.
After you have been screened positive for Diabetes, your doctor needs to confirm the diagnosis for which he will employ - 2 hours OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test) with 75 grams of raw glucose.
- Blood Glucose Post Prandial:
You have been diagnosed with Diabetes and your doctor has prescribed you the meds. What next? For a patient of Diabetes, regular follow-up of the disease progression and response to medication is very important. Post Prandial Glucose test will indicate whether you are taking the right amount of insulin/medication and how your body is responding to it. It is taken exactly after 2 hours of after a meal. This meal should be equivalent to 75 grams of carbohydrate consumption and no food has to be taken in this 2 hours period. Also, the time is counted from start of meal.
- Random blood sugar:
This test measures blood glucose regardless of when you last ate. It is the best test to check the efficiency of medicines prescribed.
All 3 tests are important but have to be used and interpreted in a specific manner. And while these tests are important for screening and diagnosis of Diabetes, always rely on HBa1C and Fructosamine values to assess the control of Diabetes.