What Is The Best Way To Monitor My Blood Sugar
As you no doubt know, blood sugar testing is an important tool in the arsenal for individuals with type 1 diabetes, as well as those with type 2 diabetes who take insulin. Doctors will recommend testing your blood sugar levels anywhere from 4-10 times a day, usually before and after meals and snacks, exercise, and more often when youre ill. Those with type 2 diabetes who dont take insulin may not need to test blood glucose daily. If you find yourself with sore, calloused fingers, you may talk with your doctor about alternatives to the finger stick test, and you would need to make sure that your blood glucose meter has clear instructions on alternative test sites as well.
For those who may need blood glucose monitoring during the night or have low blood sugar while they sleep or with few symptoms, its worth it to have a conversation with your doctor to see whether CGM is right for you.
Information provided on the Aeroflow Healthcare blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow Healthcare recommends consulting a doctor if you are experiencing medical issues or concerns.
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Diabetes Increases The Risk Of Health Complications
Diabetes has the potential to cause numerous debilitating health complications. Most often, complications are the result of an unmanaged or poorly managed diabetes. However, people with appropriate diabetes management are also at risk of developing complications.
Half of the 463 million adults living with diabetes today are unaware that they have the condition, and are therefore at high risk of developing serious diabetes-related complications.
Globally, 11.3% of deaths are due to diabetes. Almost half of these deaths are in people under 60 years of age.
Make A Note Of Your Readings
It may sound obvious, but you must record your readings. Note them down in a diary, a notebook or in your phone calendar. Some meters have software that lets you do this. You could try a diabetes app too.
You and your healthcare team can then look back over your results to see if you need to adjust your treatment.
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What Can Affect My Results
They may not be accurate if you have anemia or gout. If itâs hot, humid, or youâre at a high altitude, that can interfere with the results, too. So can vitamin C.
If you consistently see results that arenât expected, recalibrate your meter and check the strips.
The chart below shows you the ideal blood sugar ranges for most adults except for pregnant women. Your ideal range may be different from another person’s and will change throughout the day, so check with your doctor for your targets.
Time of Test
How Can I Get A Flash Glucose Monitor
From April 2019, Flash became available on prescription across England to those who meet the criteria. This was made possible by our tireless campaigners in our Fight for Flash.
Unfortunately, this doesnt mean everyone who could benefit from Flash will be able to access it. There are clear criteria that you need to meet in order to get tech on prescription from the NHS.
Heres the criteria you need to meet in order to get Flash for free on prescription, depending on where you live. We understand that it can be really frustrating if you face issues getting your tech. Thats why weve put together advice to help you challenge the decision if you dont meet the criteria. You can also give our helpline a call for more information and support.
You need to meet one or more of these:
If you meet any of these criteria, you must also:
- learn how to use Flash with a healthcare professional or carer, where appropriate
- agree to check your levels eight or more times a day and use the sensor 70% of the time when you check
- agree to regular reviews with your local diabetes team.
Go to NHS England to find out more about the criteria and if you meet them.
To qualify for Flash in Wales you must meet one of the following criteria:
You can find the full criteria on the NHS Wales website.
In Northern Ireland, theres no strict criteria but there are a list of things your diabetes team must take into account:
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What Affects Your Results
If you have certain conditions, like anemia or gout, or if it’s hot or humid or you’re at a high altitude, that can affect your blood sugar levels.
If you keep seeing unusual results, recalibrate your meter and check the test strips.
The chart below gives you an idea of where your blood sugar level should be throughout the day. Your ideal blood sugar range may be different from another person’s and will change throughout the day.
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Choosing The Right Cgm For You
Among the major benefits of CGM systems are their ability to eliminate fingerstick tests, the constant data stream, and the fact that users continually report that their CGMs help them learn more about their diabetes and its relationship to their bodies.
If those criteria appeal to you, then any of the four major CGMs may be right for you.
If youre very concerned about real-time safety alerts, you may want to skip the Abbott Libre system, at least until a new model comes out that includes alarms.
As for drawbacks, CGM is wearable tech. Its always with you, and even though the wires are gone now, youll still have to deal with having a device affixed to your body. That constant data stream can be a drawback, too, flooding you with information and potentially creating an obsessive loop where you feel constantly pressured to react to the BG number you see on the screen. Lastly, the costs are a major concern for many people.
All that being said, CGMs are the most advanced tools available for diabetes care, and potentially the only future path for insulin-dependent diabetes care.
