Thursday, November 24, 2022

How To Measure Your Blood Sugar

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Read And Record Your Results

How to Measure Your Blood Sugar – Mayo Clinic Patient Education
  • Wait for your meter to show the result.

  • If you see an error message, recheck using a fresh strip and a fresh drop of blood. Also recheck if the glucose numbers aren’t what you expecttoo low without symptoms, or too high for no reason.

  • Write the results in your log book. Bring your log book to you next appointment.

Recommended Blood Sugar Targets For Most People With Diabetes*

Your targets may not be the same as the examples in this chart. Your targets are important and should be specific to you.

A1C**
4.0 to 7.0 5.0 to 10.0

* This information is based on the Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada and is a guide.** A1C is a measurement of your average blood sugar control for the last two to three months and approximately 50 per cent of the value comes from the last 30 days.

Tips For Using Glucose Meters

When using a glucose meter to check your blood sugar levels, its important to have clean fingers, as the accuracy of your test can be impacted by the presence of food or contaminants on your fingers. For those times when you cant wash your hands before you test, you may want to carry some finger wipes with you. However, if you do clean your finger first, be sure to have it dry before testing.

Just like insulin, glucose meters and strips can be affected by low or high temperatures, so remember not to leave your blood glucose monitor in your car, in direct sunlight, or anywhere that gets extremely hot or cold. Some types of meters are more sensitive than others to high and low temperatures. See the insert in the meter package or visit the manufacturers website for more specific storage instructions.

It might be tempting to leave your glucometer at home however, knowing how your blood sugar levels are trending will help you avoid instances of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia . Remember to pack your lancing device too, its usually in the case with the meter so double check that you have it in it.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar

A Simple Blood Sugar Level Guide

The symptoms of low blood sugar include:

  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision

More severe symptoms can range from confusion and inability to concentrate, to seizure or stroke.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list and you should always consult a physician. However, if youre constantly feeling fatigued or weak, and the rest of your life is in order, its definitely something to consider.

NOTE – Extreme hunger is a bad sign: If youre ravenously hungry even though youve been eating like horse, your body is trying to tell you I NEED MORE GLUCOSE. Get checked out ASAP.

Did you know?: High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, also exists and is characterized by a rapid heartbeat, insatiable thirst, frequent trips to the bathroom for #1, and blurred vision. Having your blood sugar too high is also dangerous.

How to Measure Your Blood Sugar

I cant wait to stab myself today – Nobody

Blood glucose is measured using a kind of confusing system that exists out of our stubbornness to change outdated systems .

In the USA, its measured using milligrams per deciliter .

In the UK and commonwealth countries, its measured using millimoles per liter . You can adjust a study done with the British system to the American system by multiplying the British numbers by 18.

Hope thats all making sense.

Now comes the fun part: NEEDLES.

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How To Test Your Blood Glucose

  • Prepare your kit ready for testing.
    This should include: your meter , a test strip to hand , the finger pricker , cotton wool and a monitoring diary to record the results
  • Ensure that the finger pricking device has been loaded with a new lancet
  • Wash and dry your hands to ensure that the result is not influenced by any sugars that may be present on your fingers
    A fuller drop of blood will be obtained if your fingers are warm, so its worth warming your hands up if you can. Be careful not to overheat your fingers so as not to hurt yourself.
  • Put a test strip into your meter
  • Prick your finger with the lancing device at the sides of the finger as there are less nerve ending here than at the tips or the pads.
    Recommended finger: the World Health Organisation recommends the middle or ring fingers are used for blood glucose tests . You may want to avoid using your little finger due to the skin being thin.
    You may need to squeeze your finger a little until blood appears if you find you need to squeeze hard, try pricking a finger again.
  • When blood appears, check the meter is ready and then transfer the blood onto the test strip and wait a few seconds most meters these days provide a result within 10 seconds and often sooner.
  • If the test is unsuccessful, repeat from step 4.
  • If the test is successful, clean any blood off your finger with the cotton wool if necessary
  • Record the result in a monitoring diary
  • FREE blood glucose levels chart

    Which Type Of Device Is Right For Me

    CGM devices are probably more convenient. Unlike SBMG devices, CGM devices dont require you to remember to test your blood sugar multiple times a day. They also dont need you to prick your finger, so they can be less painful.

