In the 1950s, the method a person used to check blood glucose levels was to drop a reagent tablet into a small test tube containing a few drops of urine mixed with water.
The 1970s and 1980s marked are a turning point in the treatment of diabetes. Innovations such as blood glucose readers and strips measuring blood glucose (sugar) levels gave patients and doctors good tool to measure diabetes.
a) DIABETES is diagnosed When the fasting plasma glucose is ≥ 126 mg/dl or random blood glucose ≥ 200 mg/dl.
b) PREDIABETES is diagnosed when the value of fasting blood glucose 110 – 125 mg/dl and 2 hr postprandial sugars between 140 to 199 mg/dl and HBA1C Normal range: 4.5 – 5.6%, Prediabetes range: 5.7 – 6.4%, Diabetic range: ≥ 6.5%.
Glycated hemoglobin (Hba1c) is a form of hemoglobin that is measured primarily to identify the three-month average plasma glucose concentration.
For newly diagnosed patients with diabetes, HBa1c test has to be done along with fasting and postprandial sugar before starting treatment and it has to be repeated once in 3 months.
Many people are not aware of the HBa1c test. Once diabetic, this test has to be done every 3 months and it has to be done in a standardized laboratory for accuracy.
Nowadays urine sugar testing has no importance. It is not considered in diagnosis or follows up of diabetes.
Avoid testing urine sugar for follow up with the doctor.
How Frequently to Check Blood Sugar?
Checking blood sugar depends on the severity of diabetes.
I suggest to check fasting sugar, 2 hrs post breakfast and predinner sugar with a glucometer at home once a week.
If diabetes is well controlled, follow up with the doctor once in 3 months with FBS/PPBS and HBA1C report.
If sugars are moderately controlled and on insulin, follow up with a doctor at least once in 2 months.
If blood sugars are erratic and not in control, once a month consultation is necessary.
Remember HBA1C testing has to be done only once in 3 months.
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