What are the different types of blood sugar tests? What purpose do each one of those serve? And why should anyone test his blood sugar levels? These are the kinds of questions that this article aims to answer and inform the reader of the importance of maintaining a healthy, normal blood glucose level.
First of all, let’s clear out some terms: blood sugar concentration and blood glucose level refer to the same thing exactly, so you should expect the two terms to be used interchangeable. Therefore, someone can legitimately say sugar concentration, glucose concentration, glucose level, or blood sugar level, and in all of those cases he will be describing the same thing.
Before, we examine the different types of blood sugar tests, one should know what those glucose levels actually refer to? What’s the big deal about glucose after all? As you know the human body needs large amounts of energy in order to be able to function properly, energy that has to be transported through the body to each cell. What does glucose have to do with that? Glucose is essentially the most important source of energy, and the only way for it to be absorbed by the cell is with the help of the insulin, a peptide hormone that is produced primarily by beta cells in the pancreas. 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) is the normal range of blood sugar levels in the human body, a number that is different from one person to another, and a number that will fluctuate within the day even for the same person. Any deviation from this range could be an indication of some underlying medical condition. If a person has low blood sugar levels, the phenomenon is called hypoglycemia; and when blood sugar levels are above normal, the phenomenon is called hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia is more often than not associated with diabetes mellitus, a medical condition characterized by the cell’s inability to absorb glucose either because the cell does not respond to insulin properly, or because the body does not produce enough of it.
In any case, a person should regularly check his blood sugar levels, both in order to avoid any unfortunate surprises and to be able to adopt a healthy diet so that his is full of energy during the whole day. But which of the various types of blood sugar tests is the proper one? Well, that depends…
There are actually five types of blood sugar tests: