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How Do You Test Blood Sugar

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Whats My Target Range

How to Test Your Blood Sugar

You might be asking, what’s the normal range for blood sugar levels? The answer is, there is a healthy range that you should ideally be aiming for. The infographics above show the general guidelines, but your individual target range for your blood sugar levels may be different. Youll healthcare team will agree with you what it is.

Youll get different readings at different times of the day, depending on things like what youve eaten and how much you are moving around. Heres a guide to help you get started on finding your target range:

If youre a child with Type 1 diabetes

  • when you wake up and before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
  • after meals: 5 to 9mmol/l

If youre an adult with Type 1 diabetes

  • when you wake up and before meals: 5 to 7mmol/l
  • before meals at other times of the day: 4 to 7mmol/l

If you have Type 2 diabetes

  • before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
  • two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l

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 doesn’t 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.

What Causes Low Blood Sugar

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.

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How Do I Prepare For The Plasma Glucose Level Test And How Are The Results Interpreted

To get an accurate plasma glucose level, you must have fasted for at least 8 hours prior to the test. When you report to the clinic or laboratory, a small sample of blood will be taken from a vein in your arm. According to the practice recommendations of the American Diabetes Association, the results of the blood test are interpreted as follows:

Fasting blood glucose level

  • If your blood glucose level is 70 to 99* mg/dL . . .
  • What it means: Your glucose level is within the normal range
  • If your blood glucose level is 100 to 125 mg/dL . . .
  • What it means: You have an impaired fasting glucose level . . .
  • If your blood glucose level is 126 mg/dl or higher on more than one testing occasion
  • What it means: You have diabetes
  • *Values between 50 and 70 are often seen in healthy people

    **The condition of “prediabetes” puts you at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood lipid disorders

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/21/2018.

    References

    Common Problems To Avoid

    iHOMA2, software for diabetes trials and research

    It’s important to regularly maintain your glucose meter to avoid potential problems. Follow these tips to ensure good functioning:

    • Make sure you keep batteries in stock that fit your glucometer.
    • Make sure your test strips are not expired, as expired test strips can provide an inaccurate result.
    • After taking a test strip out, close the lid tightly. Too much light or moisture can damage the strip.
    • Clean your device at regular intervals and run quality-control checks when prompted.
    • Wash hands well before testing since food residues can affect the number.
    • Let the alcohol dry since it can cause false lows.

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    How It Is Done

    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.

    Completing Your Blood Sugar Routine

  • 1Dispose of your lancet and test strip carefully. Lancing needles should be disposed of in a sharps container, and test strips should be thrown away in a biohazard container. Using a new lancet each time reduces the pain involved in pricking your finger.
  • Always use a new lancet for every test. Never reuse them.
  • 2Record your blood glucose result in your glucose diary. Keeping a diary can help you to spot patterns and discuss your results with your healthcare team.XResearch source Make sure you note the day, time, and whether your reading was fasting, post-prandial , or otherwise how recently you ate.
  • Some glucometers store the readings for you in their on-board memory, but it may still be helpful to write your records down. Go the extra step of recording what you ate that day, and what dosage of medication you take, if applicable.
  • 3Bring your record to your doctor visits. Your glucometer may store your results so that your doctor can see the results of all your previous tests. If it does not have this function, make sure you bring a log of all your readings. Bring your glucometer as well so your doctor can make sure it’s calibrated and working correctly.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to sourceAdvertisement
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    How To Test Your Blood Sugar: A Step

    It can be intimidating to test your blood sugar if youre new to diabetes. There are several steps to follow, and its important to get an accurate reading so you know how much insulin to administer. Heres a breakdown of the 10 steps you should take to accurately test your blood sugar.

  • Wash your hands. This might seem like a trivial or common sense step, but its very important that you dont contaminate your test. If contaminated, you will not get an accurate read and will need to test again. Save yourself time and always make sure you start your test with clean hands.
  • Gather your materials. This includes your glucose meter, test strips, alcohol wipe, lancets, and lancing device. Having it all laid out and ready will make it easier to get an accurate test result.
  • Prepare lancing device. You can prepare your lancing device by removing the top cap and inserting the lancet into the spring-loaded chamber until its secure. Then, remove the protective cap from the needed and put the top back on the lancing device. You may have to adjust the depth of the lancet on your lancing device to ensure you produce a blood sample.
  • Prepare your meter. Once your lancet is prepared, open the sterile container of test strips. Make sure youre inserting the correct end into the glucose meter. Slide the test strip into the glucose meter, and wait for the meter to indicate it is ready for a blood sample.
  • How Do I Pay For These Tests And Supplies

    How to test your blood glucose (sugar) levels

    Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and some of the cost of supplies for checking your blood sugar. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low cost or free supplies. Ask your health care team what to do if you run out of test strips. For more information about Medicare and diabetes, go to .

