How do you know if you have diabetes? Traditionally, it involves getting a test from a doctor to look at your blood sugar level, either at a specific point in time or over a period of months.
However, new research shows that traditional diagnostic tools might be missing blood sugar spikes in otherwise healthy people, keeping them in the dark about a potential metabolic disorder.
What’s ‘normal’ blood sugar?
In a study published in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers from Stanford University fitted 57 people with continuous glucose monitors to take readings of their blood sugar at frequent points throughout the day. The data showed that even people without diabetes experienced huge shifts in their blood sugar after some meals.
The findings suggest that people at risk of diabetes may be flying under the radar of tests doctors currently use to make a diagnosis. To check a patient’s blood sugar level, physicians typically use a glycated hemoglobin test (which shows a three-month average of blood sugar levels), or a fasting blood sugar sample.