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How To Use A Blood Sugar Meter

Health & Nutrition : How to Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

There are different kinds of meters, but most of them work the same way. Ask your health care team to show you the benefits of each. In addition to you, have someone else learn how to use your meter in case youre sick and cant check your blood sugar yourself.

Below are tips for how to use a blood sugar meter.

  • Make sure the meter is clean and ready to use.
  • After removing a test strip, immediately close the test strip container tightly. Test strips can be damaged if they are exposed to moisture.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dry well. Massage your hand to get blood into your finger. Dont use alcohol because it dries the skin too much.
  • Use a lancet to prick your finger. Squeezing from the base of the finger, gently place a small amount of blood onto the test strip. Place the strip in the meter.
  • After a few seconds, the reading will appear. Track and record your results. Add notes about anything that might have made the reading out of your target range, such as food, activity, etc.
  • Properly dispose the lancet and strip in a trash container.
  • Do not share blood sugar monitoring equipment, such as lancets, with anyone, even other family members. For more safety information, please see Infection Prevention during Blood Glucose Monitoring and Insulin Administration.
  • Store test strips in the container provided. Do not expose them to moisture, extreme heat, or cold temperatures.
  • How To Eat Garlic To Lower Blood Sugar

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    Target Blood Sugar Ranges For Pregnant People With Diabetes

    Blood sugar targets during pregnancy are lower due to hormonal influences. The ADA, AACE, and Joslin Diabetes Center have slightly different guidelines for target blood sugar levels during pregnancy. In general, pregnant women with diabetes will want to follow individual guidelines provided by their endocrinologist.

    The ADA recommends maintaining blood sugar levels of 95-140 mg/dL for pregnant women. However, some providers recommend an even tighter goal of blood glucose levels below 89 mg/dL before a meal and below 120 mg/dL after a meal.

    To keep close tabs on levels, most diabetes specialists recommend that women with diabetes during pregnancy check their blood sugar:

    • First thing in the morning
    • Before all meals

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    How To Lower Blood Sugar And Keep It Low

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    Applesauce And Other Fruit Pures

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    Replacing sugar with applesauce or purées of other fruits like bananas is an excellent way to reduce your refined sugar intake. Consider this swap in recipes for cakes, cookies, muffins, and breads.

    All fruits offer health benefits due to their nutrients. For example, mashed bananas are high in folate, manganese, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and C .

    Unlike refined sugar, fruit is generally linked to a variety of health benefits, including a reduced risk of chronic disease and a lower risk of death from all causes .

    If you buy applesauce or other fruit purées from the store, be sure to select unsweetened products with no added sugar.

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    Food Fix: Foods That Are Good For Diabetes

    Jillian Kubala is a Registered Dietitian based in Westhampton, NY. Jillian holds a masters degree in nutrition from Stony Brook University School of Medicine as well as an undergraduate degree in nutrition science. Aside from writing for Healthline Nutrition, she runs a private practice based on the east end of Long Island, NY, where she helps her clients achieve optimal wellness through nutritional and lifestyle changes. Jillian practices what she preaches, spending her free time tending to her small farm that includes vegetable and flower gardens and a flock of chickens. Reach out to her through her website or on .

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    How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar

    Trying to learn how to lower morning blood sugar? Heres why your glucose levels rise in the morning and a few things you can try to keep them in range.

    Waking up with high glucose levels may feel like it doesn’t make sense. You spend several hours asleep, not consuming any carbs, and yet somehow your glucose levels are still high when you wake up in the morning.

    Why does this happen? What can you do to make sure your glucose levels are safely in range in the morning? Learn more about some tips on avoiding high morning blood sugar levels so you can start your day off right.

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    Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level

    A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. You’ll learn how it makes you feel, although your symptoms may change over time.

    Early signs of a low blood sugar level include:

    • a fast or pounding heartbeat
    • becoming easily irritated, tearful, anxious or moody

    If a low blood sugar level is not treated, you may get other symptoms, such as:

    • unusual behaviour, slurred speech or clumsiness
    • seizures or fits
    • collapsing or passing out

    A low blood sugar level, or hypo, can also happen while you’re sleeping. This may cause you to wake up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets in the morning.

    Focus On Fruits And Vegetables As The Primary Source Of Carbohydrates

    How to Eat to Control Your Blood Sugar Level

    Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, which slows down carbohydrate digestion and so helps prevent a spike in blood glucose and insulin levels.

    Sugar and simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, are quickly digested and cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels the exact spike we want to avoid.

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    Manage Your Carb Intake

    Your carb intake strongly influences your blood sugar levels .

    Your body breaks carbs down into sugars, mainly glucose. Then, insulin helps your body use and store it for energy.

    When you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, this process fails, and blood glucose levels can rise.

    Thats why the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes manage their carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many they need .

    Some studies find that this can help you plan your meals appropriately, further improving blood sugar management (

    Foods that are high in fiber include:

    The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 35 grams for men. Thats about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .

    Summary

    Eating plenty of fiber can aid blood sugar management. Soluble dietary fiber appears to be more effective than insoluble fiber for this purpose.

