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Fasting blood sugar—a test of glucose levels after a fasting period of at least 8 hours—  is useful to determine if you have diabetes.

Measuring glucose levels is useful to determine if you have diabetes or are likely to develop it. Diabetes is characterized by your body’s insulin response not working properly, either due to not making enough insulin or the cells not responding to the insulin signal. Diabetes causes blood glucose levels to stay elevated for long periods of time after a meal, eventually resulting in damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, circulatory system, and other organs.

Additionally, elevated blood glucose levels can cause long-lasting inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation inhibits immunity and can increase your risk of getting infections. 

Diabetes increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. This occurs because elevated levels of sugar and insulin in your blood can cause cholesterol to form plaque that shrinks and damages your arteries. Your immune system responds by trying to get rid of the plaque, which is what can cause inflammation and blood clots.

You can help your body better regulate the amount of glucose in your blood by exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet with fewer carbs, and getting enough sleep. Your healthcare professional might also prescribe medications to help regulate your blood glucose level, such as Metformin.


Last updated:
August 6, 2021

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