Preventing diabetes starts with knowing your numbers...specifically, your blood glucose (also called blood sugar) levels. Next week, we are offering free blood glucose screenings as part of our Health & Wellness series discussion. We hope you will join us! Here are some things you might want to know.
Glucose (sometimes called “sugars” or “carbohydrates”) is your body’s primary source of energy. After eating, glucose rides along in your blood until it is transferred to cells that need the energy. Your body works hard to keep your blood glucose at an ideal level so your cells have what they need when they need it. Insulin is the hormone that helps move glucose from your blood to your cells.
When insulin is not available, glucose stays in your blood. If your blood glucose levels are high over a period of time, you have hyperglycermia. A high level of glucose in your blood can mean that your body is unable to process the glucose properly and your cells are not getting what they need.
Type 2 Diabetes is a condition where your body does not produce enough insulin or your body has trouble processing glucose. That means blood glucose stays in the blood and results in high blood sugar levels.
That’s why your blood glucose levels matter. They tell your provider if your body is having trouble processing glucose. If your levels are high, you can make significant changes to your lifestyle to help your body better regulate blood glucose levels. If you catch high blood glucose levels early (Prediabetes), you can actually reverse the situation and prevent developing Type 2 Diabetes altogether.
A blood glucose test measures the amount of glucose in your blood. The most common are:
For community screenings, we provide a non-fasting glucose test so you do not have to fast all day. That will give you a snapshot of your glucose levels at that moment in time.
To read your blood glucose, we will prick your finger and place one drop of blood on a strip. That strip is inserted into a glucometer and read by the glucometer. The glucometer gives you a non-fasting blood glucose level within seconds. It’s that easy! No lab needed.
Your target blood glucose levels depend on the type of glucose test you get. According to the American Diabetes Association – a target non-fasting blood glucose reading taken one to two hours after a meal is one that is below 180mg/dl. A normal non-fasting blood glucose reading taken before a meal is 70 to 130 mg/dl. For your non-fasting blood glucose test, you will want to talk with your provider if your levels are 200 mg/dL or above.
Remember that a non-fasting blood glucose test is a picture of your glucose levels at one point in time. If your levels are high, you will want to discuss your results with your Primary Care Provider. They might request that you do a fasting blood glucose test to give them a better picture of what is happening.
Identifying high blood glucose levels early gives you more time to make changes and prevent diabetes. You can discuss your results with your screener for suggestions on your next steps.
Are you ready for a blood glucose screening? Join us for our next community blood glucose screening!
There is no pre-registration for this screening event. We will begin screenings at 12:30 pm. When you arrive at Fairhaven Senior Services, sign up with our screeners for a blood glucose screening and we will provide screenings in the order you arrive. See you there!