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How To Measure Blood Sugar Levels At Home

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How to test your blood glucose (sugar) levels

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Blood Sugar Levels: Whats Normal Whats Not And How To Measure

What do blood glucose levels mean and what range is healthy? Heres what you need to know.

Sugar can lead to high blood sugar and contributes to the development of diabetes.

We all want to keep track of our health in every way we can you may weigh yourself, keep track of your blood pressure or monitor your resting heart rate. But how close of an eye do you keep on your blood sugar?

People with diabetes are all too familiar with their blood sugar levels, but the rest of us might not even think about it much. However, consistently high blood sugar levels can coexist with Type 2 diabetes and cause serious health conditions like kidney disease, nerve problems or stroke.

While thats no reason to panic, when it comes to our health, its important to know exactly whats going on inside of our bodies. Without further ado, lets get into what blood sugar means, how to measure it and everything else you need to know.

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Question 5 Of : Download Article

  • You dont measure them, but a doctor will order the test if they think its needed. Once your doctor schedules the test, schedule an appointment at a laboratory. During your appointment, technicians will collect a blood sample from your arm. Once the blood sample is tested, the lab will let you know if your insulin levels were especially low or high.XTrustworthy SourceMedlinePlusCollection of medical information sourced from the US National Library of MedicineGo to source
  • Ask the lab when they expect your results to be ready.
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    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.

    When To Check Blood Sugar

    50 home blood glucose meter blood glucose test strips to measure blood ...

    How often you check your blood sugar may depend on several factors, including:

    • The type of diabetes you have
    • If you take insulin or other medication to manage your diabetes

    Those who have well-controlled diabetes and are not taking insulin may not need to check their blood sugar as often. However, it is crucial to work with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate frequency.

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    How To Take A Urine Glucose Test

    At your appointment with your healthcare provider, you will be given a container to collect a sample of your urine and instructions on the clean catch method to help ensure the sample is sterile. Then a healthcare professional will show you to a restroom so you can collect the sample in privacy.

    Once you have collected an ounce or two of urine, you will return the container to the healthcare provider, and it will be sent to the lab for analysis.

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    When Should I Check My Childs Blood Sugar

    The diabetes care team will tell you when to check your childs blood sugar. Most kids and teens need to test:

    • before each meal
    • before, during, and after exercise

    Sometimes you may need to test more often, even while your child sleeps. For example, if:

    • Your child was recently diagnosed with diabetes.
    • Your child is sick.
    • Your child is having a lot of high or low blood sugars.
    • There are changes in your childs diabetes treatment or daily habits.

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    What To Do For A Low Blood Sugar Reading

    You have low blood sugar when you get a reading below 70 mg/dl. Without treatment, this can damage the nervous system and cause seizures. If your blood sugar drops to this level and you are an adult, you need to consume about 15 grams of carbohydrates to raise it to 70 mg/dl or higher.

    Wait 15 minutes and check your blood sugar. If it is still lower than 70 mg/dl, consume an additional 15 g of carbs. Repeat these steps until your reading is 70 mg/dl or more. Eat a snack until your next meal.

    If you often have low blood sugar levels, check your blood sugar level before driving and address it if it is low.

    Taking Glipizide Gliclazide Or Glibenclamide

    How I measure my blood glucose (sugar) levels at home // Type 2 diabetes

    When you first start glipizide, gliclazide or glibenclamide, you will need to test your blood glucose levels before meals and 2 hours after meals. Once your dose is stabilised, you can do less testing.

    Always test your blood glucose levels if you have symptoms of low blood glucose, such as feeling shaky, sweaty or suddenly unwell, suddenly feeling very hungry, feeling dizzy, or have a rapid change in behaviour or irritability. These are symptoms of hypoglycaemia.

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    Special Requirements Needed To Use A Cgm

    Twice a day, you may need to check the CGM itself. Youll test a drop of blood on a standard glucose meter. The glucose reading should be similar on both devices.

    Youll also need to replace the CGM sensor every 3 to 7 days, depending on the model.

    For safety its important to take action when a CGM alarm sounds about high or low blood glucose. You should follow your treatment plan to bring your glucose into the target range, or get help.

    When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar

    It depends on which type of diabetes you have:

    • Type 1 diabetes. Itâs up to your doctor. They could suggest you test anywhere between four and 10 times a day. For example, you could test before meals and snacks, before and after exercise, before bed, and even during the night. You may also need to check more often if youâre sick, making changes to your daily routine, or starting a new medication.
    • Type 2 diabetes. It depends on what you take to treat your diabetes:
    • Insulin. The doctor may tell you to test a few times a day, depending on the type and amount of insulin you use. Youâll probably test before meals and at bedtime if you’re taking multiple daily injections. You may need to test only twice daily, before breakfast and dinner, if you only use a long-acting insulin.
    • Medications. If you use drugs to manage diabetes, your doctor will tell you how often to check your blood sugar.
    • Lifestyle changes. If youâre relying on diet and exercise, you may not need to test your blood sugar daily.

    Show Sources

    American Diabetes Association: “Choosing a Blood Glucose Meter,” tion: “Standards of Medial Care in Diabetes — 2014,” “A1C and eAG,” âChecking Your Blood Glucose.â

    Mayo Clinic: âBlood sugar testing: Why, when and how,â âType 2 diabetes.â

    The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.

    National Diabetes Foundation Program.

