How Soon After I Wake Up Should I Check My Blood Sugar
Work with your doctor to come up with a schedule for testing your blood sugar. Factors for you and your doctor to consider in developing your schedule include the medicines you take, when you eat and how well-controlled your blood sugar is. Many people with diabetes find that it works well for them to check blood sugar first thing in the morning, but talk with your doctor to find out whats best for you.
Check your blood glucose immediately on awakeningbefore any morning activities, such as showering, shaving or putting on makeup. The reason for this schedule is that if your blood glucose is low, you can drink some juice or milk. If it is high, you can take your insulin immediately and allow it to work at least one hour before breakfast. It is important to get into this habit, because if you start the day with a normal blood glucose level before breakfast, keeping your blood glucose under control throughout the day is much easier. Monitoring your sugar immediately on awakening does not take a major change in lifestyle, but it is very effective in improving your blood glucose control.
What Happens During A Blood Glucose Test
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out.
For some types of glucose blood tests, you will drink a sugary liquid and wait for an hour before your blood sample is taken:
- A glucose challenge test is used to test for gestational diabetes in pregnancy. If your blood glucose level is higher than normal, you may have gestational diabetes. You’ll need an oral glucose tolerance test to get a diagnosis.
- An oral glucose tolerance test is used to diagnose gestational diabetes, and type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in people who aren’t pregnant. A blood sample will be taken before you have a sugary drink and then again, every hour for the next 2 or 3 hours.
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
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When To Lower Blood Sugar
When blood sugar is too high, it is termed hyperglycemia. The World Health Organization recognises hyperglycemia as blood sugar thats above 126 mg/dL or 7.0 mmol/L in a period before eating , or above 200 mg/dL or 11.1 mmol/L two hours after eating.
When blood sugar is at this point, you should take steps to reduce those numbers. It goes without saying that testing blood sugar regularly is ideal, in order to know when youre hyperglycemic.
You may also realise that youre hyperglycemic if youre experiencing some of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating
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According to the American Diabetes Association, when blood sugar levels start teetering towards 250 mg/dL or 13.9 mmol/L is when diabetic ketoacidosis can occur.
Ketoacidosis happens because of the bodys need for fuel. With high blood sugar, the body isnt getting any fuel in the form of glucose. Instead, the body tries to burn fat for fuel, but this process leads to ketones essentially acids building up in the bloodstream.
Symptoms of ketoacidosis can include symptoms of hyperglycemia, along with:
- Vomiting or feeling nauseous
- Pain in the abdomen
To avoid the buildup of ketones , its best to test for ketone levels to know whats going on. Theres no uniform moment to check for ketones: the NHS suggests checking ketone levels from the moment you are hyperglycemic, if you can.
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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.
When To Test Your Blood Sugar
by Health Writer
If youve got diabetes, keeping blood glucose levels steady is the name of the game. Normally, your body regulates blood sugar well, thanks to a series of feedback mechanisms that involve the secretion of the hormone insulin. But in people with type 1 diabetes, your body doesnt make enough insulin in type 2 diabetes, an inability to effectively use insulin causes glucose levels to swing around. The complex regulation of glucose is one reason that managing diabetes can be challenging for patients, says Jacob Kohlenberg, M.D., assistant professor in the division of diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, MN. Here, tips for tracking your blood sugar levels.
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When Should You Check Your Blood Sugar
People with diabetes are encouraged to check their blood sugars often, and with the latest technology like continuous glucose monitors , the frequency of checking has increased more than ever.
But what if youre using a glucometer, lancet device, and test strips? How often, and maybe more importantly, exactly when should you check your blood sugar?
This article will outline the importance of checking your blood sugar, how often, and when you really should check for better diabetes management.
The Importance Of Checking Your Blood Sugar For Type 2 Diabetes
Hypoglycemia is when you have abnormally low blood glucose, and its one of the most common diabetes complications. To receive a hypoglycemia diagnosis, you will need a plasma glucose concentration of less than 70 mg/dL.
According to one study,² 46.5% of people with type 2 diabetes and 83% with type 1 diabetes get hypoglycemia. Type 2 diabetes can lead to severe hypoglycemia complications when its uncontrolled. Another study³ said it can increase your chances of death by six times.
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Which Is Right For You
Finding the best glucose monitoring system that is right for you is about finding the choice that best suits your needs. By considering the benefits and limitations between the different systems that are available in Canada, you can find a system that meets your individual requirements while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your diabetes care routine.
Our glucose monitoring comparison chart provides a summary of CGM, Flash glucose monitoring devices and test strips and meters.
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.
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Final Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
While diet is important to manage blood sugar levels, so is overall lifestyle. Adequate sleep, enough water intake, and getting movement each day are all important factors that can promote lower blood sugar levels around the clock. Some people find that eating several times a day works better for them while others find they do best with three larger meals throughout the day. Test out both to see which works for you, and listen to your body. Prioritize eating real foods with a balanced intake of protein, fiber, and healthy fats throughout the day for overall healthier blood sugar levels as much as possible.
