Will you soon be having a type 2 diabetes fasting blood sugar test?
If so, it's essential you know what you can and can't eat and drink.
If you make a mistake during your preparation, it can have a huge impact on your blood sugar levels.
That is why you will learn 11 tips in this blog to ensure a correct blood test while fasting.
Fasting blood sugar test: What is it?
A fasting blood sugar test is something that has to be done periodically when you have type 2 diabetes. Of course, you would like to obtain a good result. The healthy range is anything between 5,0 and 6,0 mmol/L (or 90 and 108 mg/dl).
It would be a shame if you've been sticking to your diet in the weeks or months before the test and then get a high blood sugar reading due to a silly mistake on the day of the measurement.
This can put you and the doctor/nurse on the wrong foot. With all the consequences that ensue.
Purpose of this article
That's why I'm going to give you 11 simple tips that will see you through the fasting blood sugar test with no hitches Also, at the end of the blog, I'll tell you what you can do so that you never have to give any more blood or urine ever again.
#1 The fasting blood sugar test 8-hour rule
The word 'fasting' may well make you think of religious ceremonies.
Although fasting is common to many religions, it is not what we're talking about. In the medical world this is something completely different:
You are 'fasting' when you don't eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours.
This is how many hours you must not eat or drink to ensure your test gives an accurate result. This prevents a false positive result due to the high blood sugar level.
Although 8 hours sounds like a very long time, it's not that long if you think about it.
We all fast for 8 hours every day without even noticing it.
When you sleep for 8 hours, you basically wake up fasted.
Assuming you have actually slept for 8 hours, of course.
By eating nothing for at least 8 hours before you take the test, you can be sure that your blood sugar level is stable at that moment.
The result of the measurement taken at that moment represents the number of sugars that usually flow through your body when you haven't eaten anything in a while.
This guarantees that the level obtained is neither a mistake nor the delayed effect of that croissant you ate this morning.
#2 Drink only water
To ensure an accurate result, you must not drink any alcohol before the fasting blood sugar test. You probably know that already. But there is still a lot of confusion (especially on the internet) about whether or not you can drink one or two cups coffee.
Drinking coffee or tea before a fasting blood sugar test is the same as not switching off your phone on the plane.
It will probably do no harm, but better be safe than sorry!
The main problem with coffee and tea is that they usually contain caffeine.
If you're measuring your blood pressure, you'll want to avoid caffeine at all costs because it'll increase your blood pressure and your heart rate.
Caffeine stimulates the body in general. Among other things, it not only causes your blood pressure and heart rate to increase but it also increases your blood sugar and insulin levels for a short time. This will cause your blood sugar result to be higher than it actually is.
So don't drink tea or coffee for 8 hours before taking a fasting blood sugar test. Theoretically, red bush tea would be allowed. This tea does not contain caffeine and therefore should not raise your blood sugar level. However, better be safe than sorry and drink nothing but water during the 8 hours before your test.
#3 You must refrain from smoking
Smoking is another things that causes lots of confusion.
"Why shouldn't I smoke?"
You may think that you can smoke cigarettes because they don't contain sugar. But, funnily enough, this is not true. Cigarette manufacturers mix sugar in with the tobacco to make it extra addictive.
Although the effect on the body is negligible, the sugar is not the biggest problem.
The main reason you as a type 2 diabetic should not smoke before having a fasting blood sugar test is very simple.
The nicotine (and many other substances) in cigarettes stimulates the body. Just like caffeine in coffee.
Nicotine can also affect your glucose and insulin levels. This can distort your results and put the nurse/doctor on the wrong track. So do not smoke anything at all 8 hours before you have your fasting blood sugar test.
#4 Keep taking the tablets
In addition to drinking water, taking your medication is also an exception to the "don't eat and drink before your fasting blood sugar test" rule.
That might not surprise you.
If you take 10 pills a day, then there is a good reason for this:
When you are ill, you do not always have the luxury of interrupting your medication.
I would also not recommend you miss your medication. Taking your medicines is a necessity.
When blood testing while fasting, you can indicate whether you have taken certain medicines or not.
This means that any deviations from a healthy range can be taken into account.
So just keep taking your medication with water. Some people swallow their medicines with yogurt or custard because they think the pills are too big. Or because the medication doesn't taste very nice.
This is not allowed with blood testing while fasting. Custard and yogurt contain sugars and these will increase your blood sugar level. So you must not use them.
#5 Check whether or not you are allowed to exercise
Currently, there is no problem with exercising before a fasting blood sugar test as a diabetic. But perhaps you are reading this blog in the year 2040, by which time it might be possible to measure substances that are sensitive to exercise.
There is nothing wrong with some movement in itself.
But it could possibly give a distorted view of your actual blood sugar level.
If you exercise very hard before your blood test, it can cause your blood sugar levels to change significantly. Either up or down.
