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Blood Glucose Testing

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and many cases are undiagnosed. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, leg infections, blindness and other serious health problems.

You can prevent and even control diabetes and reduce your risk of long-term complications by working with your healthcare team. Having a blood glucose test, which measures the amount of sugar (glucose) in a blood sample, is a great way to keep track of your health.

Performing a Blood Glucose Test

Walgreens pharmacists conduct a blood glucose test by finger stick. Each test includes a blood pressure check and a consultation with a Walgreens pharmacist to discuss your results. If you're at risk, he or she will offer helpful advice about the next steps.

What do Results from a Blood Glucose Test Mean?

Greater-than-normal blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) may be a sign of diabetes. In someone with diabetes, it may mean the diabetes is not well controlled. If you receive out-of-range results, then talk to your doctor about your specific test results.

Preparing for a Blood Glucose Test

The test may be done while you are fasting or at random, but if you are having a fasting glucose blood test, you should not eat or drink (other than water) for between 9 and 12 hours before the test, unless advised by your physician.

A random glucose test can be done at any time of the day, but results depend on what you drink or eat before the test, as well as your activity.

Who Should Receive a Blood Glucose Test?

The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose testing every three years for people with normal levels or in good health with no risk factors. Those who are overweight and/or over age 45 should talk with their doctor about whether more frequent testing is recommended. Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of diabetes. However, other tests (glucose tolerance test and fasting blood glucose test) must be used to diagnose diabetes.

The blood glucose test is also used to monitor patients who have diabetes.

People with the following factors may be at risk for Type 2 Diabetes and may want to consider having a blood glucose test done:

  • Impaired glucose tolerance
  • Impaired fasting glucose
  • Age 45 and older
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Lack of regular exercise
  • Low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, high blood pressure
  • Member of certain racial and ethnic groups (e.g., Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and American Indians and Alaska Natives)
  • Those with gestational diabetes, or who have had a baby weighing 9 pounds or more at birth

Available to ages 18 and over at select Walgreens during pharmacy hours. A1C testing available only to self-identified diabetics. Subject to availability. Test results are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the absence or presence of any health condition. Recipients are encouraged to report test results to their primary care physician. Pharmacist consultation with patient does not constitute medical advice. For the Full Cholesterol Panel test, fasting for 9-12 hours of no food or drink (other than water) is required.

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