Why measuring glucose levels can prevent type 2 diabetes?
Measuring blood glucose levels is vital to prevent type 2 diabetes, especially for people who are genetically predisposed to develop type 2 diabetes and people with prediabetes. Why?
We live in an obesogenic environment in which it is very difficult to avoid foods with high sugar content. This fact, united to high incidence of type 2 diabetes worldwide, is a persuasive argument to review our blood glucose indices, and give us the opportunity to act taking preventive measures. Even more so if we are at risk to develop this pathology.
For people with type 2 diabetes, proper control of glucose levels may reduce the risk of developing any of the complications related to the disease.
Who should measure blood glucose levels?
The analysis of blood glucose levels is especially recommended in people who:
- Are above their weight and lead a sedentary life
- Have family members with diabetes
- Have had gestational diabetes, which increases the risk for type 2 diabetes by 60%
- Have or have had prediabetes
How are blood glucose levels measured?
There are several methods of measuring blood glucose:
- A1C Test. The A1C test measures your average blood glucose level over the past 2 or 3 months. The advantages of receiving a diagnosis this way is that you do not have to fast or drink anything. Diabetes is diagnosed when: A1C ≥ 6.5%.
- Fasting plasma glucose. This test is usually done first thing in the morning, before breakfast, and measures your blood glucose level when you are fasting. Fasting means not eating or drinking anything (except water) for at least 8 hours before the test. Diabetes is diagnosed when: Fasting plasma glucose ≥ 126 mg/dl.
- Oral glucose tolerance test. This is a two-hour test that measures your blood glucose level before drinking a special sweet drink and 2 hours after taking it. It tells your doctor how the body processes glucose. Diabetes is diagnosed when: Glucose in the blood at 2 hours ≥ 200 mg/dl.
- Random plasma glucose test. This test is a blood test at any time of the day when you have symptoms of severe diabetes. Diabetes is diagnosed when: Blood glucose ≥ 200 mg/dl.
Having pre-diabetes and having detected a high genetic risk of developing type 2 diabetes make us alert in controlling and changing the lifestyle. Knowing in time if you have high blood sugar levels will allow you to anticipate.
Itziar M. Ceberio
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