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Glucose (Serum)

The Glucose (Serum) Test, also known as the Fasting Blood Glucose Test, is the most common test used to diagnose hyperglycemia (higher-than-normal levels of blood sugar), hypoglycemia (lower-than-normal levels of blood sugar) and diabetes. It’s commonly given by your doctor every year and during pregnancy. In addition, Diabetics self-conduct this test multiple times a day to monitor their blood glucose.

Note: Be sure to fast (not eat) for 10-12 before the test to ensure its accuracy.


Why Do I Need It?:
Are you diabetic or want to know if you’re diabetic?
This test will determine if your blood glucose level is within a healthy range. It will also screen for, diagnose, and monitor pre-diabetes, diabetes, hyper- and hypoglycemia.


Test Details:
Normal Range: Fasting ranges should be between 70 to 110 mg/dL

High Results Indicate: High result values are between 100 and 126 mg and are considered to be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Results higher than 126 mg can be a sign that you have diabetes and you should seek medical attention.

Low Results Indicate: Results under 70 mg/dL can indicate hypoglycemia.


What is being tested?

Glucose is a simple sugar that serves as the main source of energy for the body. The carbohydrates we eat are broken down into glucose (and a few other simple sugars), absorbed by the small intestine, and circulated throughout the body. Most of the body’s cells require glucose for energy production; brain and nervous system cells not only rely on glucose for energy, they can only function when glucose levels in the blood remain above a certain level.



The body’s use of glucose hinges on the availability of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin acts as a traffic director, transporting glucose into the body’s cells, directing the body to store excess energy as glycogen for short-term storage and/or as triglycerides in adipose (fat) cells. We cannot live without glucose or insulin, and they must be in balance.


Normally, blood glucose levels rise slightly after a meal, and insulin is secreted to lower them, with the amount of insulin released matched up with the size and content of the meal. If blood glucose levels drop too low, such as might occur in between meals or after a strenuous workout, glucagon (another pancreatic hormone) is secreted to tell the liver to turn some glycogen back into glucose, raising the blood glucose levels. If the glucose/insulin feedback mechanism is working properly, the amount of glucose in the blood remains fairly stable. If the balance is disrupted and glucose levels in the blood rise, then the body tries to restore the balance, both by increasing insulin production and by excreting glucose in the urine.


Severe, acute hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia can be life-threatening, causing organ failure, brain damage, coma, and, in extreme cases, death. Chronically high blood glucose levels can cause progressive damage to body organs such as the kidneys, eyes, heart and blood vessels, and nerves. Chronic hypoglycemia can lead to brain and nerve damage.


Some women may develop hyperglycemia during pregnancy, which is termed gestational diabetes. If untreated, this can cause these mothers to give birth to large babies who may have low glucose levels. Women who have had gestational diabetes may or may not go on to develop diabetes.

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