Other foods worth mentioning for lower blood sugar levels are coconut butter, dark chocolate, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, other nuts and seeds, most all vegetables, greens, fiber-rich fruits like berries and apples, and even black coffee. Remember, theres no need to deprive yourself when taking care of your body but choosing high-quality, real foods is key.
For more information, check out these tips so you can be on your way to better blood sugar levels in no time!
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.
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How Can I Pay For Tests And Diabetes Supplies
Medicareexternal icon, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and fasting blood sugar test as well as some diabetes supplies. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low-cost or free supplies, and see How to Save Money on Diabetes Care for more resources.
What Do I Need
To check blood glucose levels, you need:
- A blood glucose meter
- A lancet device with lancets
- Blood glucose strips.
Blood glucose meters are usually sold as kits giving you all the equipment you need to start. There are many different types, offering different features and at different prices to meet individual needs. Most of these are available from Diabetes Australia in your state or territory, pharmacies and some diabetes centres. Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you choose the meter thats best for you, and your Credentialled Diabetes Educator or pharmacist can show you how to use your meter to get accurate results.
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Times To Check More Often
There will be times when you need to check more often, however you should first discuss this with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. Example of these times include when you are:
- Being more physically active or less physically active
- Sick or stressed
- Experiencing changes in routine or eating habits, e.g. travelling
- Changing or adjusting your insulin or medication
- Experiencing symptoms of hypoglycaemia
- Experiencing night sweats or morning headaches
- A female planning pregnancy or are pregnant.
- Pre/post minor surgical day procedures
- Post dental procedures
Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you work out self-monitoring approach especially for you.
The Big Picture: Checking Your Blood Glucose
Blood sugar monitoring is the primary tool you have to find out if your blood glucose levels are within your target range. This tells you your blood glucose level at any one time.
Its important for blood glucose levels to stay in a healthy range. If glucose levels get too low, we can lose the ability to think and function normally. If they get too high and stay high, it can cause damage or complications to the body over the course of many years.
The logging of your results is vital. When you bring your log to your health care provider, youll have a good picture of your body’s response to your diabetes care plan. To help keep track of your levels, we have a glucose log. We also have a blood glucose log available for purchase that is smaller so you can carry it with you.
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How Can You Tell If Your Blood Sugar Is High
If you dont have a glucometer , there are some physical symptoms that indicate high blood glucose. Usually if blood sugar is very high, the kidney is trying to eliminate all that sugar and in order to eliminate all that sugar, we need water to get rid of things, says Dr. Wright. That causes increased urination. You might also experience thirst as your body gets more dehydrated from the loss of fluid. Other patients, they describe that they might feel dizzy or sometimes they feel like their hands are tingly and thats when they know that the blood sugars are high, adds Dr. Wright. Unfortunately, diabetes affects nearly every body part so symptoms can vary greatly. Other signs could be fatigue, just really not having the energy that you would expect you should have at that time, says Dr. Hong. And then more severely, things like nausea and vomiting or even abdominal pain can be signs of hyperglycemia.
Are You Newly Diagnosed
How often to check blood sugar type 2 diabetes for newly diagnosed? The number of glucose records depends on the health condition. If the doctor has a particular plan for you, its better to follow the frequency of records at the early type 2 diabetes stages. Otherwise, the situation can get worse without proper monitoring.
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What Should I Aim For
Effective management of diabetes is all about aiming for a careful balance between the foods you eat, how active you are and the medication you take for your diabetes. Because this is a delicate balance, it can be quite difficult to achieve the best possible blood glucose management all the time.
The ranges will vary depending on the individual and an individuals circumstances. While it is important to keep your blood glucose levels as close to the target range of target range between 4 to 6 mmol/L as possible to prevent complications, it is equally important to check with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator for the range of blood glucose levels that are right and safe for you. Therefore the following information should be treated only as a general guide.
What To Know About Blood Sugar Levels And Driving
If you have type 1 diabetes or have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, its possible to develop low blood sugar while driving, causing difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and operating the vehicle. You may even pass out. Before you head out on the road, check your blood sugar levels, especially if youre taking insulin or insulin-releasing med, such as Glucotrol , says Dr. Thomas. Depending on the length of your journey, you should also pull over during your trip to check your levels again. The bottom line: Swings in glucose levels with diabetes can be controlled if you monitor them carefully.
Stress, Meals, Exercise and Blood Sugar Testing:Journal of Diabetes Research. Variables to Be Monitored via Biomedical Sensors for Complete Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Management: An Extension of the On-Board Concept.
Regular Blood Sugar Testing:Diabetes Care. Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes, 2018. A Consensus Report by the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes .
Hypoglycemia:BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care. Never Again Will I Be Carefree: A Qualitative Study of the Impact of Hypoglycemia on Quality of Life Among Adults with Type 1 Diabetes.
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