Our bodies need fuel to move and function. We can compare it in some ways to machines needing gas, batteries, or other forms of energy to work. Our bodies need fuel for its cells, and blood glucose, or blood sugar provides it through what we eat and drink. But what you eat can also affect how effectively blood glucose works in the body, and too much can lead to diseases like diabetes.
Managing your blood sugar is important, and a glucose test helps to gauge the state of blood sugar in your body to assess your risks of disease. To better understand how this works, let’s examine how blood glucose works, what a glucose test does, and what you can expect from the procedure.
Residents of the Little River, South Carolina area looking for ways to manage their blood sugar can find help with Dr. Rogers Walker and his skilled medical team at Walker Urgent & Family Care.
Understanding blood glucose
Blood glucose is your body’s primary source of energy and comes from our food and drink. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the main nutrients we get from what we eat, and how well your body processes these nutrients is through your metabolism in a process known as aerobic respiration. This happens in four stages: glycolysis, link reaction, the citric acid/krebs cycle, and the electron transport chain. During this process, the molecules of glucose are broken down, energy is produced and transferred down the electron chain, and the body retains enough fuel to perform daily tasks.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of blood sugar in your body, and when your insulin can’t keep it in check, your body is unable to store it properly, increasing the risk of conditions like diabetes.
The purpose of a glucose test
This test is designed to determine if your body doesn’t manage glucose properly after a meal, which may be signs of too much (hyperglycemia) or too little glucose (hypoglycemia) in your body. Signs of hyperglycemia include increased thirst, increased urination, blurred vision, fatigue, non healing sores, numbness and tingling, and sudden weight loss. Signs of hypoglycemia include hunger, fatigue, feelings of dizziness, confusion, or irritability, headache, arrhythmia, fainting, and seizures.
Conditions that can contribute to abnormal glucose levels include diabetes (either type 1, type 1, or gestational diabetes) and problems in your pancreas, adrenal glands, and liver.
What to expect
The process consists of drawing and collecting blood for analysis. During a fasting blood glucose test, you’ll get blood drawn first to determine your baseline. Next, you’ll drink a sweet solution (about 8 ounces with 75 grams of sugar), and after two hours, more blood is drawn to compare glucose levels.
Normal levels of glucose are around 140 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter), but between 140 and 199 mg/dL you’re considered prediabetic, and over 200 mg/dL you’re considered diabetic.
You can resume normal daily activities afterward, but if we determine glucose abnormalities are connected to an illness, we will ask you to come back for more testing to confirm.
Too much or too little glucose can severely affect your health if left unchecked, so if you’re dealing with symptoms of either, make an appointment with Dr. Walker and Walker Urgent & Family Care today to get tested.