How To Check Blood Sugar Levels
A health care professional will teach you and your child how to properly use a blood glucose meter.
- Clean hands with soap and water. Make sure the finger is dry before obtaining the blood sample wet fingers can alter the value.
- Prick the side of the fingertip. The forearm also can be pricked with certain meters using a lancet device. Do not use the forearm if you suspect a low blood sugar or when the blood sugar is rapidly changing, such as after meals or exercise.
- Insert strip into meter.
- Obtain a drop of blood.
- Apply the drop of blood to a test strip.
- Read the result and enter it in a logbook.
Bring the meter and logbook to all doctor visits.
Ways To Test Blood Sugar
Working with a functional medicine or nutrition practitioner to monitor your metabolism can be a game changer for your health. There are a number of blood sugar and metabolism markers that can be observed to determine the current state of your health.
Upon receiving these values, it is possible to create a really solid plan to get your body back in balance based on your lifestyle choices.
All You Need To Know About Reading Your Blood Glucose Test Report
Written by Dr Anitha Anchan | Updated : April 26, 2016 5:29 PM IST
Glucose is a type of sugar that is produced by the digestion of dietary carbohydrates. It is transported by the blood to all parts of the body and is body s main source of energy. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, transfers extra glucose from the blood to muscle, fat, and liver cells where it is stored. Blood glucose levels changes indicate abnormal digestion process. People with diabetes often have high levels of glucose in their blood.
Prediabetes is a condition where the blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough to be confirmed as diabetes. It could lead to diabetes if appropriate measures are not taken.
Blood glucose tests what are they?
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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
What Are Target Blood Sugar Levels For People With Diabetes
A target is something that you aim for or try to reach. Your health care team may also use the term goal. People with diabetes have blood sugar targets that they try to reach at different times of the day. These targets are:
- Right before your meal: 80 to 130
- Two hours after the start of the meal: Below 180
Talk with your health care team about what blood sugar numbers are right for you.
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The Big Picture: Checking Your Blood Sugar
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 sugar 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 healthcare 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.
What If I Have Trouble Getting To My Blood Sugar Goals
There may be times when you have trouble reaching your blood sugar goals. This does not mean that you have failed. It means that you and your health care team should see if changes are needed. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is often too high or too low. Taking action will help you be healthy today and in the future.
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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 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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When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels
The number of times you should test your blood sugar levels each day and when will depend on lots of different things. It might even change from day to day. In general, most people with diabetes test their blood sugar levels before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner, and again at bedtime.
You may need to check blood sugar levels more often when you’re sick or when changes have been made to your medication doses or schedule. You also may need to check more often if you suddenly become more active, like after you join a sports team at school.
People who use an insulin pump or who follow a plan to control blood sugar levels very closely also need to check their blood sugar levels more often. Your diabetes health care team will help you decide how often and when you should check.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels must be checked in the middle of the night for instance, by people who are having problems with hypoglycemia symptoms during the night. And those who have just been diagnosed with diabetes may need more frequent blood sugar level tests to get a feel for how certain doses of insulin or other diabetes medicines affect their blood sugar levels.
Levels In The Morning
The best time to check blood sugar levels in the morning is right when you wake up and before you eat anything. This gives you a glimpse of what may be happening overnight, and it gives you a baseline for the day.
These are goal levels, according to The Joslin Diabetes Center:
- Under 70 mg/dl if you do not have diabetes.
- 70 to 130 mg/dl if you have diabetes.
The dawn effect can often lead to a high morning measurement in diabetes. This is your bodys tendency to get ready for the day by raising blood sugar by increasing levels of counter-regulatory hormones the ones that counteract insulin as in normal blood sugar. For people with diabetes, you do not have the capacity to counterbalance this rise in blood sugar, so levels can be dangerously high.
Ways to lower your morning blood sugar value include:
- Eating dinner earlier
- Checking your medications making sure you are taking them properly and asking your doctor if they are correct
- Going for a walk after dinner
- Including protein with your dinner
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Here Is What You Need To Check Blood Sugar:
- A glucose monitor
- Test strips check to see if they are expired, and do not use them if they are
- Soap and water or alcohol pad to clean your hands
- A way to lance your finger using a lancing device – some monitors now have the ability to check your blood sugar level using sites other than the sides of your fingers, like your forearm, thigh, or the fleshy part of your hand
- A log book to write down the results for reporting back to your doctor
When Should I Measure My Blood Glucose
Throughout the rest of your pregnancy, you will need to measure your blood glucose levels at various points through the day, to check that they are within the limits you have been given at each of those times:
When you get up You need to measure your blood glucose levels each morning when you get up, before you have anything to eat or drink. This blood glucose level is called your fasting blood glucose level because you will have an empty stomach. You must not have eaten or drunk anything apart from water overnight, for at least eight hours.
