Random Glucose Testing: Why It’s Important
random glucose test is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a random blood test to
check glucose levels. It’s a powerful tool for diabetics. Also called casual
testing, it can help assess how well the disease is being managed.
professionals recommend that you use the post-meal glucose level as the
standard for random glucose testing. Acceptable values are around 70-125 mg/dL
How Does Random Testing Help With Disease Management?
healthy adults, glucose levels are moderated within the bloodstream. Levels are
balanced through the actions of insulin and the body’s use of sugars. If a
healthy adult without diabetes received random glucose tests throughout the
day, their glucose levels would remain relatively stable. This would be true
even if they:
- varied their diet
- experienced stress
- ate at different times of the day
with diabetes and prediabetes, glucose levels can vary widely over the course
of the day. This is particularly true if the disease is not well managed. In
these people, random test results will vary widely. Tests may also be consistently
A random test is one performed outside your normal testing
schedule. Random testing is an important part of diabetes management. If random
glucose levels are acceptable, your strategy is probably working. Wide swings
in your levels suggest you need to change your management plan.
high sugar levels are what cause symptoms in diabetics. Symptoms include:
- weight loss
- increased urination
- slow healing
Other Types of Glucose Testing
Random glucose testing isn’t a substitute for other types of
glucose tests. You should also perform fasting tests and post-meal tests as
suggested by your doctor.
A fasting blood glucose test is usually performed upon waking,
before you eat. Post-meal blood glucose tests measure glucose levels around two
hours after eating. Different testing times will yield different results. These
are affected by:
food you’ve eaten
caffeine you’ve consumed
It’s important to test every day. This helps you get a sense of
your personal levels. Testing is the best way to learn how your sugar is
affected by your lifestyle.
Exercise and Glucose Testing
Exercise can play a role in your random glucose test results.
Generally, exercise will lower glucose levels. It may even require you to
adjust your insulin regimen, if you’re taking shots every day. However, don’t
let that discourage you from exercising. Exercise is one of the best ways you
can help control diabetes. Most people with diabetes gain benefits from even
Exercise increases your body’s ability to use insulin. It also
burns extra glucose in your bloodstream. In the long term, exercise will lead
to more stable random glucose test results.
The Importance of Listening to Your Body
If you have diabetes, paying close attention to your symptoms is
very important. Many people with diabetes dread the horrible feelings of
hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. They know they are signs that something has
gone wrong. However, these symptoms are a powerful ally in diabetes management.
They signal trouble before it gets out of control. When you experience a
symptom that may be related to poor glucose levels, it’s a good time to test.
Listen to your body. Being alert for symptoms can cue you to
test your glucose levels and quickly overcome any rapid changes. Identifying
symptoms can also help you learn to stabilize your disease.
If you manage your diabetes with oral medication, changes in
symptoms can warn you that your diabetes may be getting worse. They can be a
sign you need more direct management.
Using Test Results as a Tool for Change
Your blood glucose levels do not reflect your value as a person.
They are just a measure of disease activity. Stressing over your glucose
readings is counterproductive. It will only hurt your ability to successfully
manage your diabetes.
Diabetes is a very serious condition. However, you can control
it. The key is healthy behavior changes combined with good glucose monitoring. If
you find that your glucose levels just aren’t getting under control, it’s time
to speak with your doctor. You may need to make changes in your management