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What is it?
Glucose, commonly called blood sugar, is a simple carbohydrate carried by the bloodstream to the tissues of the body. It provides the basic energy we all need.
Why do I have to be fasting?
Glucose levels naturally rise and fall after meals, but they are lowest in the morning before the first meal of the day. Your fasting glucose level is compared to a range of values expected for normal patients (70-99 mg/dL).
What does a normal range mean?
A normal range (sometimes called a “reference range”) is a range of values at which patients without disease should fall. Many factors can affect your test results, including exercise, medication, and even how much water you consume. “Normal” for you is very likely to be different than “normal” for another person.
Values above the normal range are “hyperglycemic.” Those below the range are “hypoglycemic.” Your doctor can interpret these values.
On your lab report, values below range are flagged “L” and those above range are flagged “H.” Extreme values (sometimes called critical or panic values) are telephoned right away to your doctor.
What kind of specimen is collected?
The laboratory collects a blood sample using a needle inserted into a vein or by a fingerstick into a green or red top tube. Very little blood is needed to run a blood sugar test. Because glucose is consumed by the cells in your body, this includes the red cells in your blood. This means the laboratory needs to process your blood sample quickly to get accurate results.
How is the sample tested?
Your blood sample is centrifuged (a machine spins the sample rapidly for ten minutes to separate its parts). A barcode is attached directly to your sample. Our analyzer reads the barcode, retrieves your information from the computer, and runs the test. The results are sent to our computer system.
How closely should my blood sugar meter match your result?
In general, the values will be very close. Whole blood samples tested on a meter tend to be a little lower.
For more information on this and other lab tests at PVH, contact the PVH Laboratory by calling 794-3321.