    If you feel like SBMG devices are a hassle, talk to your provider about getting a CGM device. Theyll want to help, especially if it makes you more inclined to monitor your blood sugar regularly.

    When it comes to cost, insurance coverage can be a concern for some patients. Insurance plans will generally cover a few SMBG devices. CGM devices, on the other hand, are newer to the market so fewer insurance plans tend to cover them.

    And if you dont have insurance or the SMBG device you want is too expensive for you, know that there are ways for you to saveor even get them for free. See here for information on savings programs for SMBG monitors and test strips.

    Read Also: How High Should Blood Sugar Be Before Going To Hospital

    What Is Hba1c Do I Need To Monitor My Hba1c Too

    While a glucometer or CGM gives you the at-the-moment sugar level, HbA1c tells you the average blood sugar level over three months. This is typically measured every 3 – 6 months at your regular check-up with your doctor.

    Why is it important to check your HbA1c regularly?

    The HbA1c gives an indication of how well controlled your diabetes is. As your blood sugar level can fluctuate minute to minute, the HbA1c gives you and your doctor an idea of what your blood sugar level is on average. This allows you and your doctor to monitor the control of your diabetes at each review , and make adjustments to your treatment plan.

    Lowering your HbA1c can bring long term benefits. Two large-scale studies the UK Prospective Diabetes Study and the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial demonstrated that improving HbA1c by 1% for people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes cuts the risk of microvascular complications by 25%.Microvascular complications include:

    • Neuropathy

    • Diabetic nephropathy

    Research has also shown that people with type 2 diabetes who reduce their HbA1c level by 1% are:

    • 19% less likely to suffer cataracts

    • 16% less likely to suffer heart failure

    • 43% less likely to suffer amputation or death due to peripheral vascular disease

    What should my HbA1c level be?

    Gaining Insights From Routine Blood Glucose Testing

    How To Measure Your Blood Sugar | Gestational Diabetes Blood Sugar

    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?

    Read Also: What Happens When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

    The Best Blood Sugar Supplements: How Supplementation Can Help

    Supplements for blood sugar can help fill in the gaps of your diet and promote your overall health. Some supplements are even specially formulated to help regulate blood sugar levels and provide other healthy benefits like weight loss and muscle building.

    The best way to keep regulate blood sugar is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.

    Personally, we struggle to always stick to a healthy diet, especially since the world is full of so many unhealthy options. Thats where a clean, all-in-one supplement comes in.

    There are so many blood sugar supplements. Its best to stick with only the most potent ones

    One issue we found with blood sugar supplements is that there are just too many. When we first started researching, it seemed like everything could potentially promote healthy blood sugar levels.

    Through rigorous researching and testing, we discovered a few ingredients that actually proved to help. Berberine, rock lotus, bitter melon, banaba leaf, and a few others were the most effective.

    Getting all of these potent ingredients in one capsule allowed us to optimize our nutrient intake. Instead of just taking shots in the dark and hoping you get enough of each substance, you can be 100% sure youre getting all of the most powerful blood sugar supplements PLUS extra benefits like antioxidants. Just one capsule 3 times daily is all you need.

    It works for us, so it could work for you too!

    References

    Blood Sugar Levels: What’s Normal What’s Not And How To Measure Them

    What blood glucose levels mean and what range is healthy.

    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 daily, measure your waist-to-hip ratio, 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 them. However, consistently high blood sugar levels can coexist with Type 2 diabetes and cause serious health conditions like kidney disease, nerve problems or stroke.

    Our Health & Wellness newsletter puts the best products, updates and advice in your inbox.

    I hope I haven’t scared you away, but when it comes to our health it’s important to know exactly what’s going on inside of our bodies. Without further ado, let’s get into what blood sugar means, how to measure it and everything else you need to know.

    Read more: How to eat less sugar without feeling deprived

    Recommended Reading: How Low Should Blood Sugar Go

    What Should My Blood Sugar Goals Be

    Blood sugar goals may be different for each person, and can change throughout the day. The American Diabetes Association recommends these blood sugar goals:

    • Before meals: 80 to 130 mg/dL
    • Two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL
    • Before bedtime: 100-150 mg/dL. If the level is less than 100 mg/dL, have a snack.

    Whats My Target Range

    The Big Picture: Checking your Blood Glucose

    You might be asking, what’s the normal range for blood sugar levels? The answer is, there is a healthy range that you should ideally be aiming for. The infographics above show the general guidelines, but your individual target range for your blood sugar levels may be different. Youll healthcare team will agree with you what it is.

