What Is A Well
For some people, these blood sugars we talked about just above may not sound like well-controlled but Im talking about general purposes. Because our goal for diabetes depends on the patient. We individualize goals. Sometimes we are very strict with patients. Lets say a pregnant patient. We want to keep them less than 90 in the morning. A pregnant woman vs an 80-year-old frail woman does not have the same blood sugar goals. So, we dont tell An 80-year-old woman you have to wake up below 90 because we know that theyre going to be at risk of dropping their blood sugar in that age too low. It can be very hard on them and it can actually be very dangerous. So, what we try to do here trying to manage risk based on the patient so thats why your doctor should give you the Individual goals. You should know exactly what your goal should be . So, what your personal goal should be between you and your physician
How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.
When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar
Blood sugar testing is important for controlling type 2 diabetes. Find out what goes into determining the best testing schedule for you.
Blood sugar testing is a fundamental part of treating type 2 diabetes. By obtaining regular blood sugar readings, people with diabetes can, among other things, help their doctor make more informed decisions regarding the type and dosage of medication they need. Blood sugar testing also can help you see what foods, events, and activities trigger highs and lows in your blood sugar levels.
So how often should you test your blood sugar? The answer depends mostly on the status of your health and the demands of your daily life.
People with type 2 diabetes should take a blood sugar reading at least once a day. Some may need to test as frequently as seven times a day. Whether you need to or are able to perform more frequent testing depends on a number of factors:
You should talk with your doctor about these factors to devise the right blood glucose monitoring schedule for you.
Creating a Blood Sugar Testing Schedule
In general, type 2 diabetes patients should schedule blood sugar testing to coincide with specific daily events. That makes it easier to remember when to test. Regular testing times include:
- Before all three meals
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How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry or have other symptoms, check your blood sugar. Even if you dont have symptoms but think you may have low blood sugar, check it. If your blood sugar is lower than 70 mg/dL, do one of the following immediately:
- Take four glucose tablets.
- Drink four ounces of fruit juice.
- Drink four ounces of regular soda, not diet soda.
- Eat four pieces of hard candy.
Wait for 15 minutes and then check your blood sugar again. Do one of the above treatments again until your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above and eat a snack if your next meal is an hour or more away. If you have problems with low blood sugar, ask your doctor if your treatment plan needs to be changed.
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.
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What Is The A1c Test
The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 2 or 3 months. The test is done at a lab or your doctors office in addition tonot instead ofregular blood sugar testing you do yourself.
A1C testing is part of the ABCs of diabetesimportant steps you can take to prevent or delay health complications down the road:
- A: Get a regular A1C test.
- B: Try to keep your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg .
- C: Manage your cholesterol levels.
- s: Stop smoking or dont start.
The A1C goal for most adults with diabetes is between 7% and 8%, but your goal may be different depending on your age, other health conditions, medicines youre taking, and other factors. Work with your doctor to establish a personal A1C goal for you.
Keep Track Of And Learn From Your Blood Glucose Checks
You should keep a record of your glucose checks in the format you prefer. Perhaps you like writing your results into a record book. Or you want to go high-tech and use one of the many mobile or online apps that are available. Find what works best for you.
Keeping track of your results is important because they enable you and your provider to look back and observe trends and patterns in your numbers. With this information, you and your provider can make changes in and improve your management as needed. Don’t wait for your provider to download your meter at each visit. Keep track of your results, observe them, and be ready to discuss them with your provider at each visit.
Make use of any data you collect:
Circle, highlight, or make note in some way of the numbers that are outside your target range.
Three glucose levels from the same time of day that are out of range are a pattern. If you don’t know what to do about the pattern, call your health care provider.
If you use a logbook to record your results and run out of room, go to the meter manufacturer’s website. Some have log sheets you can print.
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Keep Track Of Your Testing Strips
Make sure your strips arent expired. Out-of-date strips arent guaranteed to return true results. Old strips and inaccurate results may affect your daily log of blood glucose numbers, and your doctor may think theres a problem when there really isnt.
Also, keep the strips out of sunlight and away from moisture. Its best to keep them at room temperature or cooler, but not freezing.
What Do My Results Mean
When you finish the blood sugar check, write down your results and note what factors may have affected them, such as food, activity, and stress. Take a close look at your blood glucose record to see if your level is too high or too low several days in a row at about the same time. If the same thing keeps happening, it might be time to change your diabetes care plan. Work with your doctor or diabetes educator to learn what your results mean for you. It can take time to make adjustments and get things just right. And do ask your doctor if you should report results out of a certain range right away by phone.
Keep in mind that blood glucose results often trigger strong feelings. Blood sugar numbers can leave you upset, confused, frustrated, angry, or down. It’s easy to use the numbers to judge yourself. Remind yourself that tracking your blood sugar level is simply a way to know how well your diabetes care plan is working, and whether that plan may need to change.
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How Many Times Do You Really Check Your Blood Sugars At The Early Stages Of Diabetes
You dont really have to check too many times. If your blood sugars are not very uncontrolledMeaning your A1c is below 7%, you can check it once a day in the mornings, just to keep an eye on your blood sugars overall. As we mentioned occasionally you can check it after meals to see where your blood sugars are. You can do that occasionally after meals. Lets say you think that you had too much carbs, and you want to check. This will help you understand how food affects you and so forth. For example,if your overall well controlled and youre waking up with you know say 100 Or 110 and then occasionally you check after meals and you never go more than 160 170 after meals then youre pretty well controlled.
