ZocdocAnswersWhat is the difference between glucose and plasma glucose?

Question

What is the difference between glucose and plasma glucose?

My plasma glucose is high and I didn't know how this different from my regular glucose. I am a 26 tear old man.

Answer

There are many ways to describe blood tests for glucose. These include fingerstick glucose, blood glucose, and plasma glucose. Fingerstick glucose can be measured at home or in a doctor's office, and uses a drop of whole blood from your finger. Generally, this number is accurate within a few points compared to your blood glucose. The accuracy may vary depending on the brand of glucose meter (glucometer) used. "Blood" refers to whole blood, which contains red blood cells (the oxygen-carrying cells), white blood cells (infection-fighting cells), platelets (bits of cells that help form scabs and blood clots), and small molecules like glucose, proteins, and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, and other salts). Plasma is a component of blood--it includes the non-cellular part of blood. Therefore, plasma glucose and blood glucose are both measuring the amount of blood circulating in your bloodstream. If you have elevated plasma glucose, then you should speak with your doctor about doing further testing for diabetes. Diabetes is generally defined as having a fasting blood glucose (or plasma glucose) > 126 mg/dl, or by having a positive glucose tolerance test. Please speak to your doctor for more information about performing a glucose tolerance test.

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