How To Test Your Blood Sugar At Home
Follow these steps:
What Can U Do To Keep My Blood Sugar Down
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What Happens During A Blood Glucose Test
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out.
For some types of glucose blood tests, you will drink a sugary liquid and wait for an hour before your blood sample is taken:
- A glucose challenge test is used to test for gestational diabetes in pregnancy. If your blood glucose level is higher than normal, you may have gestational diabetes. You’ll need an oral glucose tolerance test to get a diagnosis.
- An oral glucose tolerance test is used to diagnose gestational diabetes, and type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in people who aren’t pregnant. A blood sample will be taken before you have a sugary drink and then again, every hour for the next 2 or 3 hours.
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Why Do I Need To Know My Blood Sugar Numbers
Your blood sugar numbers show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss.
As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your numbers go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your numbers go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your numbers go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change.
What Time Of Day Should I Test
Recommendations for the best time of day to test your blood sugar depend on your medicine, mealtimes, and blood sugar control. Your doctor may provide a chart that outlines when to check your blood sugar and what level you should target. Your doctor may also suggest different goals, depending on your situation.
The chart may look something like this:
|Time to Test
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Whats A Blood Glucose Meter
A blood glucose meter is a small, portable machine that measures the amount of glucose in the blood. You place a drop of blood taken from a fingerstick and put it on a test strip, which you insert into the meter. The meter tells your childs blood sugar now, as you do the test.
Many types of meters are available. The care team will help you find the meter that is best for your child, and theyll show you how to use it. Blood glucose meters vary by:
- Cost. Ask your insurance company which blood glucose meters they cover. Its also good to ask about your coverage for test strips.
- User-friendliness. Choose a meter that is easy to use and take care of.
- Special features. Meters come in different sizes. Some can store extra information like dates, times, food intake, and exercise. Others can download readings so your provider can easily see this information.
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When you first start glipizide, gliclazide or glibenclamide, you will need to test your blood glucose levels before meals and 2 hours after meals. Once your dose is stabilised, you can do less testing.
|Always test your blood glucose levels if you have symptoms of low blood glucose, such as feeling shaky, sweaty or suddenly unwell, suddenly feeling very hungry, feeling dizzy, or have a rapid change in behaviour or irritability. These are symptoms of hypoglycaemia.
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What Are Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, are a measurement that show how much glucose you have in your blood. Glucose is a sugar that you get from food and drink. Your blood sugar levels go up and down throughout the day and for people living with diabetes these changes are larger and happen more often than in people who don’t have diabetes.
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How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.
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The Best Time To Check Blood Sugar
Kathi Valeii is a freelance writer covering the intersections of health, parenting, and social justice.
Living with diabetes includes monitoring your blood sugar levels. Most people do this by pricking their fingers with a blood sugar meter , which measures sugar in a small amount of blood.
Some people use a continuous glucose monitor , a sensor under the skin that checks blood sugar every few minutes. People who use a CGM must also use a blood sugar meter daily to ensure their CGM is accurate.
When you have diabetes, monitoring blood sugar levels is crucial because keeping blood sugar in a target range can help prevent complications, including:
- Vision problems
When you check your blood sugar matters. There are several times throughout the day that health experts recommend checking your blood sugar.
This article explains the importance of monitoring your blood sugar, how blood sugar is measured, and how to check it.
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Hangry No More: Here’s How To Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced Throughout The Day
You can avoid premeal grouchiness and post-meal crashes by keeping your blood sugar levels steady.
Mercey Livingston is a health and wellness writer and certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She’s written about fitness and wellness for Well+Good, Women’s Health, Business Insider, and Prevention.com among others. When not writing, she enjoys reading and trying out workout classes all over New York City.
People often think of blood sugar solely in the context of diabetes or pregnancy, but it’s important for everyone to pay attention to it. Avoiding high blood sugar and low blood sugar can help you feel your best and keep up steady energy throughout the day.
