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How Often Do I Need To Check My Blood Sugar

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Before And After Exercise

How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar Level?

This is crucial, because exercising with a low or even in-range blood sugar level can be dangerous, depending on the length and intensity of the exercise you plan to do.

Make sure to work with your doctor to determine an appropriate pre-exercise blood sugar level, but people usually like to have their levels sit a little higher than normal before starting any vigorous cardiovascular exercise to prevent severe hypoglycemia.

On the other hand, some peoples blood sugars tend to rise during exercise, especially if they are doing weightlifting or types of exercise that spike adrenaline levels in the body. Its important to make sure your blood sugar is at an appropriate level in case it will rise during your workout.

You also dont want your blood sugar to be too high before exercise, either. The Mayo Clinic actually advises against people with diabetes exercising if their starting blood sugar is above 250 mg/dL.

This is due to the fact that if a body is exercising without enough insulin in the bloodstream, the liver and kidneys will inadvertently release more sugar into the body, increasing your number even more and putting you at risk for dehydration, ketones, and even increased risk of spiraling into diabetic ketoacidosis .

Always check your blood sugar after exercise as well, as some people require a post-exercise bolus to combat spikes due to temporary pump settings that had decreased their basal rates.

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.

Do You Really Have To Check Your Blood Sugar 7

Basically, we are going to start with the easiest patient example. So, basically, lets talk about a patient who just got diagnosed with diabetes. As you can imagine theyre super nervous. Theyre checking their blood sugar seven-eight times a day. Well, initially that may be exciting and you know if youre worked up you wanna get this under control. That is great but eventually, you are going to burn out. So, there is an easier way to do this than just doing seven-eight times a day. Now, if you are really wanting to you know and still have an understanding of where your blood sugars are without doing eight times a day, do the scattered method. You scatter your blood sugar checks. While doing that make sure that its organized so your doctor and yourself can actually look at it and have an understanding.

What a lot of people do they check their blood sugar first in the morning and then before bedtime every day? They keep doing the same thing over and over again. If you know it is especially similar in the mornings, meaning, similarly high or similarly low what is the point of repetition while you can discover your other blood sugars at other times of the day?

What some people think that 160 blood sugar sounds okay. They say I can live with that. However, then when they check their blood sugar after eating after breakfast they realize that they go sometimes up to 250. They would not know that unless they checked it.

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How Often Should You Check Your Blood Sugar

For patients with diabetes, checking your blood sugar is a matter of life and death. However, you may wonder how often should you get a blood test and the answer depends on what type of diabetes you have. Diabetes affects 30 million Americans today or 9.4 percent of the U.S. population. In fact, 1 in 4 adults aged 65 and over have diabetes. Before we delve into the frequency of blood tests, lets discuss what they measure and how diabetes is managed. If you have a loved one with diabetes, its important that you understand what the disease is, how its managed, and its impact.

How Do I Pay For These Tests And Supplies

When Should I Check My Blood 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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Trim Your Toenails Carefully

When you are trimming your nails, you should trim them along the shape of the toe. You can use a nail file to remove any sharp edges. If you notice any ingrown toenails, you should try not to free them yourself. It is also important to avoid breaking open any blisters or cutting your cuticles . If you need assistance, for example with an ingrown nail, it is best to see your healthcare professional or your podiatrist.

Are Fingersticks Necessary On Dexcom G6 Or Freestyle Libre Cgm

Lets talk about when to check your blood sugars when youre using a CGM like Dexcom G6 or libre. The CGM companies like Dexcom or freestyle Libre or Medtronic, they all advertise no finger stick. No finger sticks are true to a point but they dont really tell you downsides of the products they sell. Heres what happens if youre on CGM: Any CGM is somewhat delayed when the blood sugars are changing rapidly. If you check the fingerstick you will see that if your blood sugars are changing rapidly your Dexcom is not going to be true. One typical example that a lot of people do wrong is this.

Dexcom G6 will show that their blood sugar is low and its true. Its typically low when it says so. Its generally correct although freestyle libre has not been the most correct CGM,. Anyhow, then you eat something, and then Dexcom will keep it showing still low. They end up to keep eating more and more and next, you see blood sugar is 300.

