Friday, 13 November 2009

Just a spoonful of sugar.

The other day I looked up my blood test result for my first fasting glucose test, it was 3.85 g/l.
My French lab reports the results in g/l  rather than the milligrams per decilitre  used in the US or  mmol/l used in  the UK.

5mmol/l in the UK would be 90mg/dl in the US  but when I visit my French doctors I would say 0.9 g/l
(and sometimes I give the mmol/l figure and cause great confusion)

  I started thinking what exactly did that mean?
 Somehow grams and litres, being everyday measurements makes it much clearer than either millimoles per litre or milligrams per decilitre.

Here's a litre of blood!

Our bodies contain about 5-6 litres of blood

The teaspoon below contains just under 4 g of sugar, so slightly more than the 3.85g/l   that I had in my blood the morning I was diagnosed.
 Not very much really; dissolve it in one litre of water and it would barely sweeten it to taste. I would have had about 5-6 times that in my whole body (in the UK that equates to about 21.5 mmmol/l)

This spoon contains about 1.26g. If you have that much in each litre of blood and you were fasting it would be enough to be diagnosed  with diabetes (7mmol/l)

Its incredible, how such small amounts make such big differences.

Tomorrow is World Diabetes Day, I'm going to join in the 'big blue test' : testing my blood glucose, followed by 14 minutes of exercise, I'm going to see how far I can run on the treadmill in that time.

Later if the weather's not too atrocious , we're driving to Cahors, where they're lighting the the Marie and the Pont Valentré in blue. It's about 60km and not the best of roads, but OH was easily persuaded as it's a good excuse to visit our nearest Indian curry house.

(I'll get back to the glucose variations soon, it's a hard one to write)

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