Am I diabetic? What are the normal or recommended blood glucose targets?

Blood Test for Glucose or Sugar Level

Essentials

  • Type 1 diabetes can be inherited, pregnancy can be a short-term condition, but Type 2 is usually a lifestyle disease.
  • In India, the epidemic of diabetes is on the rise and we have yet to wake up to this alarming rise in the number of patients.
  • Unfortunately, many patients discover their condition when the disease has fully taken root in their bodies.

Sorry to ruin your party! But allow us to suggest that before entering a laddoo or confectionery contest with your colleagues, you should know your blood sugar level. Most of us have no idea what our bio-fluids are trying to tell us until eye surgery is postponed because “the sugar level was too high” or “diabetes can cause a problem with wound healing”.

Although diabetes is a worrisome condition for every human being around the world, Indians should be afraid of getting/developing this dangerous condition even more. That’s because it’s well known that South Asians have a higher propensity to develop diabetes at a lower weight than Europeans. India is a rapidly urbanizing country and this aspect contributes to its status as the epicenter of the diabetes epidemic.

According to a report in Springer Diabetology titled “Lifetime diabetes risk in metropolitan cities in Indiawritten by a team of physicians from several universities and hospitals in the UK, US, Pakistan and India (including Dr. Nikhil Tandon of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi) — about the Half of the Indian population is at risk of developing diabetes at some point in their lives.

According to a 2021 review, people living in cities and metropolitan areas in India are more likely to develop diabetes than ever before. This is partly due to the fact that cities promote a lifestyle that can increase a person’s body mass index (BMI). A higher BMI is a risk factor for diabetes.

“In this study, we estimated the lifetime risk of developing diabetes in the metropolitan cities of India, where a large number of adults already have diabetes and where weight status and life expectancy at the population level are increasing rapidly,” the study authors write.

What is Diabetes?

According to the US-based National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), “diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the foods you eat. eat Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough or no insulin or doesn’t use insulin properly. Glucose stays in your blood and does not reach your cells.” NIDDK warns that “any case of diabetes is serious” and should therefore be treated as such.

Diabetes can cause serious health problems, such as:

  • loss of vision,
  • Amputation risk due to gangrene,
  • slow healing wounds,
  • kidney disease,
  • nerve damage,
  • retinal disease,
  • Heart disease, and
  • Stroke, etc. Among others.
  • Management is central:

According to Diabetes.co.uk, understanding blood glucose levels can be an important part of diabetes self-management. (https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/blood-sugar-level-ranges.html). Recommended blood glucose values ​​have a degree of interpretation for each individual and you should discuss this with your doctor.

Types of Blood Sugar Tests for Diabetes:

According to the National Health Portal of India, blood tests – Fasting plasma glucose, two hours postprandial test and oral glucose tolerance test are done to know the blood glucose levels. Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1c) can be used to diagnose diabetes (if facilities are readily available).

Random Plasma Glucose Test: The sample can be taken at any time, does not require as much planning, and is therefore used in the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes when time is of the essence.

Fasting Plasma Glucose Test: Sample is taken after at least eight hours of fasting (usually in the morning).

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT): This involves taking a fasting blood sample first and then taking a very sweet drink containing 75 g of glucose. Blood is taken again after 2 hours.

HbA1c Test For Diabetes Diagnosis: This test does not directly measure blood glucose levels, but the result of the test is affected by how high or low your blood glucose levels had been in the past 2 to 3 months.

Chart showing blood sugar levels and diagnostic criteria for diabetes:

Condition 2 hours* plasma glucose Fasting plasma glucose HbA1c
1. normal <140 mgdl <110 mgdl <6.0%
2. Decreased fasting glucose <140 mgdl ≥110 and <126 mgdl 6.0-6.4%
3. Impaired Glucose Tolerance ≥140 mgdl <126 mgdl 6.0-6.4%
4. diabetes mellitus ≥200 mgdl ≥126 mgdl ≥6.5%

Why is good blood sugar control important?
It is important that you keep your blood glucose levels under the best possible control, as high sugar levels for a long time increase the risk of diabetes complications.

And finally!
Whatever your diagnosis, stay under medical supervision and take steps and lifestyle changes that will ensure you don’t develop diabetes or severe diabetes.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness program or changing your diet.

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