Fasting Plasma Glucose Test- FPG Test
A Wake-up Call
The FPG(fasting plasma glucose) test, also called the FBS(fasting blood sugar) test, measures levels of blood glucose as well as gives diabetes diagnosis. Comparatively easy to use and cheap, the test reveals insulin functioning problems.
Prolonged fasting stimulates the production of the hormone, glucagon, from the pancreas. This makes the liver send out blood sugar (glucose) to the blood. A non-diabetic’s body would react to the release of glucose by releasing insulin and so, prevents high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). For the diabetic whose pancreas can produce sufficient amount of insulin or whose body is no longer insulin sensitive, fasting blood glucose levels will remain elevated.
How Fasting Plasma Glucose Test is Done
It is an easy, noninvasive test of the blood. Before the test, the patient must fast for 12 – 14 hours. As fasting is easier at night, morning is the best time to have the test.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test Results
Doctors can tell what the test results mean by knowing the levels of blood glucose. Interpretation of test results depends upon the measurements given in milligrams mg/dL (per deciliter):
- Blood sugar levels less than 70 mg/dL indicates occurrence of hypoglycemia. At this stage, the level of blood glucose is too low.
- A result showing higher than 126 mg/dL indicates the point at which diagnosis of diabetes is confirmed.
- A result showing 100 mg/dL -126 mg/dL indicates prediabetes, which can lead to full-blown diabetes.
- For the fasting plasma glucose(FPG) test, 70 mg/dL – 99 mg/dL is said to be the normal range.
When there are borderline results, more blood tests such as the postprandial plasma glucose test or the oral glucose tolerance test ought to be done. Even when results show normal levels, more tests may be done to see if a patient has other diabetic risk factors, including high body mass index(BMI) or other signs of the disease.
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What Can Possibly Affect The Results Of The Test?
Since results can be different from one lab to another, or from one day to the next in one particular laboratory, there is need for confirmation of diagnosis by two results which are not in the normal range from tests carried out on two separate days.
Results of blood samples taken at different times from the same person can be different. An afternoon blood sample shows a lower level than a morning blood sample. Glucose level may be incorrectly low if the time lapse, between taking of the blood sample and its processing at the lab is too long. Other health conditions, previous or present, as well as habits like exercise and smoking, do affect test results.
Abnormal results can give a diagnosis of diabetes. A patient’s complete medical history should be taken into consideration when carrying out a test and understanding the results.
Learn From the Results
No matter what the results indicate, a person ought to discuss with his healthcare team. Remember the purpose of having the test is not for diagnosis of diabetes only, but also the prevention of it. Higher levels of glucose could also mean problems arising from diet, way of living and the function of insulin.
Be it type I, type II or GDM(gestational diabetes mellitus), a healthy way of life assists insulin to function better. As such, the fasting plasma glucose(FPG) test should be regarded as a wake-up call, not a reason to give up hope.