Thursday, June 16, 2022

How Can I Check My Blood Sugar Levels

Levels In The Morning

How To Test Your Blood Sugar Levels | 7 Simple Steps | Diabetes UK

The best time to check blood sugar levels in the morning is right when you wake up and before you eat anything. This gives you a glimpse of what may be happening overnight, and it gives you a baseline for the day.

These are goal levels, according to The Joslin Diabetes Center:

  • Under 70 mg/dl if you do not have diabetes.
  • 70 to 130 mg/dl if you have diabetes.

The dawn effect can often lead to a high morning measurement in diabetes. This is your bodys tendency to get ready for the day by raising blood sugar by increasing levels of counter-regulatory hormones the ones that counteract insulin as in normal blood sugar. For people with diabetes, you do not have the capacity to counterbalance this rise in blood sugar, so levels can be dangerously high.

Ways to lower your morning blood sugar value include:

What Is Being Tested

This test measures the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucose is a simple sugar that provides energy for the body.

People with diabetes often monitor their own blood glucose at home. This is done using a finger-prick test and a special machine, rather than a blood sample taken from a vein.

You might have blood taken for a blood sugar level. You might or might not be asked to fast beforehand.

There is also a test called an oral glucose tolerance test, abbreviated as OGTT or GTT. For this test you fast, then have a blood sample taken, then drink glucose, then have a number of samples taken over a few hours.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Cgm To Manage Diabetes

Using a CGM device can make it easier to manage Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Some people use CGM for a week to understand their blood sugar patterns. Most use CGM long-term.

A CGM device can:

  • Show you a bigger picture of how diabetes affects you: CGM measures glucose levels every few minutes. That data shows a more complete picture of how your blood sugar levels change over time. This information can help you and your provider better understand how things like food, activity, stress and illness impact your blood sugar levels.
  • Lead to more personalized care: CGM doesnt give the whole story of all the ways diabetes affects you. It tells you when glucose goes up or down, not why. But your provider can download CGM data from your device and review it for patterns and trends. They can then personalize your care based on what they learn.
  • Alert you to highs and lows: Most CGM devices send an alert when your glucose levels rise or fall a certain amount. With this information, you can make changes quickly. You may be able to treat or prevent highs or lows before they turn into a big problem.
  • Reduce how many fingerstick checks you need to do: CGM significantly reduces how many fingerstick tests youll need to do each day.

Read Also: Reduce Sugar Level Immediately

How To Use A Blood Sugar Meter

There are different kinds of meters, but most of them work the same way. Ask your health care team to show you the benefits of each. In addition to you, have someone else learn how to use your meter in case youre sick and cant check your blood sugar yourself.

Below are tips for how to use a blood sugar meter.

  • Make sure the meter is clean and ready to use.
  • After removing a test strip, immediately close the test strip container tightly. Test strips can be damaged if they are exposed to moisture.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dry well. Massage your hand to get blood into your finger. Dont use alcohol because it dries the skin too much.
  • Use a lancet to prick your finger. Squeezing from the base of the finger, gently place a small amount of blood onto the test strip. Place the strip in the meter.
  • After a few seconds, the reading will appear. Track and record your results. Add notes about anything that might have made the reading out of your target range, such as food, activity, etc.
  • Properly dispose the lancet and strip in a trash container.
  • Do not share blood sugar monitoring equipment, such as lancets, with anyone, even other family members. For more safety information, please see Infection Prevention during Blood Glucose Monitoring and Insulin Administration.
  • Store test strips in the container provided. Do not expose them to moisture, extreme heat, or cold temperatures.
  • High Blood Sugar Level Causes

    When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels?

    Several types of diabetes and medical conditions are the primary cause of high blood sugar levels. Most of which are unpreventable issues but are the reason for a spike in high blood sugar. The causes for high blood sugar levels are as follows:

    Causes of low blood sugar levels are very different and are as important to be aware of, as they are in fact easier to control.

    Also Check: How To Reduce Sugar Level Immediately

    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.

