What is glucose?
Glucose, also known as sugar, is one of the body’s primary energy sources and mainly comes from foods rich in carbohydrates e.g. bread, fruits. After the ingestion of carbohydrate rich foods, the body breaks down these more complex structures into simpler molecules - glucose. When glucose enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin. Insulin regulates the amount of glucose within the blood, and any excess glucose is stored within cells of the body - primarily within the liver, muscles and fat so that it can be used when needed.
Long-term elevated glucose levels can result in the development of diabetes, and can damage the eyes (specifically the retina), kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels.
Blood glucose levels are normally tested when an individual has fasted overnight.
Why is this analysis important?
Helpful in the diagnosis of diabetes and prediabetes
Helps in the management of diabetes
Normal blood glucose values change depending on the laboratory. The doctor will always evaluate the results based on several factors.
High glucose levels can be caused by:
Drugs such as steroids (e.g. prednisolone), beta-blockers (e.g. bisoprolol), thiazide-type diuretics (e.g. hydrochlorothiazide)
Elevated stress levels
Acute and chronic pancreatitis
Low glucose levels can be due to the following:
Those with diabetes managed by insulin, blood sugars can be monitored through the day using a blood glucose monitor.
Tests that include this marker
Hyperglycemia. Elsevier Interactive Patient Education 2017
Diabetes. American Academy of Family Physicians.November 22, 2016.