If youre following us from Florida and New York sign up for our services. In Florida we accept insurance. In New York, we dont. But if you are one of our patients regardless well take care of you the best we can and we are going to give you all the resources we have. If you are from another country or some other state in the United States then you can pick up the coaching plan.

Ahmet Ergin, MD, FACE, CDCES, ECNUEndocrinology

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When Should I Check My Blood Sugar More Frequently

  • If your diabetes medicine changes
  • If you begin taking other kinds of medicines
  • If you change your diet
  • If your exercise routine or activity level changes
  • If your stress level increases
  • If youre sick. When you are sick, even without eating, your sugar levels may run high, so testing is important.

Follow your doctors testing recommendations during this time. Continue testing more often until you have maintained your blood sugar goal values for at least 1 week. Or continue testing until your doctor advises you that more frequent testing is no longer necessary.

When Should I Call The Doctor

When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels? Diabetes Education.

Reach out to your provider if you have any questions about how to use a CGM device safely.

Very high or low blood sugar levels can be dangerous when left untreated for too long. In the most severe cases, this can lead to seizures, coma or even death. You can avoid these complications by keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Call your provider if you have any symptoms youre worried about.

Common symptoms of high blood sugar include:

  • More frequent urination .

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Blood Sugar Can Determine Treatment Options

The 2018 standards of care in diabetes have recommended the following:

Most patients using intensive insulin regimens should perform self-monitoring of blood glucose prior to meals and snacks, at bedtime, occasionally postprandially, prior to exercise, when they suspect low blood glucose, after treating low blood glucose until they are normoglycemic, and prior to critical tasks such as driving.” 2

When prescribed as part of a broad educational program, SMBG may help to guide treatment decisions and/or self-management for patients taking less frequent insulin injections or noninsulin therapies.”2

Why Checking Your Blood Sugar Is Crucial

Monitoring your blood sugar helps your doctor determine if your treatment plan is working and if your medication needs adjusting. Blood sugar thats too high, referred to as hyperglycemia, or too low, known as hypoglycemia can cause health problems such as dizziness, confusion, blurred vision and even coma. The good news: A patient with well-controlled type 2 diabetes whos treated with metformin may only check their glucose a few times a week or month, says Dr. Kohlenberg.

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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.

Before And After Meals And Snacks

How often should my blood sugar be measured?

If you eat first thing in the morning, your first blood sugar check of the day can also count as your pre-meal check, but if you dont, youll need to check again before breakfast.

This can inform you as to how much insulin youll need for your meal . If youre running a little high, youll need to bolus extra, but if your blood sugar is on the lower end, you can take a little less insulin for any carbohydrates eaten.

Checking before every meal and snack can help curb postprandial glucose excursions, otherwise known as the stubborn high blood sugars you sometimes can experience after eating a meal and not adequately bolusing for said meal.

Ideally, you should also be checking 2 hours after all meals as well, to determine if your meal bolus was adequate, if you took too much insulin, or if you need to adjust and take more insulin.

Two hours is the recommended time frame, because by then most carbohydrates have been absorbed into the body and most fast-acting insulin has already peaked.

When checking before snacks , make sure youre calculating any active insulin on board so you dont overtreat a high and end up going low.

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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.

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.

Time of Test

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Don’t Forget These Important Times To Test

You should also test your blood sugar if you:

Are sick or have an infection. Illness can send blood sugar levels up. Do a check every two to four hours. If it’s:

Over 250 mg/dl, check your urine for ketones if ketones are present in more than trace amounts, call your doctor.

* Over 250 mg/dl for more than six hours, call your doctor.

* Over 350 mg/dl even once, call your doctor.

Start a new blood glucose-lowering medication or change the dose of one. A prescription or over-the-counter medicine for a condition other than diabetes may affect blood sugar levels. Steroids are one example.

Are under a lot of stress. Emotional stress may lead to higher blood sugar numbers. Exercise — even just a walk around the block — can help reduce stress and glucose levels.

Feel as though your blood sugar level is too low. If your meter confirms it with a number of 70 mg/dl or less, eat 15-20 grams of pure glucose or drink 1/2 cup fruit juice or regular soda. Wait 15 minutes and check again to make sure it has come back into the normal range.

