Can I Test My Blood Too Few Times
Depending on how your diabetes is treated, it is possible to test too little. For example, people with type 1 diabetes that are testing less than 4 times per day are likely to find it more difficult to understand their sugar levels and are likely to experience poorer control than someone testing at least 4 times per day.
Struggling to test your blood glucose levels as often you should can often be linked with psychologiocal issues such as being in denial about your diabetes , experiencing diabetes burnout or suffering from depression
If youre on medication that can cause hypos, you must by law test your blood sugar levels before each drive and at least as often as once every 2 hours of a journey. Failure to do this could lead to a hypo at the wheel and a number of road accidents happen every year in the UK as a result of hypoglycemia.
Diabetes.co.uk has been made aware that many people have experienced difficulty with being prescribed sufficient blood glucose testing supplies to adequately manage their diabetes.
- For more on this issue, read our guide on the availability of blood glucose test strips
How To Reduce The Pain Of Blood Sugar Checks
Nobody gets excited about pricking their fingertip. In fact, studies have shown that it’s one of the main reasons people refrain from regularly checking their blood glucose.6,7 So how can you make this less of a hurdle in your self-care?
Select a less-painful lancing device
Naturally, one factor that can contribute to the pain is your lancing device. That’s why we’ve worked hard to ensure that Accu-Chek lancing devices keep discomfort to a minimum. For example, our lancing devices feature:
- Technology that minimizes side-to-side motion, so there’s less skin tearing
- 11 customizable depth settings to help match your skin type
- Precisely manufactured, beveled, thin-gauge lancets to ensure smoother entry
You can reduce pain by using a fresh lancet for every test. Today’s lancets are so tiny that just a single use can bend or dull the tips. This can make them hurt more as you reuse them.
5 tips for reducing fingertip pain
You can make testing more comfortable and help ensure that you get a good sample on the first try by following these 5 easy steps.
Blood Sample Collection And Testing
To measure the blood glucose levels, a glucometer and glucose test strips are required. Consult your glucometers instructions or your veterinarian. Blood can be extracted readily from your dogs earflap . Depending on your preference and your dogs comfort level, alternate areas such as the tail, lip, callous, and footpads may be considered. There are some steps involved in how to test dog blood sugar at home.
Ascertain that the ear of your dog is warm. If not, gently squeeze it between your palms for approximately one minute. This simplifies the process of collecting a drop of blood.
Prick a hairless, clean area of the ear quickly with a sterile lancet or hypodermic needle.
There will be a small drop of blood visible. Collect the blood and slide onto the glucose test strip according to the manufacturers instructions.
Gently but firmly press clean cotton or gauze into the ear of your pet until the bleeding stops.
As directed, place the sample in the glucometer. Contrast the reading to a dogs usual level.
Please keep track of the day and time the reading was taken, as well as the reading itself, to share with your veterinarian.
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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|
|Adjust diet or medicine|
*Depends on the size of the meal and the amount of insulin in your medicine
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.
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How Accurate Is Home Testing With Blood Glucose Meters
Blood glucose meters are reasonably accurate, however there can be some variability between different devices. You can check the accuracy of your meter by taking it with you to your doctor and testing your glucose levels with your machine at the same time as having a blood test. You can compare the results to check if there are any differences. If the results differ significantly, there might be something wrong with your machine and you need to get a new one!
What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
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The Best Time To Check Blood Glucose After A Meal
Most of the food you consume will be digested and raises blood glucose in one to two hours. To capture the peak level of your blood glucose, it is best to test one to two hours after you start eating.
Q: I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Should I check my blood glucose two hours from when I start eating or after I finish eating my meal?
A: Most of the food you consume will be digested and raises blood glucose in one to two hours. To capture the peak level of your blood glucose, it is best to test one to two hours after you start eating.
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The American Diabetes Association recommends a target of below 180 mg/dl two hours after a meal. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a lower target: below 140 mg/dl two hours after a meal.
Ask your doctor which target is right for you. Postmeal blood glucose monitoring is important because it helps you see how your body responds to carbohydrates in general and particular foods. Managing postmeal blood glucose can help reduce your risk of developing heart and circulation problems.
Virginia Zamudio Lange, a member of Diabetic Living’s editorial advisory board, is a founding partner of Alamo Diabetes Team, LLP in San Antonio.
Why Is It Important To Measure Your A1c
Since elevated blood sugars can lead to a number of short- and long-term complications, its advisable to keep an eye on your A1C and ensure that its held at a healthy level.
If you find that your blood sugars are increasing above your target, there are several things you can do to reduce them, such as discussing adjusting your medication with your doctor, changing your diet, and making lifestyle changes
You can read our complete guide to lowering your A1C for more information.
Since the A1C tests give you a picture of your blood sugar level for the last 3 months, it makes sense to have your A1C measured at least every 3 months to keep track of how your blood sugars are progressing.
It the test is used for a diabetes diagnosis, you might have to also have your fasting blood sugar and antibody levels measured to determine which type of diabetes you live with, such as type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
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When To Talk With A Pro
Testing your blood sugar is crucial to diabetes management. Using a meter or continuous glucose monitoring can provide accurate results. But you might seek a pain-free method to check blood sugar.
