Blood Glucose Test

Blood Glucose Test

Blood Glucose Test

What is a blood glucose test?

A blood glucose test measures the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucose, a type of simple sugar, is your body’s main source of energy. Your body converts the carbohydrates you eat into glucose.

Glucose testing is primarily done to check for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Diabetes is a condition that causes your blood glucose level to rise.

The amount of sugar in your blood is usually controlled by a hormone called insulin. However, if you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly. This causes sugar to build up in your blood. Increased levels of blood sugar can lead to severe organ damage if left untreated.

In some cases, blood glucose testing may also be used to test for hypoglycemia. This condition occurs when the levels of glucose in your blood are too low.

DIABETES

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and teenagers whose bodies aren’t able to produce enough insulin. It’s a chronic, or long-term, condition that requires continuous treatment. Late-onset type 1 diabetes has been shown to affect people between the ages of 30 and 40.

Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in overweight and obese adults, but it can develop in younger people as well. This condition occurs when your body doesn’t make enough insulin or when the insulin you produce doesn’t work properly. The impact of type 2 diabetes may be reduced through weight loss and healthy eating.

Gestational diabetes occurs if you develop diabetes while you’re pregnant. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after you give birth.

After receiving a diagnosis of diabetes, you may have to get blood glucose tests to determine if your condition is being managed well. A high glucose level in a person with diabetes may mean that your diabetes isn’t being managed correctly.

Other possible causes of high blood glucose levels include:

  • hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid
  • kidney problems
  • pancreatitis, or inflammation of your pancreas
  • pancreatic cancer
  • prediabetes, which happens when you’re at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • stress to the body from illness, trauma, or surgery

In rare cases, high blood glucose levels could be a sign of kidney failure, a hormonal disorder called acromegaly, or Cushing’s syndrome, which occurs when your body produces too much cortisol.

It’s also possible to have levels of blood glucose that are too low. However, this isn’t as common. Low blood glucose levels, or hypoglycemia, may be caused by:

  • insulin overuse
  • starvation
  • hypopituitarism, or underactive pituitary gland
  • hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid
  • Addison’s disease, which is characterized by low levels of cortisol
  • alcohol abuse
  • liver disease
  • insulinoma, which is a type of pancreatic tumor

PREPARATION

Blood glucose tests are either random or fasting tests.

For a fasting blood glucose test, you can’t eat or drink anything but water for eight hours before your test. You may want to schedule a fasting glucose test first thing in the morning so you don’t have to fast during the day.

You may eat and drink before a random glucose test.

Fasting tests are more common because they provide more accurate results and are easier to interpret.

Before your test, tell your doctor about the medications you’re taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements. Certain medications can affect blood glucose levels. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking a particular medication or to change the dosage before your test temporarily.

Medications that can affect your blood glucose levels include:

  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • corticosteroids
  • steroids
  • diuretics
  • birth control pills
  • hormone therapy
  • aspirin (Bufferin)
  • atypical antipsychotics
  • lithium
  • epinephrine (Adrenalin)
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • phenytoin
  • sulfonylurea medications

Severe stress can also cause a temporary increase in your blood glucose and is usually due to one or more of these factors:

  • surgery
  • trauma
  • stroke
  • heart attack

You should tell your doctor if you’ve recently had any of these.

PROCEDURE

This simple test involves giving a small sample of blood.

The sample can most likely be collected with a very simple prick to a finger. If you need other tests, your doctor may require a blood draw from a vein.

Before drawing blood, the healthcare provider performing the draw cleans the area with an antiseptic to kill any germs. They next tie an elastic band around your upper arm, causing your veins to swell with blood. Once a vein is found, they insert a sterile needle into it. Your blood is then drawn into a tube attached to the needle.

You may feel slight to moderate pain when the needle goes in, but you can reduce the pain by relaxing your arm.

When they’re finished drawing blood, the healthcare provider removes the needle and places a bandage over the puncture site. Pressure will be applied to the puncture site for a few minutes to prevent bruising.

The sample of blood is then sent to a lab for testing. Your doctor will follow up with you to discuss the results.

RISKS

There’s a very low chance that you’ll experience a problem during or after a blood test. The possible risks are the same as those associated with all blood tests. These risks include:

  • multiple puncture wounds if it’s difficult to find a vein
  • excessive bleeding
  • lightheadedness or fainting
  • hematoma, or blood collecting under your skin
  • infection

RESULTS

Normal results

The implications of your results will depend on the type of blood glucose test used. For a fasting test, a normal blood glucose level is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). For a random blood glucose test, a normal level is usually under 125 mg/dL. However, the exact level will depend on when you last ate.

Abnormal results

If you had a fasting blood glucose test, the following results are abnormal and indicate you have either prediabetes or diabetes:

  • A blood glucose level of 100–125 mg/dL indicates that you have prediabetes.
  • A blood glucose level of 126 mg/dL and higher indicates that you have diabetes.

If you had a random blood glucose test, the following results are abnormal and indicate you may have either prediabetes or diabetes:

  • A blood glucose level of 140–199 mg/dL indicates that you may have prediabetes.
  • A blood glucose level of 200 mg/dL and higher indicates that you likely have diabetes.

If your random blood glucose test results are abnormal, your doctor will probably order a fasting blood glucose test to confirm the diagnosis.
If you’re diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, you can find more information and additional resources at http://healthline.com/health/diabetes.

Source: Click This Link



What is Blood?

Blood is a constantly circulating fluid providing the body with nutrition, oxygen, and waste removal. Blood is mostly liquid, with numerous cells and proteins suspended in it, making blood "thicker" than pure water. The average person has about 5 liters (more than a gallon) of blood.

