As of 2007, more than 23 million Americans were living with diabetes. Of those 23 million, approximately 12 million of them are adult men. Whether you have diabetes or not, the American Diabetes Association recommends regular evaluation of your blood glucose levels to reduce your risk of developing diabetes and to help those with this disease to maintain control of their blood sugar.
Glucose, or blood sugar, is a source of energy for the body. The endocrine system is responsible for regulating the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. If the body is unable to regulate the amount of glucose in the body, diabetes can set in. While two types of diabetes exist, both are characterized by high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. A blood test is the most common method to evaluate the level of glucose in the bloodstream in men and women.
A1c is a lab test that estimates your average blood glucose levels for the two- to three-month period prior to the lab draw. This test gives your physician an idea of how well you are managing your blood glucose. Ideally, for men and women, your A1C should be less than 7 percent, which averages out to 150 milligrams glucose per deciliter.
Fasting Glucose Test
A fasting glucose test is a lab test taken after you have had nothing to eat or drink for 8 to 12 hours prior to the lab draw. Medline Plus cites that for those evaluated with a fasting glucose test, your level should be less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). There is no differentiation between men and women. If you level falls between 100 and 125 mg/dl, you are classified as pre-diabetic. And for those whose fasting blood glucose is greater than 125 mg/dl, they are considered diabetic.
Aside from diabetes, many other conditions can cause an increase in glucose levels. Some of these conditions include acute stress, kidney failure, hyperthyroidism, excessive food intake, certain medications and pancreatitis. On the contrary, conditions such as liver disease, alcohol intake, starvation and hypothyroidism can all cause your glucose levels to be too low.
Diabetes can lead to many other serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and nerve damage. It can also lead to blindness and even death. It is therefore imperative that if you have diabetes, or pre-diabetes that you are diligent about controlling your blood glucose levels. The American Diabetes Association recommends monitoring your glucose with a home monitor daily. They also recommend an A1C test at least twice per year to make sure that your glucose is well controlled.