Your metabolism is the rate at which your body consumes energy. That’s why it’s important to understand and monitor your metabolic health. Glucose is crucial for the body as it provides instant energy. However, sugar has damaging side effects – coating proteins and leading to cellular damage and inflammation. Metabolic testing can help us understand our health symptoms.
Metabolic Testing provides insight into the body’s metabolic efficiency and energy production. It measures how well the body utilizes nutrients for fuel and evaluates how efficiently it generates energy from fat or carbohydrates. Advanced metabolic testing goes beyond measuring your glucose levels, offering more in-depth information about your body’s energy production and cellular damage.
Standard Metabolic Testing
The average metabolic testing includes tests to measure your glucose, insulin, and cholesterol levels. The results identify hormonal imbalances and pinpoint underlying health issues that can be addressed with lifestyle changes. The most common basic metabolic tests include:
Of all the tests that determine whether or not someone is prediabetic or diabetic, Hemoglobin A1c remains the most critical. This test gives us insight into your average blood sugar levels over three months by measuring the percentage of red blood cells coated with glucose (glycation).
A combination of sugar and proteins forms an irreversible bond with red blood cells, leading to their elimination from the bloodstream by the spleen within four months. Prediabetic levels are between 5.7% – 6.4%, while diabetes is diagnosed after a reading of 6.5% or greater in one test result. With alarming numbers on the rise, understanding your glucose count can be integral for managing any health issues before they become serious problems down the line.
Fasting Blood Sugar
A famous test to assess a patient’s health is measuring their fasting blood sugar after going without food for 10 hours. If the glucose level falls within 100 mg/dL, you are clear; however, if it ranges between 101-120 mg/dL, you may be prediabetic and should consult your medical provider. Sadly, any reading over 120 mg/dL signifies that diabetes has likely set in.
A Fasting Insulin test is typically conducted with the Fasting Blood Sugar to determine insulin resistance. Typically, if an individual has healthy insulin levels, their results will show between 3 to 8 uIU/mL when fasting. If their result surpasses eight uIU/mL, it indicates mild insulin resistance; 10-12u IU/mL suggests moderate insulin resistance, and more than 12 uIU/ML signals severe diabetes.
Advanced Metabolic Testing
Advanced metabolic testing delves deep into your body’s biochemical processes to measure how efficiently it burns fat and produces energy from carbohydrates. This type of testing includes measurements like:
As the gold standard, Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) is used to assess diabetes. However, HemoglobinA1c and Fasting Blood Sugar exams are most commonly performed to reach a diagnosis. Usually, GTT is only given when one’s HemoglobinA1c results fall in the higher prediabetic range, but there appears to be a spread of diabetes, nonetheless.
With the Freestyle Libre, a widely used continuous glucose monitor (CGM) by numerous people with diabetes, we may have an opportunity to prevent type 2 diabetes. By detecting sugar levels that usually go unnoticed until it’s too late and intervention is required, this device could be pivotal in preventing future cases of type 2 diabetes before they develop.
The Insulin Resistance Index, or HOMA-IR as it is more commonly known, measures the resistance to the insulin you may be displaying. Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) offers an accurate reading of how well your body can process and regulate glucose levels within its system. A manageable number to calculate with the formula:
(Fasting insulin, uIU/mL) multiplied by (Fasting glucose, mg/dL) divided by 405.
Less than 1.0 means you are insulin-sensitive, which is optimal.
The oxidative stress theory of aging postulates that age-associated changes are caused by a slow, steady accumulation of oxidative damage to macromolecules, which increases with age and is associated with organisms’ life expectancy.