Talk with your doctor or a certified diabetes educator. You might be a candidate for a glucose monitoring device that involves fewer finger pricks or no finger pricks.
Additionally, making a few adjustments in the way you collect your blood sample might reduce the level of pain and discomfort.
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 Should Use A Glucometer
If you have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, latent autoimmune diabetes in adults , or were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, a major part of your treatment plan should be regularly testing your blood glucose levels with a glucometer.
Frequent glucometer use can help you:
- Check how controlled your blood sugar is and whether it’s high or low
- Recognize patterns when you’re more likely to have a spike or crash in glucose
- See how your glucose levels respond after exercise or in times of stress
- Monitor the effects of diabetes medications and other therapies
- Assess how well you’re meeting specific treatment goals
How Do I Record My Blood Sugar Test Results
Keep good records of any blood, urine, or ketone tests you do. Most glucose monitors also have a memory. Your records can alert you to any problems or trends. These test records help your doctor make any needed changes in your meal plan, medicine, or exercise program. Bring these records with you every time you see your doctor.
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How Do I Pick A Glucose Meter
Your doctor will make a recommendation. Check with your health insurance plan to see if it will pay for your BGM, its supplies, or a CGM. If so, your plan may only pay for a certain meter.
Shop around and compare costs. Consider what features are important to you. For example, some meters are made for people who have poor eyesight. If you want to pay a little more money, you can get a BGM that stores the results in its memory. This allows you to compare results from several days at one time.
What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too Low
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia . It means your blood sugar level drops below 70. Having low blood sugar is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. Anyone with diabetes can have low blood sugar. You have a greater chance of having low blood sugar if you take insulin or certain pills for diabetes.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry, check your blood sugar. Even if you feel none of these things, but think you may have low blood sugar, check it.
If your meter shows that your blood sugar is lower than 70, do one of the following things right away:
- chew 4 glucose tablets
- drink 4 ounces of fruit juice
- drink 4 ounces of regular soda, not diet soda or
- chew 4 pieces of hard candy
After taking one of these treatments, wait for 15 minutes, then check your blood sugar again. Repeat these steps until your blood sugar is 70 or above. After your blood sugar gets back up to 70 or more, eat a snack if your next meal is 1 hour or more away.
If you often have low blood sugar, check your blood sugar before driving and treat it if it is low.
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What Should I Do Next
If you experience any symptoms of prediabetes or you have risk factors for developing prediabetes, it is important to get tested for as soon as possible. Some people are at higher risk and need regular testing. If you are 45 years or older or have other risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, you will require more frequent testing. By diagnosing and treating the prediabetes early, it means you can decrease the risk of developing or delay any further health complications of prediabetes, for example nerve damage, blindness, and heart disease. It is important to know that diagnosing prediabetes should not rely solely on using a Hb A1c test.
Once you learn what your prediabetes status is, or if you already have prediabetes, the next most important step is to become educated. You can join the Personalised 12-week Prediabetes Program to help you learn how to prevent or delay prediabetes. The prediabetes program is personalised and tailored, giving you more of the content that you want. The program also helps you to stay motivated and teaches you what changes you need to make. The first week is free and full of helpful and crucial information.
If you would like to be a part of a supportive program, with easy to understand video content covering all aspects of diabetes, join our Personalised Prediabetes 12-week Program today! Don’t forget, when you sign up, you receive the first week free!
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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What Is Causing My Blood Sugars To Be Out Of Range
Here are some common scenarios of blood sugars being out of range, possible reasons for them and what to do if you face these scenarios.
High glucose levels before breakfast
Morning glucose levels are often referred to as fasting glucose levels. If these levels are out of range, you may find that it is difficult to keep your levels down for the rest of the day. Possible reasons why your blood sugar is high in the morning include:
Consuming sweet drinks in the morning before measuring your sugar levels
Forgetting to take medication
What to do if your blood sugar is high in the morning:
If this is the first time you notice it happening or if it only happens occasionally, try taking note of what you had the night before and the duration of sleep you had
If your blood sugar has been high in the mornings continuously for a few days, speak to your healthcare team about it
High glucose levels before meals
If your levels are out of the target range before your meals, think about whether you had anything to eat or drink within the last two hours. If the answer is yes, your glucose levels may have been caused by this. Perhaps you had a chocolate bar on the way home, or a sweet drink before dinner? If you have not consumed any food or drink, and your glucose levels are high before your meals, speak with your healthcare team as you may need to adjust your medication.
High glucose levels after meals
Can I Check My Own Blood Sugar
You can do blood sugar level check by doing a finger-prick test, by using a blood sugar monitor called a flash glucose monitor or with a continuous glucose monitor . You can do this several times a day helping you keep an eye on your levels as you go about your life and help you work out what to eat and how much medication to take. Find out your ideal target range.
Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their levels like this. Youll need to if you take certain diabetes medication. Always talk to your healthcare team if youre not sure whether thats you theyll give you advice on whether to check them yourself and how often.
And theres also something called an HbA1c, which is a blood test to measure your average blood sugar level over the last three months. Everyone with diabetes is entitled to this check.
High blood sugar levels increase your risk of developing serious complications. However you manage your diabetes, stay in the know about your blood sugar levels
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