Your team should have discussed this with you and agreed the ideal morning blood glucose level for you to aim for.
Before or after every meal You will probably be asked to measure your blood glucose level around the time of a meal. Some services measure before eating while others measure one or two hours after a meal .
Again, you will have discussed and agreed an ideal blood glucose level after meals with your diabetes team. These levels will be higher than your fasting blood glucose levels, as you will just have eaten.
If you are taking insulin to help to control your blood glucose levels, you may need to do a separate test before you go to bed, or even during the night, although this is unusual.
“When we did go out for a special meal or two, and I’d have a little bit of cheesecake or something, it really affected my sugar levels. But that would’ve been just twice in the whole pregnancy.” Gemma, mum of one
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Tips For Checking Your Blood Sugar With Less Pain
Fingertips have more nerve endings, so this part of the finger tends to be the most sensitive.
If you use a finger prick to check your blood sugar level, a few techniques can make the process less painful whether youre using a glucometer or a continuous glucose monitor.
Blood sugar testing is crucial to diabetes management because high or low blood sugar can cause severe complications. If too much blood sugar accumulates in your bloodstream, you can experience major complications such as:
- nerve damage
- difficulty speaking
Blood sugar can fluctuate throughout the day especially after meals, after exercising, and during stressful events. So its important to carefully monitor your blood sugar and keep it within a healthy range.
A blood sugar level less than 140 milligrams per deciliter , but greater than 70 mg/dL is typically considered in the target range.
You should check your blood sugar regularly, even if you arent experiencing symptoms of a high or low glucose level. Some people with high and low blood sugar dont have any symptoms.
How Do I Pay For These Tests And Supplies
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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Gaining Insights From Routine Blood Glucose Testing
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?
How To Check Glucose Levels Without Drawing Blood
This is really exciting news, and not just for diabetic patients. Everyone needs to take care of their health and monitoring glucose levels is essential.
What were talking about is a free health app that lets you check glucose levels without drawing blood. The app is called Epic Health and will be released sometime before the end of the year for both Android and iOS gadgets. Its currently going through clinical trials.
The app not only gives the user the ability to accurately measure blood glucose levels, but it also measures Insulin Resistance levels. This is key in determining if you are pre-diabetic. Watch the following video for a brief demonstration.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test :
This test measures an individuals response to a glucose load. They are instructed to fast in a similar way to the FPG and then they are given a measured dose of glucose to consume within 5 minutes and the blood is measured both immediately after the drink is finished and 2 hours afterwards. The 2 hour measurement is major recording.
Normal OGTT levels should be under 140 mg/dl although most functional medicine doctors want to see them under 120 mg/dl. The pre-diabetic range is from 140-200 mg/dl and over 200 mg/dl is considered diabetic.
S For Blood Glucose Monitoring
Here are the steps for blood glucose monitoring at home:
The diabetes healthcare team will recommend a blood glucose monitoring schedule to meet your needs. They will also discuss the different types of blood glucose meters that are available.
Whether you record your levels manually in a logbook or access a record of them from your blood glucose monitor , this is an important step for your own self-management of diabetes. Keeping a record of day-to-day blood glucose levels will also help the diabetes healthcare team assess how well lifestyle and medicationchoices are working. It is one of the most important tools in diabetes management and can open up new options in areas like healthy eating, physical activity and medications.
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How Can I Check My Blood Sugar
Use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose monitor to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM, youll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate.
How To Stay In Target
Eating healthy, exercising and taking medication, if necessary, will help you keep your blood sugar levels within their target range. Target ranges for blood sugar can vary depending on your age, medical condition and other risk factors.
Targets are different for pregnant women, older adults and children 12 years of age and under.
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Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water could help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy ranges.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out any excess sugar through urine.
One review of observational studies showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels (
You can do so at home using a portable blood glucose meter, which is known as a glucometer. You can discuss this option with your doctor.
Keeping track allows you to determine whether you need to adjust your meals or medications. It also helps you learn how your body reacts to certain foods .
Try measuring your levels regularly every day and keeping track of the numbers in a log. Also, it may be more helpful to track your blood sugar in pairs for example, before and after exercise or before and 2 hours after a meal.
This can show you whether you need to make small changes to a meal if it spikes your blood sugar, rather than avoiding your favorite meals altogether. Some adjustments include swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting them to a handful.
Checking your blood glucose and maintaining a daily log enables you to adjust foods and medications when necessary to better manage your blood sugar levels.