Ways To Test Your Blood Sugar
Traditional home glucose monitoring
You prick your finger with a small, sharp needle called a lancet, put a drop of blood on a test strip, and then place the strip into a meter that displays your blood sugar levels. Record the test results so you can share them with your doctor. Based on your results, the two of you may adjust your diet, exercise, or medication.
Meters vary in features, portability, speed, size, cost, and readability . Devices deliver results in less than 15 seconds and store this information for future use.
Some meters also calculate an average blood sugar level over a span of time. Some also feature software kits that take information from the meter and display graphs and charts of your past test results. Blood sugar meters and strips are available at your local pharmacy.
Meters that test other parts of your body
Some devices let you test your upper arm, forearm, base of the thumb, and thigh.
These results may differ from the blood sugar levels gotten from a fingertip stick. Levels in the fingertips show changes more quickly. This is especially true when your sugar is changing fast, like after a meal or after exercise.
If you have symptoms of low blood sugar, donât rely on test results from other parts of your body.
Continuous glucose monitoring system
You’ll still need to check your levels throughout the day continuous glucose monitoring doesn’t replace that. It gives your doctor more information about trends that self-checking might not show.
How Do I Check My Blood Glucose Levels
Refer to your blood glucose meters instructions on how to monitor your blood glucose levels.
Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator will help you decide how many checks are needed and the levels to aim for. When and how often you should check your blood glucose levels varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being used. Blood glucose levels are measured in millimoles per litre of blood .
Keeping a record of your blood glucose levels can be very helpful for you and your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. You can keep a diary or use a mobile phone app or website to record your levels.
Hba1c Is Your Average Blood Glucose Levels For The Last Two To Three Months If You Have Diabetes An Ideal Hba1c Level Is 48mmol/mol Or Below
If youâre at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, your target HbA1c level should be below 42mmol/mol .
On this page well go through what HbA1c means, and why aiming for your target level is so important. Well also explain the HbA1c test in more detail, and show you what you can do to lower your HbA1c levels if theyre too high. Plus, you can use our HbA1c converter tool if youre looking to find out your level in % or mmol/mol.
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How Do I Check
People with diabetes check their blood glucose levels by poking their fingertips and using a blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor to measure the blood glucose level at that moment. Read on to find out how to use a blood glucose meter. To find out more about CGMs, start by talking to your doctor.
Suggested Glucose Target Ranges
The American Diabetes Association published a position statement in 2005 on the standard of care for children with type 1 diabetes. Below is a table with the ADA’s recommendations on age-specific blood sugar goal ranges. Blood glucose goals should be higher than those listed in the table for children who have frequent cases of hypoglycemia and don’t experience the associated signs and symptoms.
Your child’s diabetes health care team will recommend an individualized target range for blood sugar levels. The general goal is to maintain as normal as possible blood sugar levels without causing frequent low blood sugar. Research has shown that in children under the age of 6, frequent, severe low blood sugar levels may result in neuro-cognitive deficits problems related to intellectual ability so target ranges are higher in this age group.
Adolescents should strive to achieve similar target ranges as adults. However, this may be difficult because of higher hormone levels, such as growth hormones, which counteract the effects of insulin. If your child’s sugar levels are in the ranges listed below at least 50 percent of the time, then blood sugar control is considered reasonable. If sugars levels exceed the range more than 50 percent of the time, then sugar control is not optimal and the diabetes plan should be changed.
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Get A Blood Sugar Meter
If youre like most people, you probably use a blood sugar meter to track blood sugar levels. But there are other ways to check blood sugar levels without a meter. In this guide, youll learn how to read blood sugar levels in the comfort of your own home. Youll also find out how to test your blood sugar levels in a variety of scenarios, including when youre fasting, during exercise, or after eating a low-carbohydrate meal.
Keeping Track Of Your Results
- Your healthcare provider will tell you how to keep track of your blood sugar levels and medication doses. Follow their instructions.
- Bring your blood sugar log to all your appointments. This information will help your healthcare provider decide if they should change your current treatment plan. If you have questions about checking your blood sugar, ask your healthcare provider.
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What Hba1c Do I Aim For
The goal for most people with diabetes will be in the 6.5-7 percent range however this may need to be higher for some people including children and the elderly. Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you decide on a target that is both appropriate and realistic for your individual circumstances.
What Do I Use To Check The Blood Sugar
Two kinds of devices can test blood sugar or glucose levels:
- a blood glucose meter measures the amount of glucose in the blood
- a continuous glucose monitor measures the amount of glucose just beneath the skin in the fluid around the cells
Your childs care team can tell you which device is best for your child.
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What Is The Future Of Blood Sugar Testing
Even though you can monitor blood sugar level with glucometers and CGMs, the future might provide additional ways to manage your diabetes.
- Multiple waves: Researchers have been studying and experimenting with new technologies. For example, some adults with type 2 diabetes in Europe have access to a device that can measure blood sugar using ultrasonic, electromagnet, and thermal waves.
- Radio waves: Other advances on the horizon involve using radio waves to measure blood sugar .
- Tears: Additionally, some researchers are working on a sensor to monitor blood sugar under the lower eyelid . It works by measuring the sugar level of tear fluid.
