Blood sugar testing is an important part of diabetes care. It is also critical for diagnosing metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, gestational diabetes and to determine whether your body is having trouble managing its blood sugar levels.
There are a number of ways to measure blood glucose including:
Fasting Blood Sugar Test (FBS)
Often the first test that is performed to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes, the fasting blood glucose test is conducted after you have not eaten for at least 8 hours. Learn more about fasting blood sugar.
2-hour Postprandial Blood Sugar Test
This test measures blood glucose exactly 2 hours after you start eating a meal. This test is most often used to see if someone with diabetes is taking the right amount of insulin with their meals. Learn more about this test and what normal and optimal results are.
Random Blood Sugar Test (RBS)
This test measures your blood sugar regardless of when you ate
last. To make sense of how your body is processing blood sugar, several random measurements are often taken throughout the day. This is the best test for determining how your body does processing certain types of food and allows you to determine what foods cause your blood glucose to spike. Learn all about normal blood sugar ranges, why yours my not be ideal and what you can do about it.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
This is another test that is typically used to diagnose diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes. Your blood sugar is measured at certain intervals (often every 30 minutes for two hours) after you drink a prescribed amount of glucose.
The oral glucose tolerance test is most often used to test for gestational diabetes. Learn more about:
Hemoglobin A1c Test (Glycohemoglobin)
This test reflects your average blood sugar levels over the past two or three months. It measures how much glucose is stuck to your red blood cells. It is useful in determining how well your blood sugar levels are controlled either naturally or by diet and/or medicine. The American Diabetes Association suggests that a normal result for this test is 7% or an estimated average blood sugar level of 154 mg/dL.
Urine Glucose Test
Urine glucose tests are not as accurate as blood glucose tests and should only be used when it is impossible to perform a blood test.
All of the above tests can be ordered and/or performed by your doctor. Several you can perform on your own and you don’t even need to be diabetic to learn whether or not your body is processing glucose appropriately. All you need to do is purchase a blood glucose meter and follow the instructions below.
All blood sugar meters are slightly different, so always refer to the user’s manual and instructions for your particular meter.
These steps should work with the majority of meters.
The following is the best way we have found to test our blood sugar. These blood sugar testing tips “come from the trenches”. It has been our experience that the easier and more comfortable we make testing, the better we get at managing our blood sugar.
Here are the steps:
Keep your meter with you and test at regular intervals. Read about ideal blood sugar ranges and our tips for how often to test for more information about when and why to test.