    Youll get different readings at different times of the day, depending on things like what youve eaten and how much you are moving around. Heres a guide to help you get started on finding your target range:

    If youre a child with Type 1 diabetes

    • when you wake up and before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
    • after meals: 5 to 9mmol/l

    If youre an adult with Type 1 diabetes

    • when you wake up and before meals: 5 to 7mmol/l
    • before meals at other times of the day: 4 to 7mmol/l

    If you have Type 2 diabetes

    • before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
    • two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l

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    How Does Diabetes Affect Blood Sugar

    Diabetes is a disease where your body doesnt produce insulin or doesnt utilize it well. Insulin is the hormone that pulls glucose from the blood into your cells to be used for energy. Without it, your blood sugar levels will be TOO HIGH, since none of it is being utilized by your body.

    The disease has 2 main forms:

  • Type-1 Diabetes: Your body produces no insulin. You must get it from an external source to stay alive.
  • Type-2 Diabetes: Your body doesnt produce enough insulin or you dont utilize well. It can be developed at ANY AGE .
  • There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed. Your goal should be to keep your blood sugar levels as close to regular levels as possible. The American Diabetes Association recommends 80-130 mg pre-meal and below 180 mg/dl post-meal for non-pregnant people living with diabetes .

    Tip: Eat foods with a Low Glycemic Load to Lower Your Risk of Diabetes

    Glycemic load is a scientific way of measuring a foods digestible carbs . This is contrast to glycemic index, which ONLY measures a foods effect on your blood sugar levels. There is heavy scientific evidence that foods with low glycemic index reduce risk of type-2 diabetes .

    These foods include:

  • Cashews
  • Carrots
  • Avoid high glycemic load foods such as french fries , sugary drinks, candy bars, and even white rice as much as possible.

    FAST FACT – 100 MILLION Americans are now living with diabetes or prediabetes according to the CDC . Thats a staggering number.

    How The Test Is Done

    You can buy a testing kit from a pharmacy without a prescription. Your provider can help you choose the right kit, set up the meter, and teach you how to use it.

    Most kits have:

    • Test strips
    • Small needles that fit into a spring-loaded plastic device
    • A logbook for recording your numbers that can be downloaded and viewed at home or at your provider’s office

    To do the test, prick your finger with the needle and place a drop of blood on a special strip. This strip measures how much glucose is in your blood. Some monitors use blood from areas of the body other than the fingers, reducing discomfort. The meter shows your blood sugar results as a number on a digital display. If your vision is poor, talking glucose meters are available so that you don’t have to read the numbers.

    Be aware that no meter or strip is accurate 100% of the time. If your blood sugar value is unexpectedly high or low, measure again with a new strip. Do not use strips if the container has been left open or if the strip has gotten wet.

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    Why Do We Need To Measure Our Blood Sugar Levels

    If your blood sugar levels are too high from your target range, this could result in Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

    As blood sugar levels increase, the pancreas will eventually not be able to produce enough insulin to meet the bodys demands, so the body becomes resistant to insulin, which will then lead to Type 2 Diabetes.

    What Is Your Blood Sugar

    How to Measure Your Blood Sugar

    Your blood sugar, or glucose , is the sugar content found in your blood. Its a vital source of energy for your organs and muscles.

    Think of it like the fuel in your gas tank. Without gas pumping through your cars system, youre going to slow down and eventually come to a halt. Same with blood sugar, which is why people with low blood sugar often feel tired.

    You get it from the foods that you eat, and then a complex system involving the pancreas, liver, and small intestine regulates its distribution throughout your body. Your body is SUPER picky and only likes this stuff up to a certain level.

    Well get to glucose levels in a minute, but lets cover what glucose is first.

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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.

    Are Home A1c Test Kits Accurate

    Most home A1C kits are considered to be as accurate as lab A1C tests. The results are accurate within plus/minus 0.5 percentage points, which is about the same as most lab results.

    To ensure accuracy, look for products that are NGSP-certified and/or have FDA-clearance or CE-mark. All the products mentioned in this article are NGSP-certified.

    When I tried the A1CNow SelfCheck at home , the A1C results came back with exactly the same result as the A1C lab test I had done a few days earlier .

    Read Also: How To Counter Low Blood Sugar

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