Blood sugar, also known as glucose (fP-Gluk, fS-Gluk), is one of the most important sources of energy for the body. We mainly obtain glucose from food, but cells can also produce it. Glucose is obtained by breaking down carbohydrates from food in the gut into glucose, which is absorbed in the small intestine.
The body’s ability to use sugar depends on insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Normally, blood sugar increases after a meal. This causes increased insulin secretion, which keeps the level of blood sugar quite steady.
The best-known disease associated with blood sugar is diabetes. In hypoglycaemia, blood sugar is low; in hyperglycaemia, it is high. Low blood sugar can be a life-threatening state. High blood sugar levels continuing for a long time can damage the veins, nerves, heart, eyes, and kidneys.
When should glucose be measured?
Usually, glucose levels are measured when suspecting diabetes and following up on a previously diagnosed disease.
Excessively low glucose levels can cause impaired vision and speech, loss of consciousness and cramps, sweating, feelings of hunger, and palpitations.
Correspondingly, excessively high glucose levels in the blood manifest themselves as fatigue, weight loss, increased urination, dehydration of the body, and increased feelings of thirst.
What does a glucose test measure?
The concentration of blood sugar (glucose) can be measured with a blood test, either from a finger prick or from a vein in the crook of the elbow. A reliable result requires fasting for 10–12 hours before sampling.
How to interpret the glucose result?
Normally, the result is:
- 4.0–6.0 mmol/l
When suspecting diabetes, the long-term blood sugar level can be examined with the glycosylated haemoglobin test (B-GHbA1C).
Please contact your physician or other healthcare professional if you suspect an illness or need help interpreting the results.
The reference values of this examination have changed 11.10.2021. You will find your own result's reference values from My LOUNA in touch with the graph.
What can cause elevated glucose values?
Glucose levels in the body can increase when sugar metabolism is disturbed, such as in diabetes. If the fasting value of the glucose result is 7.0 mmol/l or higher in repeated measurements, it indicates diabetes. In prediabetes, glucose levels can be elevated, 6.1–6.9 mmol/l. In this case, diabetes can develop in the near future, unless the glucose levels are influenced with lifestyle changes.
What can cause decreased glucose values?
Decreased glucose levels are called hypoglycaemia. In this condition, the body has an excessively low amount of blood sugar. Excessively low glucose levels emerge when more sugar is removed from the blood than the body gets from food or liver stocks.
When the level of glucose falls below 2.5 mmol/l, central nervous symptoms emerge (impaired vision, convulsions, and loss of consciousness). The most severe consequences of low glucose levels are heart attack, coma, or death. A decrease in blood sugar levels can be caused by skipping or delaying a meal, drugs, alcohol, and excessive insulin in connection with insulin treatment for diabetes.
The most typical additional glucose tests:
- Glycosylated haemoglobin test measures long-term blood sugar (6128 B-GHbA1C)
SYNLAB test list: Glucose (fP-Gluk, fS-Gluk) https://www.yml.fi/tuotekuvaus_show.php?tuotenro=140
Terveyskirjasto health library: Glukoosi https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/terveyskirjasto/tk.koti?p_artikkeli=snk03091&p_hakusana=glukoosi
Potilaan lääkärilehti (Patient's Medical Journal): Verensokeri kertaa diabeteksen riskistä https://www.potilaanlaakarilehti.fi/uutiset/verensokeri-kertoo-diabeteksen-riskista/
Current Care guideline Diabetes, sairastatko diabetestä tietämättäsi? https://www.kaypahoito.fi/khp00066
Fasting is required
Paastoa vaativissa tutkimuksissa tulee olla syömättä ja juomatta 10–12 tuntia ennen verikoetta. Tarvittaessa tuona aikana voi juoda lasin vettä.
Paastoverikokeet suosittelemme otettavaksi kello 8–10 välisenä aikana. Lue muista suosituksista täältä.
Diabeetikot noudattavat lääkäriltä saamaansa ohjeistusta paaston suhteen.