What do the results of a random glucose test mean?

Blood glucose monitoring:  Keeping blood glucose levels within a specified target range is the main aim of diabetes treatment.  This is achieved by balancing your diet along with your lifestyle, activity, and diabetes medicines.  Blood glucose monitoring will help you understand the connection between food, blood glucose, exercise and insulin.

Through self-blood glucose monitoring you are able to check your blood glucose levels as and when required or as often as you need to or as recommended by your Credentialled Diabetes Educator or doctor.

Why is the test done?  The amount of glucose in the blood is measured with a blood sugar test.  A random blood sugar test is one of the tests done to diagnose diabetes.  Because this is a random test, it can be done at any time and under any conditions (either fasting or after meals) to monitor blood glucose levels.  This is a part of the self-monitoring of diabetes.

How is it done?  But if you have a glucometer this test can be performed at home itself and the results are immediately available.  Patients need to self-monitor and make sure that the blood sugar levels are normal.

The test is done by usually obtaining a single drop of blood from an antiseptically cleaned fingertip using a special ‘click’ pen-like device to puncture the skin.  The drop of blood is placed onto a paper strip containing reactive enzymes.  This strip is inserted into a device known as the glucometer, which will measure the amount of glucose present in the blood and display the result on its screen.

The Rbs test can also be performed in the doctor’s room wherein a blood sample can be obtained directly from a vein with the help of a syringe.  If other tests are to be done along with the random blood sugar at the same time, then a large sample of blood is required to be drawn.  The pathology laboratory receives the blood sample and analyzes the sample for an accurate analysis.

Interpretation of Results:  As this is a random blood sugar test, it is prejudiced by immediate conditions.  The only really important results are those which are very high or very low.  For example, the reading might be high as the patient just ate recently:  if the test were to be repeated after an hour, then the result could be totally different.  But it is difficult to say or know by how much of a big difference the result would make.

Similarly, a result that is a ‘normal’ result may or may not be correct.  This gives a false sense of security to both the patient and the doctor.  Readings that are abnormally high or low may thus warrant further and more accurate glucose measurement.

It is not recommended as the best way to monitor the treatment of diabetes as this test is done under unpredictable conditions.

Personal and individual glucometers may also vary in their accuracy.  There is a possibility of user error too, which cannot be undermined.  The machine must regularly be calibrated to give consistent results.  Mostly, laboratory analysed specimens are more accurate and consistent.

For reliable and accurate glucose monitoring, it is highly recommended that the blood samples are drawn under consistent and controlled conditions such as after a 6-hour fast or after an hour of a standard meal.

In due course, the readings will provide you and your healthcare professional with the information required to determine what the best management strategy for your diabetes is.  Good blood glucose management is your best and only defence to decrease the chances of further developing other complications from diabetes.

It is recommended to get your random glucose test done through a reliable player. Portea is one such reputed company that offers random glucose tests at home.