How To Prevent Inaccurate Results

How often do you need to check your blood sugar?

Sometimes you might get a blood glucose result that doesnt fit with how you feel. For example, you may get a reading that says your blood glucose levels are low, but you arent exhibiting any symptoms of hypoglycaemia. If this happens, take a second reading or try testing on an alternative glucose meter if you have access to one.

Its also important to make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly and dry them before conducting the finger prick test. If you dont wash your hands properly after eating and before testing, you may contaminate the results. This can occur because of any food residue or crumbs left on your fingers, could provide a falsely high reading.

If you dont dry your hands thoroughly after washing them, then you may get a falsely lowered blood glucose reading! Any water left on your finger may dilute your blood when youre testing your glucose levels.

You can also prevent inaccurate results by doing the following:

  • Ensure test strips arent expired
  • Ensure the test strips match the glucose meter some glucose meters have specific test strips
  • Draw enough blood for the test strip
  • Dont let the test strip with the blood drop dry before putting it in the glucose meter insert the strip right away
  • Keep the glucose meter clean by storing the meter in a clean dry area to avoid dust getting on the sensor
  • Keep the battery fully charged

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How To Test Your Blood Sugar

To check your blood sugar level, gather your blood glucose meter, a test strip and your lancing device. See how to prepare the meter and test strip, lance your finger and get a reading using the Accu-Chek® Guide Me system by watching the video or following the steps here:

The steps are similar for many meters, and generally look like this:

  • Wash and dry your handsusing warm water may help the blood flow.3
  • Turn on the meter and prepare a test strip as outlined in your owner’s booklet. Many Accu-Chek meters turn on automatically when a strip is inserted.
  • Choose your spotdon’t check from the same finger all the time. Using the side of the fingertip may be less painful than the pads.
  • Prepare the lancing device according to the user guide provided, then lance your fingertip or other approved site to get a drop of blood.4
  • Touch and hold the test strip opening to the drop until it has absorbed enough blood to begin the test.
  • View your test result and take the proper steps if your blood sugar is high or low, based on your healthcare professionals’ recommendations.
  • Discard the used lancet properly.
  • Record the results in a logbook, hold them in the meter’s memory or download to an app or computer so you can review and analyze them later.
  • What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels

    Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular physical activity can all help. Other tips include:

    • Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
    • Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
    • Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
    • Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
    • Drink water instead of juice or soda.
    • Limit alcoholic drinks.
    • For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
    • Control your food portions .

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    Can I Stop Doing Fingerstick Checks To Monitor My Blood Sugar If I Have A Cgm Device

    No. Fingerstick checks will still be an essential tool for you to manage diabetes.

    Because fingerstick checks measure glucose levels in your blood, they provide the best picture of what your glucose level is at the precise moment you take it. CGM measures glucose under your skin, which shows where your glucose levels were five to 10 minutes ago.

    With diabetes, certain things can make glucose levels rise or fall quickly. Big or fast changes in blood glucose levels can be dangerous. Doing a fingerstick check can provide important information to help you take action to protect your health. It can also act as a backup tool to confirm CGM results.

    Why Is Blood Sugar Checking Important

    Do I Really Need to Check My Blood Sugar?

    If you live with diabetes, a blood sugar check is paramount to good control. Without knowing your blood glucose numbers, you cannot appropriately dose insulin, treat a low blood sugar, eat a meal, or exercise with ease.

    Think of a blood sugar check as a litmus test: the number isnt good or bad, it just gives a person with diabetes feedback on what they need to do next.

    If a number is too high , its telling you to take some insulin or get some exercise, whereas if a number is too low, youll need to treat with sugar or some other form of glucose.

    If your number is satisfactory, then you can proceed on with your day as planned.

    Checking your blood sugar is also important to track long-term goals, like an hba1c test, and to see if youre reaching or even exceeding those goals.

    Regularly checking your blood sugar also can give you feedback on whats working and whats not: maybe a particular food isnt working for your management goals, or a type of exercise, like yoga, has really helped to mellow out your blood sugar levels.

    Its a good time to check in with yourself and calibrate your management to find what will work best for you, knowing that this can and will change over time.

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