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    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.

    What Causes Low Blood Sugar

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    Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.

    Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:

    Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.

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    Common Problems To Avoid

    Its important to regularly maintain your glucose meter to avoid potential problems. Follow these tips to ensure good functioning:

    • Make sure you keep batteries in stock that fit your glucometer.
    • Make sure your test strips are not expired, as expired test strips can provide an inaccurate result.
    • After taking a test strip out, close the lid tightly. Too much light or moisture can damage the strip.
    • Clean your device at regular intervals and run quality-control checks when prompted.
    • Wash hands well before testing since food residues can affect the number.
    • Let the alcohol dry since it can cause false lows.

    Blood Sugar Reading After A Meal

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    How To Measure Your A1c At Home

    The A1C or Hemoglobin A1C test is something everyone living with diabetes should be familiar with.

    It doesnt show the whole picture of your diabetes management, but it can be a great indicator of whether your average blood sugar levels are within a healthy range.

    Today, Ill show you how to easily and accurately measure your A1C at home.

    Well also discuss what an A1C test actually tells you, why its a relevant test, and how to interpret the results.

    How To Do A Blood Sugar Test At Home

    How to Use Glucometer at Home? Test Your Blood Sugar Level

    Most people with diabetes need to regularly test their blood sugar. This can be done at home by pricking your fingertip and getting a drop of blood on a test strip that gets read by the meter. The process is fairly quick and easy. Ask your doctor how often you should check your blood sugar levels throughout the day.

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    Blood Sugar Testing Equipment

    Testing your blood glucose level is the only accurate way of knowing whether it is too high or low. You cannot accurately judge your blood sugar level just by how you feel.

    You can check your blood sugar level using the following equipment:

    • Blood glucose meter a finger-prick device is used to draw a drop of blood from your finger, which you put on a special stick. You then use the meter to see how much glucose is in the blood.
    • Flash glucose monitoring this system uses sensor technology to test glucose levels without needing to prick a finger. A sensor worn on the back of the arm connects to a reader or mobile phone application, which stores your glucose levels day and night.
    • Continuous glucose monitoring device a sensor is placed under the skin, which measures your glucose levels 24 hours a day. CGM is useful for people who have ongoing problems controlling their blood sugar level. The cost, including consumables , is around $5,000 per year.

    The Australian Government provides access to subsidised continuous glucose monitoring products through the National Diabetes Services Scheme .

    Products that are subsidised by the NDSS, such as needles, syringes, blood glucose test strips, urine test strips and insulin pump consumables, are available from NDSS Access Points, usually your local community pharmacy.

    What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels

    They’re less than 100 mg/dL after not eating for at least 8 hours. And they’re less than 140 mg/dL 2 hours after eating.

    During the day, levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals. For most people without diabetes, blood sugar levels before meals hover around 70 to 80 mg/dL. For some people, 60 is normal for others, 90.

    What’s a low sugar level? It varies widely, too. Many people’s glucose won’t ever fall below 60, even with prolonged fasting. When you diet or fast, the liver keeps your levels normal by turning fat and muscle into sugar. A few people’s levels may fall somewhat lower.

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    Are Continuous Glucose Monitoring Devices Easy To Use

    CGM devices are complex little machines. They do require some upfront time to understand their technical aspects.

    For example, you will need to learn how to:

    • Insert the sensor properly.
    • Transfer data to a computer or your phone.
    • Respond to and make changes to your care plan based on the collected data.

    Are There Benefits To Using A Cgm Device And An Insulin Pump

    How to Measure Your Blood Sugar By Yourself

    While both devices offer unique benefits, CGM systems and pumps that work together can offer additional benefits. Some pumps will make certain insulin delivery adjustments automatically based on data from a CGM. Even these joint systems still require user input and management but can offer an added level of safety and a quicker response to increasing and decreasing glucose levels.

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    What Do The Numbers Mean

    Now the challenging part: How do you know if you blood sugar numbers are good or bad?

    First off, its important to know that everyone will have different blood sugar goals. Your provider should let you know what numbers you need to aim for. Your goal range will depend on multiple factors, including your health and age, the medications you take, and how far your diabetes has progressed.

    Second, your numbers will change depending on what and when you eat. Your numbers will rise after eating and will gradually go down after you finish eating. The American Diabetes Association recommends that most people have a blood sugar reading of 80 mg/dL to 130 mg/dL before a meal, and less than 180 mg/dL 1 to 2 hours after a meal. But this is also one of the reasons why most providers use a hemoglobin A1C test on top of your at-home blood glucose tests. A1C is a measure of your average blood glucose over the past 2 to 3 months.

    Why Test Blood Sugar Levels

    If you take certain medication, like insulin or sulphonylureas, checking your blood sugars is a vital part of living with diabetes. It can help you work out when you need to take more medication, when you need to eat something or for when you want to get up and move around more.

    Routine checks can help you know when you might be starting to go too low or too high . Its a way of getting to know your body and how it works. It can help you and your healthcare team spot patterns too. Do you write your results down? You might find that helpful.

    But importantly, it will help you stay healthy and prevent serious diabetes complications now and in the future. By complications, we mean serious problems in places like your feet and your eyes. This happens because too much sugar in the blood damages your blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow around your body. This can lead to very serious problems like sight loss and needing an amputation.

    The higher your blood sugar levels are and the longer theyre high for, the more at risk you are.

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