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blood glucose monitoring

Alternative Names 
glucose, random, serum glucose, random, glucose monitoring, random glucose

This blood test measures the level of glucose, or sugar, in the blood.

Who is a candidate for the test? 
A person with diabetes is a candidate for this test. They can check their blood sugar levels to ensure that they are within the proper range. If they are too low or too high, the person can then take the proper action to correct the blood sugar level.

This test may also be performed if the person is thought to have insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (Type 1 diabetes) or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (Non-insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetes).

How is the test performed? 
The person pricks his finger with a sterile needle to get a drop of blood. The drop is placed on a special pad filled with a chemical that changes colour when it reacts with blood glucose. The colour of the pad can then be compared with a colour chart. More often now, a portable glucose meter may is used, which automatically gives a blood glucose reading from a drop of blood.

What is involved in preparation for the test? 
The person should request specific instructions from his or her doctor. Generally, no special preparation is required.

What do the test results mean? 
Normal blood sugar levels after an 8-hour fast should be less than 7.0 mmols/L (millimoles per litre)

Very low blood sugar levels mean that the person is hypoglycaemic. He or she needs to eat some food or drink some liquid that contains sugar. The next insulin dose may need to be adjusted.

Very high blood sugar levels mean that the patient is hyperglycaemic. This means he or she may need more insulin.

Author: David T. Moran, MD
Reviewer: eknowhow Medical Review Panel
Editor: Dr John Hearne
Last Updated: 28/02/2005
Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request

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