Here are some details about which CGM might be the best fit for which users:
If youre looking for long-standing reputation and the authority of market share, Dexcom fits that bill. The longest player in the CGM game, Dexcoms CGMs generally boast the most accurate readings, within 9% of lab-measured BG readings.
Eversense offers some cutting-edge features but has some potential drawbacks.
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How To Test Your Blood Sugar
Expert Reviewed Four Methods:Setting Up Your GlucometerUsing a GlucometerCompleting Your Blood Sugar RoutineGetting Tested By Your DoctorCommunity Q& A If you were recently diagnosed with diabetes or have another blood glucose control issue, you will likely have to test your blood sugar on a routine basis. This may seem difficult to do at first. However, regularly checking your blood sugar can help you monitor how well your medications or treatments are working, and is an important part of a diabetic care routine. Testing your blood sugar is an easy procedure at your doctors office, and can be done simply at home once you purchase a glucose meter and become comfortable with how to use it.Continue reading > >
Structured Blood Glucose Testing
Structured testing supports your routine or daily testing by giving you deeper, more targeted data to work from. It can help you determine if you’re in a safe range and problem-solve around how the things you do are connected to your blood sugar. You simply perform additional tests over a short period at specific times of day.
Structured blood glucose testing can help you:
- Discover how to best use your numbers
- See how certain activities can affect on your blood sugar levels
- Problem-solve around highs and lows
- Identify blood sugar patterns
- Work with your healthcare team decide if any adjustments are needed in your insulin therapy or other areas of your diabetes management
Pattern management: If you find that your A1C result is rising in spite of your best efforts, or if you don’t feel as well as you’d like, talk with your healthcare professional about the Accu-Chek 360° View tool. This simple paper tool helps you track your blood sugar over 3 days, so you and your doctor can quickly identify patterns that can guide adjustments to your treatment plan. As a result, you may be able to feel better and lower your A1C.2
Before-and-after testing: You may also decide to try the Accu-Chek Testing in Pairs tool. This easy-to-use, printable tool helps you see changes in your blood glucose with before-and-after testing. In just 7 days, you can see the effect a specific meal, exercise or other event has on your blood sugar.
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No More Finger Pricks: A Continuous Glucose Monitor Benefits Patients With Diabetes In More Ways Than One
For adults with type 2 diabetes, pairing basal insulin with continuous glucose monitoring improved blood sugar and quality of life.
A 15-center study of 175 patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes in JAMA found that continuous glucose monitoring, compared to blood glucose meter monitoring, or finger pricking, significantly decreased their hemoglobin A1C over eight months
Although the benefits of continuous glucose monitoring for patients with diabetes has been demonstrated before, the benefits have only been well studied in patients with type 1 diabetes or patients with type 2 treated with multiple daily insulin injections, referred to as prandial insulin.
Study author Rodica Busui, M.D., Ph.D., also the vice chair of clinical research in the Department of Internal Medicine at University of Michigan Health, says this work is one of the first to thoroughly understand the impact of having access to and using a continuous glucose monitor in adults with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes that are only treated with basal insulin, a long-acting insulin designed to be injected once or twice daily to provide an adequate level of insulin throughout the day and night
Not only does this trial demonstrate the benefits of continuous glucose monitoring for these patients, a technology that hasnt been covered by many insurers for those with type 2 diabetes, but these benefits were seen across a broad spectrum of socio-economic status and racial backgrounds, said Busui.
Whats The Difference Between Flash Glucose Monitoring And Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Continuous glucose monitors measure your sugar levels continuously and send data to your display device . So you can set alerts for high, low or rate of change. With flash glucose monitoring, you only get your reading and trends when you scan your sensor.
If you want to find out more about CGM, we have loads of information.
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How Much Does A Cgm Cost
CGM systems arent cheap, especially if you pay out-of-pocket. In a moment well talk about insurance coverage. First, heres a basic rundown of the approximate costs for the major CGM systems:
- Dexcom G5/G6: $300 for the transmitter, $600 for the receiver, and $80 per sensor .
- Abbott FreeStyle Libre: $60 for the sensor scanner, $40 per sensor .
- Medtronic Guardian Connect: $1,000 for the transmitter, $80 per sensor .
- Senseonics Eversense : $1,400 for the initialpackage , $200 to $300 forinsertion , and $300 to $400 for removal and reinsertion.
While the base hardware for CGMs are generally quite durable, the cost of the disposable sensors and implant procedures can quickly add up.