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    How To Do A Finger

    Your healthcare team will show you how to do it the first time, but these are the key steps:

    • Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dont use wet wipes as the glycerine in them can affect the test result. Make sure your hands are warm so its easier to get blood and wont hurt as much.
    • Take a test strip and slot it into the meter to turn it on. Some meters will have tests strips built in.
    • Remove the cap from your finger prick device and put in a new lancet. Then put the cap back on and set the device by pulling or clicking the plunger.
    • Choose which finger to prick but avoid your thumb or index finger . And dont prick the middle, or too close to a nail. Place the device against the side of your finger and press the plunger. Use a different finger each time and a different area.
    • Take your meter with the test strip and hold it against the drop of blood. Itll tell you if the test strip is filled, usually by beeping.
    • Before you look at your reading, check your finger. Use a tissue to stop bleeding, then use it to take out the lancet and throw it away in your sharps bin.
    • You can use the same tissue to take out the test strip and throw that away too. Taking out the strip will usually turn the meter off.

    Tests For Gestational Diabetes

    Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using blood tests. Youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your risk is higher for getting gestational diabetes , your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.

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    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.

    Gaining Insights From Routine Blood Glucose Testing

    How Do I Measure My Blood Sugar?

    Day-to-day blood sugar checks can give you a good idea of how you’re doing at this moment, and they can be reviewed overall to see trends. They can help answer questions such as:

    • Are your medications working as they should?
    • How does the type or amount of food you eat affect your blood sugar?
    • How does activity or stress affect your blood sugar?

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    Weighing Your Risk Factors

  • 1Take an online risk factor assessment. You can find these tests from many reputable medical websites. They will ask you a series of questions, and then they will tell your level of risk for having diabetes or developing it in the future.XResearch source
  • For instance, try the one here: .
  • 2Consider your age a factor if you’re over 45. People over 45 are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people under 45. As you age, make sure to monitor your health closely.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source
  • However, age is just one of many risk factors. Being over 45 doesn’t automatically mean you’ll develop diabetes.
  • 3Watch your health if you belong to certain minority groups. You’re at higher risk if your Asian-American, African-American, Hispanic, or American Indian. If you’re worried about your health, talk to your doctor about how you can reduce your risk.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source
  • While you can’t change your genes, you can take steps to lower other risk factors.
  • While you can’t change these conditions, you can work to lower other risk factors.
  • Losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and increasing your daily activity level can all help with these issues.
  • 8
  • Other Tips For Checking:

    • With some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or fleshy part of your hand.
    • There are spring-loaded lancing devices that make sticking yourself less painful.
    • If you use your fingertip, stick the side of your fingertip by your fingernail to avoid having sore spots on the frequently used part of your finger.

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    What Do I Do With The Results

    You need to keep track of your results. There are a few ways you can do this. You can write them down in a record book. Use a small notebook or ask your doctor for a blood testing record book. Depending on the type of monitor you have, you may be able to keep track of the results on your computer or smartphone. Whatever method you use, you may also want to keep track of what you have eaten, when you took medicine or insulin, and how active youve been during the day. This will help you see how these things affect your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor about what is a good range for your blood sugar level and what to do if your blood sugar is not within that range.

    What Happens During The Test

    How To Test Blood Sugar Levels

    Most people can take an A1C test at any time without preparing beforehand. However, a doctor may sometimes request that a person avoids eating or drinking for 8 hours before the test.

    Women who are pregnant may need to drink a sugary beverage 1 hour before the test.

    A doctor or nurse will collect a blood sample, usually from a vein in the arm or hand. They will send the sample to a laboratory for analysis.

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    Testing Blood Sugar Levels In Dogs At Home

    If your dogs diabetes is pretty well managed: the blood sugar monitoring system is an excellent choice to check the blood sugar level on an occasional basis. You can perform a blood sugar test quickly, conveniently, and at the time of your choice.

    Whereas, if your dogs diabetes is a little hard to regulate, the blood sugar monitoring system can be useful to get the information, which might be necessary for your vet to identify more suitable adjustments to your dogs insulin therapy.

    Causes Of Inaccurate Readings

    In addition to issues with the meter and test strips, other factors can affect the accuracy of blood glucose readings.

    You can get inaccurate readings by:

    • not taking enough blood for the test
    • not inserting the test strip properly into the meter
    • having traces of food, sugar or water on the finger you tested
    • performing the test from other areas of the body, such as the forearm or palm
    • testing in these areas can be less accurate than the fingertip, especially after eating or exercising when glucose levels are changing rapidly

    Certain physical health issues can affect a reading:

    • anemia
    • if you are sick or stressed

    A reading can also be affected by:

    • medications
    • substances that contain vitamin C
    • the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the total volume of blood
    • treatments, such as removing waste products from your blood when your kidneys arent functioning properly

    Speak to a health care provider if youre worried about the accuracy of your blood glucose tests.

    You can report any problems you have with your meter and test strips to Health Canada.

    To report to Health Canada, you can:

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