When you think of blood sugar imbalances, diabetes might be the first thing that comes to mind. While type 2 diabetes is a serious health concern, blood sugar dysregulation can negatively affect our health in a lot of ways we might not realize. These imbalances can contribute to heart disease, cancer and diseases associated with aging, like cataracts. It can also contribute to hormone imbalances.
It is important to get comprehensive testing to catch insulin resistance early on and determine when in the day you are getting higher blood sugar levels.
Blood glucose tests and Type 2 Diabates diagnosis:
Fasting insulin: An elevated fasting insulin can detect insulin resistance before blood glucose elevates. The pancreas will start secreting more and more insulin to try to keep blood sugar down in the normal ranges, until eventually, the pancreas cannot keep up and blood sugar levels start to rise.
Fasting blood glucose: One of 3 standard screens for diabetes. Normal is <126mg/dL (100mg/dL-125mg/dL is "prediabetes"), although clinically I see fasting blood glucose as low as in the 90s can correlate with insulin resistance and prediabetes. *I have seen elevated fasting blood glucose in patients doing intermittent fasting, as overnight increases in stress hormones like cortisol can increase more blood sugar.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test: One of 3 standard screens for diabetes. After drinking a 75gm sugar drink, blood sugar level is drawn 2 hours later. A blood sugar is >200mg/dL it is considered diabetes. This a good look at how well the pancreas is responding to sugar loads. A patient can have a normal morning fasting blood glucose, but their daytime blood glucose can be intermittently elevated when their pancreas cannot secrete enough insulin to control the mealtime carbohydrates.
Hemoglobin A1c: One of 3 standard screens for diabetes. A hemoglobin A1c is a 3-month average blood sugar. Normal is <5.6%, prediabetes is 5.7-6.4%, and diabetes to 6.5% or greater. It is the percentage of red blood cells that have sticky sugar attached to it. Red blood cells last 90 days, hence the 3-month average.
In addition to the 3 standard diabetes screening tests, anyone who presents with classic symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and has a random blood glucose of 200mg/dL or more is diagnostic for type 2 diabetes. Continuous glucose monitors can be very beneficial to get a deeper look at how specific foods you eat and beverages you drink effect your blood glucose.
If you are concerned about your blood sugar levels or suspect you might have pre-diabetes, contact our office at Twin Cities Integrative Medicine to schedule an initial consultation. We will discuss your health concerns in detail and go over testing options and a treatment plan. It's time to get back to healthy!