    Eat More Pungent Bitter And Astringent Foods

    Including these foods in your diet a little more often will help balance blood sugar and offset your addiction to sweets. Pungent herbs and spices include basil, cinnamon, cumin, chili, garlic, ginger, pepper, oregano, thyme, and turmeric.

    Bitter and astringent fruits and veggies are things like leafy greens , celery, broccoli, beans, lentils, apples, and pomegranate seeds.

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    Sweet Potatoes And Yams

    Regular potatoes have a high GI score, but sweet potatoes and yams have low scores and are very nutritious.

    Some research indicates that the flesh of the sweet potato contains more fiber than the skin, indicating that the whole vegetable could be beneficial for those with diabetes.

    Reporting the findings of an animal study, the researchers also note that sweet potato consumption may lower some markers of diabetes.

    Although there is still no conclusive evidence to suggest that sweet potatoes can help stabilize or lower blood sugar levels in humans, they are undoubtedly a nutritious food with a low GI score.

    People can substitute sweet potatoes or yams for potatoes in a variety of dishes, from fries to casseroles.

    Can You Raise Blood Sugar Without Food

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    Two products glucose gel and chewable glucose tablets are also effective at quickly raising blood sugar. Theyre available without a prescription and are recommended for people who experience frequent episodes of low blood sugar.

    If youve had severe low blood sugar symptoms in the past, speak with your doctor about whether a glucagon kit is right for you. Glucagon is a hormone that triggers your liver to release glucose into the bloodstream.

    These kits are only available by prescription. Theyre used to raise your blood sugar when youre not able to eat or drink, such as in a state of unconsciousness. Therefore, someone else, like a friend or family member, typically administers this medication for you.

    An episode of low blood sugar that necessitates assistance from another person is by definition severe hypoglycemia. The kits come with a syringe and needle that can be used to inject glucagon into your arm, thigh, or buttocks.

    Be sure to ask your doctor when and how to use a glucagon kit. Also, let your family and friends know how to use it and how to recognize a hypoglycemic emergency.

    There are many different factors that can cause a dip in your blood sugar levels. Here are some of the most common causes.

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    What Can Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels

    Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely are:

    • skipping meals and snacks
    • not eating enough food during a meal or snack
    • exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food
    • getting too much insulin
    • not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise

    Also, some things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely. These include:

    • taking a hot shower or bath right after having an insulin injection increases blood flow through the blood vessels in the skin, which can make the insulin be absorbed more quickly than usual
    • injecting the shot into a muscle instead of the fatty layer under the skin
    • injecting the insulin into a part of the body used a lot in a particular sport .

    All of these situations increase the chances that a person may get hypoglycemia.

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    What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring

    Continuous glucose monitoring is another way to check your glucose levels. Most CGM systems use a tiny sensor that you insert under your skin. The sensor measures glucose levels in the fluids between your bodys cells every few minutes and can show changes in your glucose level throughout the day and night. If the CGM system shows that your glucose is too high or too low, you should check your glucose with a blood glucose meter before making any changes to your eating plan, physical activity, or medicines. A CGM system is especially useful for people who use insulin and have problems with low blood glucose.

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    How Do You Lower A1c Dieibdies

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    After You Have Low Blood Sugar

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    If your low blood sugar was mild , you can return to your normal activities once your blood sugar is back in its target range.

    After you have low blood sugar, your early symptoms for low blood sugar are less noticeable for 48 to 72 hours. Be sure to check your blood sugar more often to keep it from getting too low again, especially before eating, physical activity, or driving a car.

    If you used glucagon because of a severe low , immediately call your doctor for emergency medical treatment. If you have had lows several times close together , you should also tell you doctor. They may want to change your diabetes plan.

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    Start With These 6 Tips:

  • Cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet. Eating foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugar increases blood sugar and insulin levels, which may lead to diabetes over time. Examples of refined carbohydrates include white bread, potatoes and many breakfast cereals. Instead, limit sugar and choose complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, oatmeal and whole grains.
  • Quit smoking if you are a current tobacco user. Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Quitting has been shown to reduce this risk of type 2 diabetes over time.
  • Watch your portions. Avoiding large portion sizes can help reduce insulin and blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of diabetes. Eating too much food at one time has been shown to cause higher blood sugar and insulin levels in people at risk of diabetes.
  • Aim for 30. Try to be intentionally active by taking a walk, dancing, lifting weights or swimming for 30 minutes, five days per week. If you get no or very little physical activityand you sit during most of your daythen you lead a sedentary lifestyle, and it’s time to get moving.
  • Drink water. Drinking water instead of other beverages may help control blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes. Sticking with water most of the time helps you avoid beverages that are high in sugar, preservatives and other unneeded ingredients.
  • Learn About The Glycemic Index

    Foods low on the glycemic index release energy slowly into the bloodstream and cause only minor changes in blood sugar levels. These include animal protein, nuts and seeds, oils and fats, beans and lentils, whole grains, many vegetables, and some fruits .

    A few examples of high glycemic foods are bread, crackers, corn, white rice, white potatoes, muffins, cookies, fruit juices, and sports drinks. Minimize these foods as much as possible, but if you are going to eat them, have them unprocessed in their natural state with their natural fiber intact and pair them with foods high in fiber or protein to slow down the injection of sugar into your bloodstream.

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