    How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia

    There are simple ways to reduce your risk of severe or prolonged hyperglycaemia:

    • Be careful what you eat be particularly aware of how snacking and eating sugary foods or carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar level.
    • Stick to your treatment plan remember to take your insulin or other diabetes medications as recommended by your care team.
    • Be as active as possible getting regular exercise can help stop your blood sugar level rising, but you should check with your doctor first if you’re taking diabetes medication, as some medicines can lead to hypoglycaemia if you exercise too much.
    • Take extra care when you’re ill your care team can provide you with some “sick day rules” that outline what you can do to keep your blood sugar level under control during an illness.
    • Monitor your blood sugar level your care team may suggest using a device to check your level at home so you can spot an increase early and take steps to stop it.

    Page last reviewed: 08 August 2018 Next review due: 08 August 2021

    Read Also: High Blood Sugar What To Do

    Are Continuous Glucose Monitoring Devices Easy To Use

    CGM devices are complex little machines. They do require some upfront time to understand their technical aspects.

    For example, you will need to learn how to:

    • Insert the sensor properly.
    • Transfer data to a computer or your phone.
    • Respond to and make changes to your care plan based on the collected data.

    When Should I Check My Blood Sugar More Frequently

    When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels? Diabetes Education.
    • If your diabetes medicine changes
    • If you begin taking other kinds of medicines
    • If you change your diet
    • If your exercise routine or activity level changes
    • If your stress level increases
    • If youre sick. When you are sick, even without eating, your sugar levels may run high, so testing is important.

    Follow your doctors testing recommendations during this time. Continue testing more often until you have maintained your blood sugar goal values for at least 1 week. Or continue testing until your doctor advises you that more frequent testing is no longer necessary.

    Recommended Reading: Sugar Tablets Side Effects

    Who Should Monitor Blood Sugar Levels

    If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar regularly will help you understand how medication like insulin, food, and physical activity affect your blood glucose. It also allows you to catch rising blood sugar levels early. It is the most important thing you can do to prevent complications from diabetes such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.

    Other people who may benefit from checking their blood glucose regularly include those:

    • Taking insulin

    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
    Adjust diet or medicine

    *Depends on the size of the meal and the amount of insulin in your medicine

    Read Also: Sugar Increase Symptoms

    What Is Blood Sugar

    Blood sugar, or glucose, is your body’s main energy source. We get glucose from the food we eat, and our blood carries it around to all the cells in the body to give them energy to function. Glucose mainly comes from the carbohydrates we eat, though our bodies can convert protein and fat into sugar too if needed.

    Glucose from protein is typically stored in the liver and doesn’t enter the bloodstream, so eating protein-rich foods won’t raise your blood sugar too much. Fats slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, which causes a delayed rise in blood sugar. High blood sugar can be an issue because it usually leads to sugar crashes, which are no fun — symptoms include fatigue, headaches and the jitters. So, eat meals balanced with protein, fat and carbs to avoid this.

    Blood sugar is closely related to insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas that helps your body use glucose that’s in the carbohydrates you eat. Insulin helps regulate your blood sugar levels — if you eat more sugar than you need in the moment, the hormone helps store the glucose in your liver until it’s needed for energy.

    You probably also know about blood sugar in the context of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which people are unable to make insulin, so they need to inject the hormone in order to keep their blood sugar levels stable. People with Type 2 diabetes, which usually occurs later in life, either don’t secrete insulin or are resistant to it.

    What Causes Low Blood Sugar

    How do I Test my Blood Sugar Levels? (with pictures)

    Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.

    Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:

    • Shaking.
    • Dizziness.
    • Hunger.

    Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.

    Read Also: How To Control Urine Sugar

    What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar

    Most people have symptoms of low blood sugar when their blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dL. When your blood sugar is low, your body gives out signs that you need food. Common early symptoms of low blood sugar include the following:

    • Feeling weak

    Late symptoms of low blood sugar include:

    • Feeling confused
    • Being unable keep your mind on one subject
    • Numbness in your mouth and tongue
    • Passing out

    How Do I Measure My Blood Sugar Level

    Follow your doctors advice and the instructions that come with the BGM or CGM. Different meters work differently, so be sure to check with your doctor for advice specifically for you. With a BGM, youll usually follow the steps below:

    • Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test.
    • Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that youre going to prick. For most glucose meters, you will prick your fingertip. However, with some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or the fleshy part of your hand. Ask your doctor what area you should use with your meter.
    • Prick yourself with a sterile lancet to get a drop of blood.
    • Place the drop of blood on the test strip.
    • Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into your glucose meter.
    • The meter will give you a number for your blood sugar level.