Also, exercising can create certain metabolic by-products from cells that can influence the measurement.
Although this is currently not a problem with type 2 diabetes patients, it could become a problem in the future. At present, the general advice is to not exercise for (at least) 48 hours prior to a fasting blood sugar test.
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#6 Choose the right kind of chewing gum
Chewing gum is also one of those things that people are confused about.
Most people understand that you should not eat anything when you have a fasting blood sugar test.
Also, reasons for not drinking certain liquids are understood.
But what exactly do you do with something you only chew and never swallow?
That is an excellent question.
In theory, when you're chewing gum, you don't swallow it, and therefore it can not affect your blood sugar levels.
But we know from research that simply thinking about food – let alone actually chew on something – can cause your insulin to change.Could this also be the case with your fasting blood sugar levels when chewing gum?
But it must be sugar-free gum.
Chewing gum full of sugars obviously has an effect on your blood sugar level. If you want to chew gum in the morning, always choose sugar-free chewing gum. Or just read the next tip.
#7 Freshen your breath without chewing gum
Why am I giving you this tip?
Brushing your teeth to freshen your breath is an excellent substitute for chewing gum, and it avoids any risk of blood sugar fluctuations.
By brushing your teeth, you overcome the urge to chew gum to cover up any unpleasant odors
As long as you don't swallow your toothpaste, there shouldn't be any problems.
Brushing your teeth will also prevent you from continually thinking that you are walking around with bad breath.
So, enough reasons to brush your teeth.
Some people worry that brushing their teeth could make them feel hungry and that if it did, it could spoil their test results.
However, research has shown that brushing your teeth does not increase or decrease your hunger. So don't worry about feeling hungry when you go for your fasting blood sugar test.
#8 Take something to eat to prevent you from fainting
Blood testing while fasting is a streamlined ordeal. Before you know it, it's your turn to be tested, and the next thing you know, you're on your way back home!
But, depending on the location, it can be very busy. And when it's busy, you may have to wait a long time before it's your turn.
This can result in you not being able to eat for a very long time.
To avoid starving while you're waiting, it's advisable to bring some food to the fasting blood sugar test.
Although blood testing rarely takes hours, it can certainly take tens of minutes.
So, there's no harm in bringing a sandwich or a piece of fruit with you. It also makes it less likely that you'll dash off to a supermarket straight after the test and make all the wrong food choices because you're half crazed with hunger.
#9 Wear loose-fitting clothing for more comfort and convenience
Don't go to all the trouble of putting on your trendiest clothing when you come to do a fasting blood sugar test.
Although your taste will doubtless be appreciated, it's not always practical when someone is taking your blood.
If your clothes are too tight, it will be difficult to roll up your sleeves.
Because of this, you may have to (partially) undress.
So, to avoid potential embarrassment, we recommend that everyone , wears loose clothing for the occasion. It makes it much easier to roll up your sleeve for the fasting blood sugar test.
#10 Ask how many tubes they will take
For many people, just the thought of giving blood can be very scary. The idea of a long pointed metal needle being inserted into your body can put some people on edge.
If you are 'allergic' to blood tests, it's a good idea to ask in advance how many samples they will need.
Once you find out that they only need 2 tubes, you know that it'll be over quite quickly.
Because what if you don't know this?
Then you will constantly be waiting for the last tube to be filled.
As a type 2 diabetes patient, your blood samples are taken while you are fasting in order to obtain an accurate measurement of your blood sugar levels and your HbA1c value.
However, it might also be necessary to test for other things, in which case, more blood may be needed. Think of these tests as you would the ones for cholesterol or thyroid levels.
It gives peace of mind to know how many tubes you'll be giving. Otherwise, if you are afraid of needles and blood, you will drive yourself completely crazy about basically nothing. Dizziness and fainting are often seen in people who are afraid of needles or blood. Try to minimize this by asking how many tubes they need.
#11 Prevent a bruise with this checklist
Drawing blood almost always leaves a bruise.
But it doesn't have to. Follow this simple procedure for a bruise-free fasting blood sugar test.
Checklist for preventing a bruise
This is what you have to do:
If you do this, you will significantly reduce the chance of bruising.
However, it is not always possible to prevent a bruise. For example, if you take blood thinners, the chances of getting a bruise are higher.
Blood thinners slow down blood clotting, and bruising is a known side effect.
No more bruises from the fasting blood sugar test
You now know exactly what you as type 2 diabetes patient should and should not do when giving a blood sample while fasting.
But how would you like to never have to do a blood test again?
It was recently discovered that it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. And you can find everything you need to do this in your local grocery store.
You can reverse type 2 with one powerful principle. It's something I call the"The Diabetes-Free Secret." I have written a number of pages about this secret that will change your life forever. You will learn:
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P.s: what do you do in preparation for a fasting blood sugar test? Leave a comment below