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If you had a fasting blood glucose test:

If you had a random blood glucose test:

Other medical problems can also cause a higher-than-normal blood glucose level, including:

A lower-than-normal blood glucose level (hypoglycemia) may be due to:

  • Hypopituitarism (a pituitary gland disorder)
  • Underactive thyroid gland or adrenal gland
  • Tumor in the pancreas (insulinoma - very rare)
  • Too little food
  • Too much insulin or other diabetes medicines
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Weight loss after weight loss surgery
  • Vigorous exercise

Some medicines can raise or lower your blood glucose level. Before having the test, tell your provider about all the medicines you are taking.

For some thin young women, a fasting blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) may be normal.

Risks

There is little risk involved with having your blood taken.Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Multiple punctures to locate veins
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

Alternative Names

Random blood sugar; Blood sugar level; Fasting blood sugar; Glucose test; Diabetic screening - blood sugar test; Diabetes - blood sugar test

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References

American Diabetes Association. 2. Classification and diagnosis of diabetes: standards of medical care in diabetes - 2019. Diabetes Care. 2019;42(Suppl 1):S13-S28. PMID: 30559228 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30559228.

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Glucose, 2-hour postprandial - serum. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:585.

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Glucose tolerance test (GTT, OGTT) - blood. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:591-593.

Review Date 2/22/2018

Updated by: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Internal review and update on 03/28/2019 by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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