A fasting blood glucose test, which is also called fasting plasma glucose, is a test to determine the level of sugars in your blood. The test requires you to refrain from food for a minimum of eight hours, and you then have your blood drawn and glucose levels measured.
Although no solid foods are allowed, you should—drink plenty water. You should consult your doctor about whether you should avoid medications. Health care Professionals prefer this test because it doesn’t matter what age, shape or weight you are and it is a fast, easy, and inexpensive procedure. The main reason to fast prior to a blood test is that food can raise blood sugar and alter the precise reading of the test.
The preparation is easy, since all you have to do is not consume food for at least eight hours before the test. That morning, a sample of blood is drawn from your veins, and sent to a special laboratory for review and analysis. When the fasting blood glucose test is done in the morning, as opposed to the afternoon, the results seem to be more accurate when it comes to diagnosing diabetes. Scheduling your test first thing in the morning will guarantee you a more accurate test result.
Your normal levels will be compared by your doctor against the fasting levels for glucose. Levels less than 100mg/dl are normal blood glucose levels. Your doctor will order a second test if your blood glucose levels come in higher than 126 mg/dL. It will be determined that you have diabetes, without the need for a follow up test, when a second test that is performed at another time has the same results of 126 mg/dL or higher.
However, your doctor will request a second blood test, if your blood glucose measures 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL. Your blood glucose levels are not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes; you just have higher-than-normal blood glucose levels. A doctor will diagnose diabetes; after all abnormal tests are confirmed with a second test.
The reason for having a fasting blood glucose test is because it is more conclusive in diagnosing medical problems. Your physician will be able to compare this test with future tests, along with a family history, as a best way of determining whether you’re staying stable, improving your health, or if due to age and other factors, your health is declining.
Other tests that require you to stop from eating for more than eight hours will include testing for triglycerides, lipid panels, and of course blood sugar levels. These tests will check your cholesterol, fats and sugar in your blood. These results will assist your doctor in determining some disorders or illnesses such as: pre-diabetes, diabetes and any heart diseases.
So as you can see a fasting glucose blood test is not the only test that requires you to fast for eight hours, it is just as important and potentially life-saving as the rest.