- Contacts and lasers: Other future technologies might possibly include using a smart contact lens to measure blood sugar, as well as laser technology.
How Does Blood Glucose Work
Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in your blood. When you eat or drink, your body breaks down carbohydrates in the food or liquid into sugar for energy.
Then your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which helps blood sugar enter your bodys cells. It also helps your body store blood sugar for later use. As the cells use the blood sugar, glucose and insulin levels in the blood decrease.
But with diabetes, your body has trouble regulating glucose. Either your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, or your body doesnt process insulin effectively. Therefore, the amount of sugar in your blood is higher than normal. And a lot of glucose in your blood is bad for your body.
A fasting blood glucose test measures the amount of glucose in your blood when it should be at its lowest. That happens in the morning and when you havent had anything to eat or drink for a while.
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When To Check Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar may depend on several factors, including:
Those who have well-controlled diabetes and are not taking insulin may not need to check their blood sugar as often. However, it is crucial to work with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate frequency.
Is Hyperglycaemia Serious
The aim of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as near to normal as possible.
But if you have diabetes, no matter how careful you are, youâre likely to experience hyperglycaemia at some point.
Itâs important to be able to recognise and treat hyperglycaemia, as it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Occasional mild episodes are not usually a cause for concern and can be treated quite easily or may return to normal on their own.
But hyperglycaemia can be potentially dangerous if blood sugar levels become very high or stay high for long periods.
Very high blood sugar levels can cause life-threatening complications, such as:
- diabetic ketoacidosis a condition caused by the body needing to break down fat as a source of energy, which can lead to a diabetic coma this tends to affect people with type 1 diabetes
- hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state severe dehydration caused by the body trying to get rid of excess sugar this tends to affect people with type 2 diabetes
Regularly having high blood sugar levels for long periods of time can result in permanent damage to parts of the body such as the eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels.
If you experience hyperglycaemia regularly, speak to your doctor or diabetes care team.
You may need to change your treatment or lifestyle to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
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The Contour Diabetes App
The Contour Diabetes app works with your Contour Next One blood glucose meter. It lets you make notes, set reminders, see your results in a graph, and share your reports. If you want to use the app, you can download it from the Apple App Store® or Google Play store.
You do not need to download the Contour Diabetes app if you do not want to. The Contour Next One blood glucose meter works without the app.
What Does A Blood Sugar Test Do
Your doctor may order a blood sugar test to see if you have diabetes or prediabetes. The test will measure the amount of glucose in your blood.
Your body takes carbohydrates found in foods like grains and fruits and converts them into glucose. Glucose, a sugar, is one of the bodys main sources of energy.
For people with diabetes, a home test helps monitor blood sugar levels. Taking a blood sugar test can help determine your blood sugar level to see if you need to adjust your diet, exercise, or diabetes medications.
Ketoacidosis occurs when your body starts using only fat for fuel. Hyperglycemia over a long period can increase your risk for neuropathy , along with heart, kidney, and eye diseases.
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How To Check Sugar Levels In Urine
Urine glucose tests can check the level of sugar in your urine. A urine glucose test is one method of screening for diabetes, including gestational diabetes. Your doctor may order this test at your office visit.
With normal glucose metabolism, there is no glucose in the urine. If there is glucose in your urine, you will need to follow up with a blood glucose check. A blood glucose test is a more accurate measure of diabetes management.
Doctors more often use urine tests to check the health of your kidneys, which can sustain damage with untreated diabetes,
and to check for ketones, high levels of which occur in diabetic ketoacidosis.
When To Seek Medical Care
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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|
*Depends on the size of the meal and the amount of insulin in your medicine
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Stomach pain.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.
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Monitoring Your Blood Sugar
Regular blood sugar monitoring is the most important thing you can do to manage type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Youll be able to see what makes your numbers go up or down, such as eating different foods, taking your medicine, or being physically active. With this information, you can work with your health care team to make decisions about your best diabetes care plan. These decisions can help delay or prevent diabetes complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. Your doctor will tell you when and how often to check your blood sugar levels.
Most blood sugar meters allow you to save your results and you can use an app on your cell phone to track your levels. If you dont have a smart phone, keep a written daily record like the one in the photo. You should bring your meter, phone, or paper record with you each time you visit your health care provider.
Sometimes having high blood sugar can feel like a test you didnt pass. But numbers are just numbers. Think of them instead as information. Did a certain food or activity make your levels go up or down? Armed with that knowledge, you can make adjustments and get closer to your target range more often.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
This test is not now usually used to diagnose diabetes. However, the test may be done if it is thought your body doesnât control glucose levels normally but not badly enough to be called diabetes. This is referred to as pre-diabetes . The test may also be used to see whether a woman has developed diabetes associated with pregnancy.
For this test, you fast overnight. In the morning you are given a drink which contains 75 g of glucose. A blood sample is taken two hours later. Normally, your body should be able to deal with the glucose and your blood level should not go too high. A glucose level of 11.1 mmol/L or more in the blood sample taken after two hours indicates that you have diabetes. See the separate leaflet called Glucose Tolerance Test for more details.
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