What is a fasting blood sugar test, how to test it & what does it show?

A fasting blood sugar test can be used to monitor and diagnose type 1 and 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes. This guide highlights what a fasting blood sugar test is, how it is undertaken and what the results may show.

What is a fasting blood glucose test used for?

A fasting blood sugar test involves checking the levels of glucose in the blood. There are several different types of blood sugar tests, and a fasting sugar test is a common type of test that is taken after fasting overnight.

The test shows whether your blood sugar level is high (hyper-glycemia) or low (hypoglycaemia). This information can be used to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes, as well as monitoring an existing diabetic condition and helping to determine the need to adjust diabetes medication or diet.

Prediabetes doesn’t usually have any signs or symptoms. Therefore, it is particularly important to get tested if you are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to:

  • Being overweight
  • Being over 40 years old
  • Doing little to no exercise
  • Having high blood pressure and / or high triglycerides levels
  • Having low ‘good’ cholesterol levels (HDL)
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Having had diabetes in pregnancy
  • Are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin

Even though pre-diabetes is usually symptomless, and type 2 types is often symptomless, an indicator of these conditions may include symptoms such as fatigue, blurred vision, frequent urination, weight loss, thirst and tiredness.

How do I prepare for a fasting blood glucose test?

A fasting blood glucose tests generally require overnight fasting and taking the test the next morning.

What is the normal range for blood sugar?

The result of a blood glucose level may vary from laboratory to laboratory. However, as a general guideline, the results ranges are as follow:

Fasting Blood Sugar Test Interpretation
70-99 mg/dL Normal
100 – 125 mg/dL Prediabetes
126 mg/dL and above Diabetes

How do you feel when your blood sugar is too high?

Some of the most common hyperglycaemia symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Drowsiness
  • Excess hunger and/or thirst

It is recommended to seek medical attention if you are experiencing such symptoms.

How can I lower my blood sugar level?

You can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prediabetes by:

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Exercising
  • Eating a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables
  • Cutting out sugary drinks and refined carbohydrates such as white bread and rice.

How do you feel when your blood sugar is too low?

Some of the common hypoglycaemia symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings
  • Shakiness / trembling
  • Heart palpitations
  • hunger
  • Tingling in the lips
  • tiredness

How can I increase my blood sugar level?

You can help increase your blood sugar levels quickly by:

  • Having a sugary snack or drink
  • Taking a glucose tablet

How can I get my blood sugar tested?

At a clinic

You can book a health check with one of our Certified Healthcare professionals at one of over 2,000 mobile clinics nationwide. All of our Health MOT Packages include a blood sugar test, in addition to a wide array of health markers for a detailed view of your health. You can choose between 3 levels of testing to suit your own personal needs.

At Home

Alternatively, you can get a blood sugar test from the comfort of your own home with a single blood sugar home test kit. All you need to do is order your kit, take your own sample, send it back in our pre-addressed return envelope, and wait to receive your results online within 8 days.