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Friday, September 19, 2014
Accurate blood glucose reading
I had my breakfast followed by a cup of tea with a teaspoon of honey half hour later. I tested my sugar levels 2 hours after the meal and got a high reading of 8.5. So, checked it again half hour later thinking it would be more accurate given 2 hours post sweet tea and it dropped to 6.2 which is within the safe level as I have gestational diabetes. I want to know which is the accurate record - the first reading 2 hours after main meal or the reading 2 hours after meal and tea even though I had the cup of tea half hour later? Please help.
There is nothing that you have mentioned that would lead me to question the accuracy of either reading. Accuracy refers to the validity of the reading, its reproducibility and how it would compare to some more reliable standard. The question is rather how you should interpret each and what guidelines you should use for each. For our American readers, the glucose of 8.5 is on a millimolar scale and corresponds to 153 mg/dl while the reading of 6.2 mM corresponds to 112 mg/dl. I would recognize each of them for what they are: There is no standard that has been developed for meals taken over a fairly prolonged period of time as this in effect represents. In a non-pregnant woman, I would be satisfied with either of these results. In a woman with gestational diabetes, the standards are tighter but not the same in every country - In my practice, I would make the judgements based on a more standardized pattern of eating; neither of these sound terrible to me.
Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati