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Non-Fasting Glucose: What You Should Know About It

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A non-fasting glucose test measures the amount of glucose in your blood at any time, and on any given day.

This may come as an unpleasant surprise to some people, but your body releases sugar into your bloodstream 24 hours a day.

So it’s important to be aware of how your glucose levels are functioning on average over the course of several days or weeks rather than at just one specific time.

What Is Non Fasting Glucose

Non-fasting glucose is a blood glucose test that gives an approximation of your average blood sugar levels over a three-month period.

The normal value for non-fasting glucose is between 3.9 and 5.5mmol/L.

If non-fasting glucose levels are higher than 5.5mmol/L, your doctor may refer you to a diabetic clinic for further investigation, such as a random blood sugar level test or an oral glucose tolerance test to determine if diabetes is present.

A healthy diet, regular exercise, and weight loss can help reduce high non-fasting glucose values, but if they remain high after making these lifestyle changes then treatment with medication will be recommended by your doctor.

Other Names For Non Fasting Glucose

Non-fasting blood glucose (NFBG), random blood glucose, casual blood glucose.

If your fasting glucose is high but your non-fasting number isn’t, then there’s no reason to worry.

However, if your fasting and non-fasting numbers are both elevated, you might have impaired fasting glucose or a diabetes diagnosis on your hands.

Don’t panic though! In either case, even with a diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes, lifestyle changes can keep things in check.

Some people wonder whether their A1C levels matter more than their non-fasting glucose values when measuring blood sugar levels.

It turns out that they do not they are pretty much two sides of one coin.

When Should You Check Your Non-Fasting Glucose Levels?

Non-fasting glucose levels can be a valuable tool for people with diabetes, because they offer a snapshot of your blood sugar (glucose) levels when your body is at rest.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that non-fasting glucose be tested in those who have high fasting plasma glucose levels and/or elevated A1C levels.

Testing at other times may also be useful for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes, and patients with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes

Blood Sugar Before and After Meals

While fasting glucose levels won’t tell us whether or not someone has diabetes, post-meal blood sugar does.

It gives us a good idea of how well someone’s body can metabolize sugar and carbohydrates on a day-to-day basis.

When we eat, our bodies break down foods into glucose and other sugars, which are then absorbed into our bloodstream to fuel metabolism.

Blood glucose goes up,  at some point, it will go back down that’s when non-fasting blood glucose comes in handy.

You can have your blood sugar tested anytime during your waking hours but ideally, you want to measure it 2 hours after eating.

Two hours after breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The test takes 5 minutes with results available within 30 minutes 

Blood Sugar Levels at Night

Your blood sugar levels when fasting in a fasted state can vary considerably from your blood sugar levels when not fasting.

Check your blood glucose before or after eating to get an accurate view of your normal blood glucose level.

If you check both your fasting and non-fasting levels and discover that your non-fasting levels are high, do not assume that you have diabetes.

It is likely that your body will correct these problems with diet and exercise before anything else needs to be done.

It’s still worth getting checked, however; one out of every three people who test their blood sugar frequently discover they have Type 2 Diabetes without even knowing they had it until they did testing.

If you experience night time hypoglycemia because your insulin drops at night (insulin being required for metabolism) then consider decreasing carbs before bedtime.

I personally don’t believe we need overnight lows to lose weight but each person is different so figure out what works best for you.

Overnight lows may decrease when eliminating artificial sweeteners as well.

Artificial sweeteners suppress immune function as well as increase the risk of other illnesses/diseases including cancer so avoid them at all costs if possible!

but keep it simple!

Take Aways

With age, our body’s natural ability to produce insulin decreases and we need a little more than before. How much exactly?

The American Diabetes Association recommends checking your blood glucose at least two times a day.

They also advise against self-monitoring if you have certain conditions, like severe anxiety or depression.

If your levels are consistently too high, then it might be time to talk with your doctor about medication and lifestyle changes that will help manage them.

But unless they’re dangerously high (which rarely happens) most doctors recommend monitoring every three months instead of once daily.

Monitoring can quickly become overwhelming, instead of focusing on numbers, try to relax by listening to music or meditating.

Once you start practicing mindfulness and implementing healthy habits into your routine, paying attention during stressful situations like having your blood drawn will become easier for both mind and body!

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/getting-tested.html

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/managing-blood-sugar/a1c.html

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