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Fasting Blood Sugar: Normal, High, & Low + Ways to Improve

Fasting Blood Sugar: Normal, High, & Low + Ways to Improve

Max Lab

May 25, 2022

A person’s sugar level on an empty stomach can provide vital clues as to how their body is managing blood sugar. Tests to calculate the fasting blood sugar levels in the body are the common way of diagnosing diabetes, and an important management tool for those who have been diagnosed with the condition.

What is Fasting Blood Sugar?

As the name suggests, fasting blood sugar is a person’s blood sugar level on an empty stomach or after a period of not eating. As a person eats, their blood sugar levels rise and how much they rise depends on what was eaten and in how much quantity. Generally, an hour after eating is when the sugar levels reach their peak. By testing the sugar level on an empty stomach, after observing a fast of typically 8-12 hours, a doctor can gain insight into how the body manages blood sugar. A fasting blood sugar results higher than what is the normal level even after not eating for 8 hours may indicate that the body is unable to process the sugar in the blood, which could be a sign of insulin resistance.

What is the Fasting Blood Sugar Test?

A fasting blood glucose (FBG) test, also known as a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test or fasting blood sugar test, is the test that is performed for measuring the amount of glucose in the blood after a fast. As it requires 8-12 hours of not eating anything, it is generally performed after an overnight fast in the morning, which is the preferred time for a fasting blood sugar test. It is performed to either diagnose diabetes, monitor its treatment, or understand the effect of different factors on blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Sample Collection

For the fasting blood sugar test, a blood sample is collected for testing. It can either be collected by pricking a finger or from a vein in the arm. It takes very little time for a fasting blood sugar test and reports are generally made available the same very same day.

“Can I Drink Water Before a Fasting Blood Sugar Test”

One of the most common questions asked by people undergoing the test is if they can drink water before a fasting blood sugar test. In most cases, drinking a little water is permissible before sample collection, unless otherwise specified by the doctor. Any other food or drinks like coffee, tea, juice, etc. must be avoided completely.

For people with diabetes, a fasting blood sugar test performed in the morning provides a baseline sugar level for the day, which they may have to follow with random blood sugar tests during the day. The test can also help detect impaired fasting glucose, which means that their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

What is a Normal Fasting Blood Sugar Level?

Levels below 100 mg/dL are considered to be normal levels for fasting blood sugar while levels higher than 126 mg/dL may indicate diabetes. if a person shows high blood sugar levels, they may be asked to undergo further testing to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes. On the other hand, blood sugar levels between 100 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL are referred to as impaired fasting glucose, which means that the levels are high but not as high as they are in conditions like diabetes. The condition with impaired fasting glucose levels is also referred to as prediabetes.

How to Control Fasting Blood Sugar

Conditions like type 1 or type 2 diabetes are chronic conditions that cannot be treated but if a person has not yet developed the conditions or if they have prediabetes, there are several ways in which they can control their blood sugar levels.

  • Exercising Regularly

Regular exercise can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight while also increasing insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity implies that the cells can use the available sugar in the blood more efficiently. Exercise also aids in using the blood sugar for energy and for muscular contractions. Testing blood sugar levels before and after exercising on a regular basis can help learn how the body reacts to certain activities and can help on maintaining blood sugar levels, keeping them from getting too high or too low.

  • Tracking Blood Sugar Levels Regularly

Generally, high blood sugar levels do not show symptoms until they have exceeded 200 mg/dL. As a result, it is critical for someone with diabetes or with risk factors for developing the condition to measure their blood sugar regularly. As

  • Increased Intake of Fibre and Less Carbs

Fibre is a nutrient that can help stabilise blood sugar levels. It also aids in weight loss and reduces the risks of developing cardiovascular disease. It is also important for patients with type 2 diabetes to be mindful of their carb intake. Carbohydrates are a major source of blood sugar fluctuations.

Testing fasting blood sugar levels offer helpful insights into how the body is managing blood sugar and the results can help your doctor get a better understanding of your health.


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