Patient's blood sugar level is determined to know if the patient has developed diabetes or not. Type 2 diabetes does not always cause symptoms thus, sometimes the blood sugar test remains the only indicator to diagnose the condition. In type 1 diabetes, which develops in childhood, the patient falls sick quite often before diagnosis. Poor lifestyle practices pertaining to unexplained weight gain and unhealthy diet can cause diabetes.
Healthy and non-diabetic adults release glucose into the bloodstream by converting digested food into energy. Insulin, a hormone released by pancreas, helps the body in the utilisation of glucose (sugar) for producing energy. In diabetes, the body fails to produce enough insulin or develops insulin resistance. In diabetes mellitus, glucose starts storing in the bloodstream and, over time, it causes damage to heart and other organs if patient fails to take steps to regulate elevated blood glucose level.
The normal fasting blood sugar in healthy adults is less than 100 mg/dL. According to American Diabetes Association, an individual whose fasting blood sugar level is diagnosed between 100 and 125 mg/dL has impaired fasting glucose (IFG), or is considered pre-diabetic. Individuals with level exceeding 126 mg/dL are diabetics. To determine the fasting blood sugar level, blood is drawn at least eight hours after the patient's last meal.
A less common test for diabetes involves administering 75 g of glucose by mouth and drawing the patient's blood twp hours later. A normal blood sugar level is less than 140 mg/dL. If the level is between 140 and 199 mg/dL, the patient has impaired glucose intolerance, also called pre-diabetes. A level of 200 or greater indicates diabetes. To make a firm diagnosis of diabetes, the doctor performs a second test on another day.
Even non-diabetics are at risk of increased blood sugar level however, it is temporary and many factors, such as trauma, stroke, heart attack, surgery and certain drugs such as corticosteroids, dextrose, epinephrine, diuretics, estrogen, aspirin and certain antidepressants are responsible for it. Intake of certain medications such as acetaminophen, anabolic steroids, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and oral diabetic medications can reduce the blood sugar level in healthy adults.
During pregnancy, body goes through intense hormonal changes. Certain hormones alter the way in which body handles the amount of glucose to ensure that the foetus does not has short supply of sugar. Therefore, pregnant women, who are non-diabetics, have slightly different blood glucose level than other adults. A normal Fasting blood glucose level for a non-diabetic pregnant woman is less than 95 mg/dL.
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