“Balancing your blood sugar helps to keep your energy even, keeps you more focused, balances out your hormones, prevents excessive hunger, helps with weight loss and overall maintains optimal health and wellbeing,” says Amy Shapiro, a registered dietician and founder of Real Nutrition NYC.
Your blood sugar could be all over the place if you feel hungry all the time, even if you’re eating frequently. Ideally, when you eat you feel steady energy for several hours and don’t get “hangry” easily. “When your blood sugar is balanced you find you think less about food and more about all the things that you can do,” says Shapiro.
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Is There Anything Else I Should Know About A Blood Glucose Test
If you have diabetes, you may need to do blood sugar testing at home every day to help manage your blood glucose levels. There are two ways to do this:
- Blood glucose meters require you to prick your finger with a small device called a lancet. You apply a drop of blood to a test strip and insert it into a small, electronic glucose meter, which measures the glucose is in your blood.
- Continuous glucose monitors use a tiny sensor that you insert under your skin. Every few minutes, the sensor measures glucose levels in fluids between your cells. If your glucose is too high or too low, you use a blood glucose meter to check your blood levels before making changes to raise or lower your glucose level.
How To Test Blood Sugar
People with diabetes usually check their blood sugar levels themselves. However, its a good idea to have a roommate, friend, or family member also know how to do it if you are sick and cant do it yourself.
To use a blood sugar meter, follow these steps:
If you are interested in CGM, you should talk to your healthcare provider since these are prescription devices. To use CGM, follow these steps:
You will also need to change the sensors on the CGM regularly, usually every one to two weeks.
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How To Check Blood Sugar Without A Meter
Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body either doesnt make enough insulin or doesnt use insulin properly or both. This can lead to a higher than normal blood sugar level.
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to complications, such as:
For these reasons, its important to monitor your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
Prior to using meters, people with diabetes would monitor their blood sugar by testing their urine. This method, however, wasnt as accurate, nor did it provide real-time results.
If you self-test your blood sugar several times a day using a glucometer, or meter, it requires that you prick your finger to draw blood to test. Due to the discomfort of this method, you might look for a way to monitor your level without this tool.
If finger pricks are very bothersome for you, dont worry theres hope. Advances in blood sugar monitoring technology could mean no more finger pricks in the future.
If you have diabetes, there are several portable devices you can use to check your blood sugar level and not all of them require a finger prick.
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Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Managing diabetes to improve patient outcomes requires a complex multidisciplinary approach. Blood glucose monitoring is a critical measurement of ongoing diabetes management. However, these blood test results should be viewed considering the complex socioeconomic disease process impact diabetes has, including on the various body systems but not limited to metabolic syndrome, micro, and microangiopathies, adverse effects of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Implementation of a systematic process aimed at managing altered blood glucose levels requires input and active collaboration with the client as a consumer, endocrinologists, diabetes nurse educators, pharmacists, clinical nurse specialists, dieticians, and data analysts.
How It Is Done
Checking your blood sugar involves pricking your finger, palm, or forearm with a lancet to collect a drop of blood. The blood drop is placed on a test strip, which you insert into the blood glucose meter. The instructions for testing are slightly different for each blood glucose meter model. Follow the instructions that came with your meter.
- Wash your hands with warm, soapy water. Dry them well with a clean towel. You may also use an alcohol wipe to clean your finger or other site. But make sure your hands are dry before the test.
- Insert a clean lancet into the lancet device.
- Remove a test strip from the test strip bottle. Replace the lid right away to keep moisture away from the other strips.
- Follow the instructions that came with your meter to get it ready.
- Use the lancet device to stick the side of your fingertip with the lancet. Do not stick the tip of your finger. Some blood sugar meters use lancet devices that take the blood sample from other sites, such as the palm of the hand or the forearm. But the finger is usually the most accurate place to test blood sugar.
- Put a drop of blood on the correct spot on the test strip.
- Apply pressure with a clean cotton ball to stop the bleeding.
- Follow the directions that came with the meter to get the results.
- Write down the results and the time that you tested your blood. Some meters will store the results for you.
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