    If you have a CGM, youll follow the insertion directions that come with the monitor. Once its warmed up, the transmitter wirelessly sends the data to your computer or smartphone.

    You May Like: What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Sugar Cravings

    What Is The A1c Test

    The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 2 or 3 months. The test is done at a lab or your doctors office in addition tonot instead ofregular blood sugar testing you do yourself.

    A1C testing is part of the ABCs of diabetesimportant steps you can take to prevent or delay health complications down the road:

    The A1C goal for most adults with diabetes is between 7% and 8%, but your goal may be different depending on your age, other health conditions, medicines youre taking, and other factors. Work with your doctor to establish a personal A1C goal for you.

    What Are Blood Sugar Levels

    How To Test Your Blood Sugar Level

    Blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose level, is the level of sugar/glucose present in the blood. Glucose is a simple version of sugar which comes from the food we eat. Therefore, the more food you consume with high sugar levels over a period of time, will typically increase your blood sugar level.

    Glucose comes from the foods we eat and its sugar content. When a person consumes a food with high sugar content, that is turned into glucose. The glucose is then absorbed into the bloodstream with the support of insulin. This is then distributed between the bodys cells and used as energy.

    Foods high in glucose include most carbohydrates and a handful of proteins and fats. Most foods contain glucose as it is simply a natural sugar that occurs in most dietary forms. However, it is carbohydrates that contain the most sugar and 100% of it turns into glucose, through the process mentioned above, once consumed. The concentration of glucose present in the blood will determine your blood sugar level.

    Here is a quick video explaining Blood sugar levels chart :

    Your blood sugar level can either be low, normal or high. Depending on what you eat and health conditions, it will vary from person to person. Here is a breakdown of how your blood sugar works and how low or high blood sugar levels happens:

    Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Diabetes Instantly

    Why The Test Is Performed

    Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of diabetes . More than likely, the doctor will order a fasting blood sugar test.

    The blood glucose test is also used to monitor people who already have diabetes.

    The test may also be done if you have:

    • An increase in how often you need to urinate
    • Recently gained a lot of weight
    • Blurred vision

    SCREENING FOR DIABETES

    This test may also be used to screen a person for diabetes.

    High blood sugar and diabetes may not cause symptoms in the early stages. A fasting blood sugar test is almost always done to screen for diabetes.

    If you are over age 45, you should be tested every 3 years.

    If you’re overweight and have any of the risk factors below, ask your health care provider about getting tested at an earlier age and more often:

    • High blood sugar level on a previous test
    • Blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher, or unhealthy cholesterol levels
    • History of heart disease
    • Member of a high-risk ethnic group
    • Woman who has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes
    • Polycystic ovary disease
    • Close relative with diabetes
    • Not physically active

    Children age 10 and older who are overweight and have at least two of the risk factors listed above should be tested for type 2 diabetes every 3 years, even if they have no symptoms.

    When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar

    Blood sugar testing is important for controlling type 2 diabetes. Find out what goes into determining the best testing schedule for you.

    Blood sugar testing is a fundamental part of treating type 2 diabetes. By obtaining regular blood sugar readings, people with diabetes can, among other things, help their doctor make more informed decisions regarding the type and dosage of medication they need. Blood sugar testing also can help you see what foods, events, and activities trigger highs and lows in your blood sugar levels.

    So how often should you test your blood sugar? The answer depends mostly on the status of your health and the demands of your daily life.

    People with type 2 diabetes should take a blood sugar reading at least once a day. Some may need to test as frequently as seven times a day. Whether you need to or are able to perform more frequent testing depends on a number of factors:

    You should talk with your doctor about these factors to devise the right blood glucose monitoring schedule for you.

    Creating a Blood Sugar Testing Schedule

    In general, type 2 diabetes patients should schedule blood sugar testing to coincide with specific daily events. That makes it easier to remember when to test. Regular testing times include:

    • Before all three meals

    You May Like: Can Diabetics Eat Banana

    Popular Articles
    Related news