A fasting blood sugar test measures the amount of a type of sugar, called glucose, in your blood after not eating for at least 8 hours.
Checking for an ideal fasting blood sugar level is one of the most commonly performed tests to check for pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.
The normal blood sugar range may be misleading.
So, what should your fasting blood sugar be?
The normal blood sugar range is considered to be 65 to 99. If your fasting blood sugar is between 100 and 125, you have “impaired fasting glucose”, also referred to as pre-Diabetes. If your fasting blood sugar is more than 126 on two or more occasions, full blown Diabetes is the diagnosis
WHAT IS PRE-DIABETES?
People defined as having impaired fasting glucose/pre-Diabetes are individuals who have blood sugar levels that do not meet the criteria for Diabetes, yet are higher than those considered normal. These people are at relatively high risk for developing Diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that pre-Diabetes is not a disease itself, but a risk factor. The ADA also states that pre-Diabetes can be considered an “intermediate stage in the Diabetes disease process.”
One wonders how pre-Diabetes can be both a risk factor for Diabetes and an intermediate stage for the Diabetes process simultaneously.
In addition to increasing the chance of developing Diabetes, it’s well established that people with impaired fasting glucose/pre-Diabetes are more likely to:
– BE OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE, ESPECIALLY WITH ABDOMINAL OR VISCERAL OBESITY
– HAVE HIGH TRIGLYCERIDES OR FATTY LIVER
– HAVE LOW HDL “GOOD” CHOLESTEROL, AND
– HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.
It’s important to recognize that even normal range blood glucose levels can increase Diabetes risk.
There is a lot at stake for those with pre-Diabetes. Studies show that even people with fasting blood sugar levels towards the high end of the optimal glucose level may be at significantly high risk. In fact, these cut offs for what is considered “normal” pre-Diabetes blood sugar ranges are somewhat arbitrary.
The truth is that blood sugar starts damaging body tissues and increasing your risk of numerous diseases even at levels lower than pre-Diabetes levels.
A panel of experts gathered by the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists confirmed this is 2008 when they reviewed all of the science on pre-Diabetes and Diabetes. They found that the following risks of having elevated blood sugar start at numbers much lower than those used to diagnose pre-Diabetes or Diabetes:
– HEART DISEASE
– KIDNEY DAMAGE
– NERVE DAMAGE
– DEMENTIA, and
In other words, even if your normal fasting glucose level falls within the published optimal range, it could be damaging the heart, brain and other tissues and setting you up for full-blown Diabetes symptoms down the road.
At this point, you are probably wondering what constitutes an optimal fasting blood sugar range.
Some studies indicate that an ideal fasting sugar level is less than 90 and it’s likely really somewhere around 85.
To see how your body is really handling sugar there are other important tests that can be done in addition to the fasting blood glucose level test:
– GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST
– INSULIN RESPONSE TEST
– HEMOGLOBIN A1c TEST.
These tests are considered by many experts to be more important indicators of pre-Diabetes and other problems with blood sugar metabolism.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOUR BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVEL IS HIGH?
If your fasting blood sugar/glucose is above 85 or 90, don’t panic. There is so much that can be done to improve blood sugar control. Realize that there are many useful natural supplements that can help lower blood sugar, as well as dietary and lifestyle approaches. Eating more plant-based foods will help, as will regular exercise. Walking 30 minutes each day will go a long way to help support a change in your metabolism whereby your cells are utilizing more glucose.