Fasting, as the name suggests, means refraining from eating or drinking any liquids other than water for eight hours. It is used as a test for diabetes.
After fasting, a carbohydrate metabolism test is conducted which measures blood glucose levels.
Glucagon during fasting
When fasting the hormone glucagon is stimulated and this increases plasma glucose levels in the body.
If a patient doesn’t have diabetes, his/her body will produce insulin to rebalance the increased glucose levels.
However people with diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin to rebalance their blood sugar (typically in type 1 diabetes) or their body is not able to use the insulin effectively enough (typical of type 2 diabetes).
Consequently when blood glucose levels are tested, people with diabetes will have blood sugar levels significantly higher than people who do not have diabetes.
What is the fasting blood sugar test used for?
The fasting blood sugar test is also used to test the effectiveness of different medication or dietary changes on people already diagnosed as diabetic.
Fasting test results
The results of a fasting test with respect to glucose levels in the body are as follows:
Normal: 3.9 to 5.5 mmols/l (70 to 100 mg/dl)
Prediabetes or Impaired Glucose Tolerance: 5.6 to 7.0 mmol/l (101 to 126 mg/dl)
Diagnosis of diabetes: more than 7.0 mmol/l (126 mg/dl)
There are easy-to-operate machines all around that one can use to check his blood sugar level.