What Are Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, are a measurement that show how much glucose you have in your blood. Glucose is a sugar that you get from food and drink. Your blood sugar levels go up and down throughout the day and for people living with diabetes these changes are larger and happen more often than in people who don’t have diabetes.
You can check your sugar levels yourself by doing a finger-prick test, by using a flash glucose monitor or with a continuous glucose monitor . You can do this a number of times a day helping you keep an eye on your levels as you go about your life and help you work out what to eat and how much medication to take. Find out your ideal target range.
But not everyone with diabetes needs to check their levels like this. Youll need to if you take certain diabetes medication. Always talk to your healthcare team if youre not sure whether thats you theyll give you advice on whether to check them yourself and how often.
And theres also something called an HbA1c, which measures your average blood sugar level from the previous few months. Everyone with diabetes is entitled to this check.
High blood sugar levels increase your risk of developing serious complications. However you manage your diabetes, stay in the know about your blood sugar levels.
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.
Dont Assume Your Blood Sugar Metre Is Correct
It is quite common for diabetic patients to simply assume that their blood sugar meter is working fine and showing the correct results.
However, it is possible for your blood glucose meter to show wrong results, especially if it has become worn out due to excessive usage or rough handling.
You may also get an incorrect reading if you do not follow the right method of testing your blood sugar. Using expired strips or the strips that are not designed to be used with your glucometer can also give wrong results.
You can check that your glucose meter is working properly by comparing the results with that of the laboratory testing.
This means you can test your blood sugar at a laboratory once in three months or so and then, compare the results of this test with that of home testing. If the results are similar or have a minimal difference, you can assume your device is working perfectly.
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Establish A Routine For How Often And When You Should Test Your Blood Sugar
Work with your doctor to plan your routine. They may suggest checking it while youre fasting, before and after meals, or before bedtime. Each persons situation is different, so its important to decide on an arrangement that will work for you.
When youve set that schedule, make checking your blood part of your daily routine. Build it into your day. Many meters have alarms you can set to help you to remember to test. When testing becomes a part of your day, youll be less likely to forget.
How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar
The number of times that you check your blood sugar will depend on the type of diabetes that you have and the type of medicine you take to treat your diabetes. For example, people who take insulin may need to check more often than people who do not take insulin. Talk with your health care team about how often to check your blood sugar.
The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up , before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime. Talk with your health care team about what times are best for you to check your blood sugar.
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What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too Low
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia . It means your blood sugar level drops below 70. Having low blood sugar is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. Anyone with diabetes can have low blood sugar. You have a greater chance of having low blood sugar if you take insulin or certain pills for diabetes.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry, check your blood sugar. Even if you feel none of these things, but think you may have low blood sugar, check it.
If your meter shows that your blood sugar is lower than 70, do one of the following things right away:
- chew 4 glucose tablets
- drink 4 ounces of fruit juice
- drink 4 ounces of regular soda, not diet soda or
- chew 4 pieces of hard candy
After taking one of these treatments, wait for 15 minutes, then check your blood sugar again. Repeat these steps until your blood sugar is 70 or above. After your blood sugar gets back up to 70 or more, eat a snack if your next meal is 1 hour or more away.
If you often have low blood sugar, check your blood sugar before driving and treat it if it is low.
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.
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What Should I Do Next
If you experience any symptoms of prediabetes or you have risk factors for developing prediabetes, it is important to get tested for as soon as possible. Some people are at higher risk and need regular testing. If you are 45 years or older or have other risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, you will require more frequent testing. By diagnosing and treating the prediabetes early, it means you can decrease the risk of developing or delay any further health complications of prediabetes, for example nerve damage, blindness, and heart disease. It is important to know that diagnosing prediabetes should not rely solely on using a Hb A1c test.
Once you learn what your prediabetes status is, or if you already have prediabetes, the next most important step is to become educated. You can join the Personalised 12-week Prediabetes Program to help you learn how to prevent or delay prediabetes. The prediabetes program is personalised and tailored, giving you more of the content that you want. The program also helps you to stay motivated and teaches you what changes you need to make. The first week is free and full of helpful and crucial information.
If you would like to be a part of a supportive program, with easy to understand video content covering all aspects of diabetes, join our Personalised Prediabetes 12-week Program today! Donât forget, when you sign up, you receive the first week free!
