Do you need a diabetes blood test?
Blood sugar testing isn't only for diabetics. It's a good idea for almost anyone to get their blood sugar levels checked from time to time. A simple easy test can reveal a lot about your health, as well as giving warning if you might be developing diabetes.
What Is A Diabetes Blood Test?
Blood sugar testing means measuring the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucose is a very basic form of sugar, which your body uses for energy. It comes from a wide variety of food sources, including fruits, bread, pasta, as well as sugary products like soda and candy.
Having too much or too little glucose in your blood can lead to severe health problems, including types of diabetes, which is why most people should have their blood sugar levels tested from time to time.
What are the dangers of improper blood sugar levels?
If a person has too little glucose in their blood, that is known as hypoglycemia and can be extremely serious. Even mild hypoglycemia can lead to motor control issues, confusion, or difficulty talking. Severely low blood sugar levels can lead to blackouts, seizures, or even death.
Or, if the problem is too much glucose, that is called hyperglycemia. This can have a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- Excessive hunger or thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Weight loss
- Dry mouth or skin
- Slow healing of wounds
- Tingling in the extremities
- Sexual dysfunction
In severe situations, hyperglycemia can lead to irregular heartbeats, comas, or even death.
Are there any dangers or side effects of getting a diabetes blood test?
None, beyond minor discomfort at the site where blood is taken for testing. Otherwise, diabetes blood tests are entirely safe, and can even be performed by diabetics at home with their own testing kits.
Who should receive a diabetes blood test?
Having your blood sugar tested can reveal potential health issues, and it's particularly recommended for someone if any of the following are true:
- Over 45 years of age
- Overweight, or rarely exercises
- High blood pressure, or low levels of good cholesterol
- A family history of diabetes or insulin resistance
- Asian, African, Hispanic, Pacific Island, or Native American heritage
- Recently gave birth to a baby larger than 9 pounds