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.
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Discuss Blood Sugar Levels With A Doctor
- Make sure to speak with your physician about how often you should be checking your blood sugar and at what times of day or week checks should be done.
- Dont forget to ask your physician: What should I do with all this information? Your overall control will likely not improve unless you know what to do with the glucose numbers you are seeing!
- If you are uncertain how to use your meter, ask to meet with a diabetes educator for additional training.
How often do you check your blood sugar?
Take Steps To Prevent Infection
To avoid infection, practice the strategies advised by the
Frequent and repeated testing can cause sore fingertips. Here are a few suggestions that may help prevent this:
- Dont reuse a lancet. They can become dull, which may make pricking your finger more painful.
- Be sure to prick the side of your finger, not the pad. Pricking the end of your finger can be more painful.
- Though it may be a tempting way to produce more blood quickly, dont squeeze your fingertip vigorously. Instead, hang your hand and arm down, allowing blood to pool in your fingertips. In addition:
- You can help increase blood flow by washing your hands with warm water.
- If you still have too little blood, you can squeeze your finger, but start at the part closest to your palm, and work your way down your finger until you have enough.
- Dont test on the same finger each time. As part of your routine, establish which finger youll use and when. This way, youll never repeat testing on the same finger during the same day.
- If a finger becomes sore anyway, avoid prolonging the pain by not using it for several days. Use a different finger if possible.
- If you have chronic finger pain as a result of testing, see your doctor about changing glucose monitors. Some monitors can use blood drawn from other parts of your body.
Being asked by your doctor to monitor your glucose levels is an important part of the diagnostic process. Remember that many things can affect your blood sugar, including:
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Make The Most Of Your Meter
How often should you check your blood sugar? The answer depends on the type of diabetes you have, your blood glucose level targets, and more practical matters, such as whether you can afford or have enough test strips.
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Recent studies show that people with type 2 diabetes who don’t use medications but do self-monitor blood glucose might not see much difference in blood glucose control compared with people who don’t self-monitor. But using a meter to check your blood glucose levels strategically can provide helpful information to guide you in selecting:
With this guide on finding how often to test, discovering how accurate your meter is, and more, we’ll show you what you need to know about testing your blood sugar.
Consider Testing Before And After Exercise
Check to see how exercise affects blood sugar by occasionally testing immediately before and after exercise. Aerobic activity tends to lower blood sugar, even hours after stopping. This is not the case if you take insulin and start exercising when your blood sugar is high. Exercise can cause blood sugar to rise because you don’t have enough insulin to get glucose into the cells. Strength training, such as weight lifting, may temporarily increase blood sugar levels, but it has long-term glucose-lowering benefits.
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How Is Blood Glucose Monitoring Performed
Before you begin, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent infection at the finger-prick site. If you use alcohol wipes instead of washing, be sure to let the site dry before testing.
Next, put a testing strip into the meter. Prick your finger with the lancet to get a small drop of blood. Use the sides of the fingertips instead of the tip to decrease finger discomfort.
The blood goes on the test strip you inserted into the meter. Your monitor will analyze the blood and give you the blood glucose reading on its digital display usually within a minute.
Finger pricks rarely require a bandage, but you may want to use one if bleeding continues beyond a few drops. Its important to follow all the instructions that came with your glucometer to ensure accurate results.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you may need to test your blood glucose four or more times per day. This includes before and after meals and exercise, and more often when you are sick.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor will let you know when and how often to test your blood glucose.
How Many Times A Day Check My Blood Sugars On Insulin
Of course, if youre on insulin thats a little different story. So if somebody is on basal insulin, in this case, I would suggest checking the blood sugar before you go to bed and then before you wake up. The reason for that is especially initially during the titration stage. Because we dont exactly know how much insulin you will need. So, we start you from somewhere and we titrate you to the goal. In that stage, you always have to want to check the blood sugar at night and in the morning.
What a lot of people dont understand is why were doing this. The reason is that the long-acting insulin is designed to keep your blood sugar stable overnight and during the day as well. Your liver is constantly making blood sugar. That is regulated by insulin and insulin sensitivity. When your insulin resistance especially when you have diabetes, you know that your liver does not realize that theres some insulin. So the liver keeps making too much sugar. In order to overcome the insulin resistance, if youre not able to exercise, have good dieting, the insulin you are making may not be enough. Just simply diet and exercise sometimes is not enough either. In those cases, we start basal insulin just to keep the blood sugar stable.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
When visiting your doctor, you might keep these questions in mind to ask during your appointment.
- What is my target blood sugar range?
- How often should I check my blood sugar?
- What do these numbers mean?
- Are there patterns that show I need to change my diabetes treatment?
- What changes need to be made to my diabetes care plan?
If you have other questions about your numbers or your ability to manage your diabetes, make sure to work closely with your doctor or health care team.
Nighttime Low Blood Sugar
While low blood sugar can happen at any time during the day, some people may experience low blood sugar while they sleep. Reasons this may happen include:
- Having an active day.
- Being physically active close to bedtime.
- Taking too much insulin.
- Drinking alcohol at night.
Eating regular meals and not skipping them can help you avoid nighttime low blood sugar. Eating when you drink alcohol can also help. If you think youre at risk for low blood sugar overnight, have a snack before bed.
You may wake up when you have low blood sugar, but you shouldnt rely on that. A continuous glucose monitor can alert you with an alarm if your blood sugar gets low while youre sleeping.
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