If there are costs that you cannot afford or are not covered by your insurance, CGM companies will generally work with patients to assist with some sort of payment plan. Eversense, for instance, offers a patient access program called Eversense Bridge designed to help patients who face challenging out-of-pocket costs.
While youll still need to pay for sensor implantation, the bridge program offers qualified patients a flat rate of $99 for all the up-front supplies , instead of the normal cost of roughly $1,400.
Dont be afraid to speak up or ask for deals, discounts, and help. After all, these medtech companies are businesses: they want people to use their products.
How Can Measuring My Blood Sugar Help
Monitoring your blood sugar at home supports your overall diabetes treatment plan. Your provider will measure your blood sugar when you visit their clinic, but at-home monitoring will give you and your provider a record of how your blood sugar changes outside of those visits. This gives you both an idea of what to do next.
For example, if you notice that your blood sugar spikes at certain times of the day , youll know when to take your insulin. Or maybe you experience hypoglycemia after taking too much insulin. This could be a clue that you need to reduce your insulin dose. As you and provider adjust your dose, or maybe change your medications, home blood sugar measurements can give you an idea of whether your treatment is working or if you need to continue adjusting it.
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Israeli Maker Of Glucotrack Believes Its Noninvasive Meter Will Encourage People With Type 2 Diabetes To Check Glucose Levels More Often
People with diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance are advised to spot-check their blood-glucose levels several times daily to reduce the risk of serious complications. Thats a lot of finger-pricking, considering that about 700 million people fall into one of those categories.
The Israeli company Integrity Applications put more than a decade into developing GlucoTrack, described as the first truly noninvasive system for self-monitoring glucose levels.
Instead of drawing blood, you clip the GlucoTrack sensor to your earlobe. A patented combination of ultrasonic, electromagnetic and thermal technologies works with a proprietary algorithm to measure physiological parameters correlated with glucose level.
Results are displayed within about a minute on a USB-connected handheld control unit, which also stores and compares previous readings. The number is announced verbally, facilitating use by elderly and vision-impaired people with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Sales in parts of Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand began in 2016, after the newest version of the device won regulatory approval in Europe and in South Korea. Integrity is soon beginning clinical trials of GlucoTrack Model DF-F in the United States required for US Food and Drug Administration approval, and is working toward approval in China.
David passed away from diabetes complications at age 48 in 2004, and we called our device models DF to memorialize him, Gal tells ISRAEL21c.
Check Your Blood Sugar If:
- You have symptoms of low blood sugar . This includes dizziness, shaking, sweating, chills, and confusion.
- You have symptoms of high blood sugar , which include sleepiness, blurry vision, frequent urination, and excessive thirst.
- You have a job in which poor blood sugar control could cause safety problems.
- You need help deciding if its safe to drive or perform other tasks that require concentration if you are taking insulin or have had hypoglycemia in the past.
You need to learn how meals, physical activity, and medicine affect your blood sugar level.
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How Can I Monitor My Blood Sugar Without A Finger Stick
The first step in ditching the finger prick test is to speak with your healthcare provider about the possibility of switching to a continuous glucose monitor. A continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, relies on interstitial fluid, not blood. A small sensor is placed just under the skin with a cannula. It is still a penetration of the skin, but it is very shallow puncture and a CGM needs to be applied and replaced only every 10-14 days or so. It is usually on the upper arm or belly, continuously monitoring and reporting your blood sugar levels. Held in place with an adhesive patch, you can wear a CGM system while sleeping, showering, or exercising. While its sometimes confused with an insulin pump, a CGM is designed to monitor and report glucose levels, not administer insulin.
Your healthcare provider will help determine the best brand for your needs and make sure you are comfortable using your device. Be aware that some CGM systems may require calibration, which means testing your CGM results against the results of, you guessed it, a finger prick test. But this still adds up to a lot less finger pricking and a lot more time back in your day.
How Often Should I Test My Blood Sugar Level
Your family doctor will recommend how often you should test. Testing times are based on the kind of medicine you take and on how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Youll probably need to check your blood sugar more often at first. Youll also check it more often when you feel sick or stressed, when you change your medicine, or if youre pregnant.
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Who Are They Useful For
CGMs can help people with diabetes monitor and maintain their blood glucose levels. While they do not involve finger pricking, they may be useful to calibrate the device.
Earlobe, breath, and other noninvasive devices may be beneficial for monitoring blood glucose levels, especially in children with the same condition and those who have cystic fibrosis. However, they are not FDA-approved, while some may need to undergo further testing to determine their safety and accuracy.