Monday, March 29, 2010

Possible diabetes? Fasting glucose question

Below is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

Susan D. asks: My fasting glucose number was 127.  Does this sound like pre-diabetes or diabetes?  What should I do to control by blood sugar?

Answer:  Diabetes is usually diagnosed if your blood glucose level exceeds 125 mg/dL during a fasting plasma glucose test. This test is usually conducted on more than one occasion to confirm the diagnosis. Three types of blood tests are to diagnose diabetes: 
  • A Fasting plasma glucose test measures your blood glucose after fasting (not eating anything) for at least 8 hours. 

  • An oral glucose tolerance test also starts with you in the fasted state, then you drink a glucose-containing beverage and your blood glucose levels are monitored for 2 hours afterwards.

  • A random (or casual) plasma glucose test measures blood glucose at any point in time, without regard to when you last ate. 

Here is some more information regarding diabetes diagnosis from the NIH's National Diabetes Informational Clearinghouse. Since a blood glucose of 127 mg/dL is just above the cutoff, your doctor will likely repeat the fasting test or have you complete an oral glucose tolerance test before officially diagnosing you.

If your diagnosis of diabetes is confirmed, you should speak to your doctor regarding treatment. Generally, this involves blood glucose monitoring, oral medications, exercise and diet changes. Most notably, you will need to take care to spread carbohydrates evenly throughout the day. This may seem overwhelming, but there is a lot of help available! Often the best way to get started is by attending a diabetes education class or making an appointment with a Certified Diabetes Educator or Registered Dietitian. Check out this post from a few weeks ago for some more ideas in finding help. 

Send your questions to diabetes@foodpicker.org or directly to me at jjznutrition@gmail.com

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