About Blood Donation

A blood donation occurs when a person voluntarily has blood drawn and used for transfusions and/or made into biopharmaceutical medications by a process called fractionation (separation of whole-blood components). Donation may be of whole blood (WB), or of specific components directly (the latter called apheresis). Blood banks often participate in the collection process as well as the procedures that follow it.

More Facts

A liquid called plasma makes up about half of the content of blood. Plasma contains proteins that help blood to clot, transport substances through the blood, and perform other functions. Blood plasma also contains glucose and other dissolved nutrients.

About half of blood volume is composed of blood cells:

• Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues
• White blood cells, which fight infections
• Platelets, smaller cells that help blood to clot

Blood is conducted through blood vessels (arteries and veins). Blood is prevented from clotting in the blood vessels by their smoothness, and the finely tuned balance of clotting factors.

Blood Conditions

Hemorrhage (bleeding): Blood leaking out of blood vessels may be obvious, as from a wound penetrating the skin. Internal bleeding (such as into the intestines, or after a car accident) may not be immediately apparent.

Hematoma: A collection of blood inside the body tissues. Internal bleeding often causes a hematoma.

Leukemia: A form of blood cancer, in which white blood cells multiply abnormally and circulate through the blood. The abnormal white blood cells make getting sick from infections easier than normal.

Multiple myeloma: A form of blood cancer of plasma cells similar to leukemia. Anemia, kidney failure and high blood calcium levels are common in multiple myeloma.

Lymphoma: A form of blood cancer, in which white blood cells multiply abnormally inside lymph nodes and other tissues. The enlarging tissues, and disruption of blood's functions, can eventually cause organ failure.

Anemia: An abnormally low number of red blood cells in the blood. Fatigue and breathlessness can result, although anemia often causes no noticeable symptoms.

Hemolytic anemia: Anemia caused by rapid bursting of large numbers of red blood cells (hemolysis). An immune system malfunction is one cause.

Hemochromatosis: A disorder causing excessive levels of iron in the blood. The iron deposits in the liver, pancreas and other organs, causing liver problems and diabetes.

Sickle cell disease: A genetic condition in which red blood cells periodically lose their proper shape (appearing like sickles, rather than discs). The deformed blood cells deposit in tissues, causing pain and organ damage.

Bacteremia: Bacterial infection of the blood. Blood infections are serious, and often require hospitalization and continuous antibiotic infusion into the veins.

Malaria: Infection of red blood cells by Plasmodium, a parasite transmitted by mosquitos. Malaria causes episodic fevers, chills, and potentially organ damage.

Thrombocytopenia: Abnormally low numbers of platelets in the blood. Severe thrombocytopenia may lead to bleeding.

Leukopenia: Abnormally low numbers of white blood cells in the blood. Leukopenia can result in difficulty fighting infections.

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC): An uncontrolled process of simultaneous bleeding and clotting in very small blood vessels. DIC usually results from severe infections or cancer.

Hemophilia: An inherited (genetic) deficiency of certain blood clotting proteins. Frequent or uncontrolled bleeding can result from hemophilia.

Hypercoaguable state: Numerous conditions can result in the blood being prone to clotting. A heart attack, stroke, or blood clots in the legs or lungs can result.

Polycythemia: Abnormally high numbers of red blood cells in the blood. Polycythemia can result from low blood oxygen levels, or may occur as a cancer-like condition.

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT): A blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg. DVTs are dangerous because they may become dislodged and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE).

Myocardial infarction (MI): Commonly called a heart attack, a myocardial infarction occurs when a sudden blood clot develops in one of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart.

Source: WebMD

Today in the developed world, most blood donors are unpaid volunteers who donate blood for a community supply. In some countries, established supplies are limited and donors usually give blood when family or friends need a transfusion (directed donation). Many donors donate as an act of charity, but in countries that allow paid donation some donors are paid, and in some cases there are incentives other than money such as paid time off from work. Donors can also have blood drawn for their own future use (autologous donation). Donating is relatively safe, but some donors have bruising where the needle is inserted or may feel faint.

Potential donors are evaluated for anything that might make their blood unsafe to use. The screening includes testing for diseases that can be transmitted by a blood transfusion, including HIV and viral hepatitis. The donor must also answer questions about medical history and take a short physical examination to make sure the donation is not hazardous to his or her health. How often a donor can donate varies from days to months based on what component they donate and the laws of the country where the donation takes place. For example, in the United States, donors must wait eight weeks (56 days) between whole blood donations but only seven days between plateletpheresis donations and twice per seven-day period in plasmapheresis.

The amount of blood drawn and the methods vary. The collection can be done manually or with automated equipment that takes only specific components of the blood. Most of the components of blood used for transfusions have a short shelf life, and maintaining a constant supply is a persistent problem. This has led to some increased interest in autotransfusion, whereby a patient's blood is salvaged during surgery for continuous reinfusion—or alternatively, is "self-donated" prior to when it will be needed. (Generally, the notion of "donation" does not refer to giving to one's self, though in this context it has become somewhat acceptably idiomatic.)

Who can give blood

Most people can give blood. You can give blood if you:

  • are fit and healthy
  • weigh between 7 stone 12 lbs and 25 stone, or 50kg and 160kg
  • are aged between 17 and 66 (or 70 if you have given blood before)
  • are over 70 and have given blood in the last two years

How often can I give blood?

Men can give blood every 12 weeks and women can give blood every 16 weeks. Find out more about what happens on the day of your donation.

Check you are able to give blood

You can check some of the most common eligibility questions we receive from blood donors.

You can register here as a blood donor.

The common reasons donors should check if they can give blood are:

  • if you are receiving medical or hospital treatment
  • if you are taking medication
  • during and after pregnancy
  • if you feel ill
  • if you have cancer
  • after receiving blood, blood products or organs.

Women under 20 - check if you can give blood.

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