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 To Check Blood Sugar Without A Meter
Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body either doesnt make enough insulin or doesnt use insulin properly or both. This can lead to a higher than normal blood sugar level.
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to complications, such as:
- heart disease
- nerve damage
For these reasons, its important to monitor your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
Prior to using meters, people with diabetes would monitor their blood sugar by testing their urine. This method, however, wasnt as accurate, nor did it provide real-time results.
If you self-test your blood sugar several times a day using a glucometer, or meter, it requires that you prick your finger to draw blood to test. Due to the discomfort of this method, you might look for a way to monitor your level without this tool.
If finger pricks are very bothersome for you, dont worry theres hope. Advances in blood sugar monitoring technology could mean no more finger pricks in the future.
If you have diabetes, there are several portable devices you can use to check your blood sugar level and not all of them require a finger prick.
What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
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How Do I Check
People with diabetes check their blood sugar levels by poking their fingertips and using a blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor to measure the blood glucose level at that moment. Read on to find out how to use a blood glucose meter. To find out more about CGMs, start by talking to your doctor.
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.
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Eversense Continuous Glucose Monitoring System Accurate Blood Glucose Stats On Your Phone
The Eversense Continuous Glucose Monitoring System is manufactured for accuracy that lasts for longer. Over and above that, its easy to use and is more beneficial in comparison to traditional CGM.
More interestingly, it alerts youin three different ways i.e., visually, auditory, as well as on-body vibealerts. Thus, offering you an extra advantage of safety even when you aresleeping.
The developer of this CGM system is Senseonics Inc. and it comprises of a fluorescence-based sensor which is implantable, a mobile app and a smart transmitter.
Every 5 minutes, you get real-time monitoring of glucose with this CGM system and that too for more than three months at a time.
Whats more? The patient can see the trends and alerts as well as glucose values on its display via a compatible mobile device.
The Following Are Some Pointers On How To Utilize A Blood Sugar Meter:
- Make sure the meters are fresh and ready to use and cover the test strip container securely after withdrawing a test strip. When test strips are subjected to dampness, they can be contaminated.
- Use soap and warm water to wash your hands. Allow plenty of time for drying. To get blood into your finger, stimulate your hand. Alcohol dries the skin out too much, so avoid it.
- Prick your finger with a syringe. Gently squeeze a small sample of blood onto the test strip from the base of the finger.
- Insert the strip into the meter the measurement will emerge after a few seconds. Keep track of your progress and keep a journal. Make a note of anything that may have caused the reading to fall outside of your desired range, such as food, activity, or other factors. Place the lancet and strip in a garbage container and dispose of them appropriately.
- Dont share lancets as well as other blood sugar monitoring systems with anyone, including members of the family.
Its also a good idea to check your HbA1c level. Several home glucose monitors can show you your average blood sugar level, which is similar to the HbA1c test.
If You Dont Have Diabetes Should You Monitor Your Blood Sugar
Several companies are working hard to make this sort of ad a reality, as they begin marketing implantable blood sugar measuring devices to people without diabetes. Called continuous glucose monitoring systems, or CGMs, they are often used by people who do have diabetes. These companies could reap enormous profits by convincing healthy people to start monitoring blood sugar. Already, many of us monitor our weight, heart rate, or steps per day.
CGMs use tiny sensor wires, or filaments, that pierce the skin to frequently and easily assess blood sugar levels. The filaments remain in place, usually on the upper arm or abdomen, protected by an adhesive patch. Results are displayed on a receiver or transmitted to the users phone.
What Tests Do I Need To Do At Home
- Blood test: The blood test is used to measure the amount of sugar in your blood. It will help you find out if your meal plan, exercise, and medicine are working to control your blood sugar.
- Urine test: The urine test looks for ketones in your urine. This can be done if you are sick or if your blood sugar level is very high. Meters are also available that can test your blood for ketones.
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Reasons For Not Getting The Accurate Readings On The Glucose Meter
Many reasons are there that can affect the accuracy of a glucometer. If you want to get accurate results, you should avoid the mistakes that can lead to inaccurate results. Additionally, follow the instructions properly for sampling, calibrating your device, and taking a reading. It helps you to get accurate results and take the correct treatment to manage your blood sugar levels.
There are chances that you may get an inaccurate reading on a glucometer. Some possible reasons include:
How Do I Check My Blood Sugar
You use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This device uses a small drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar level. You can get the meter and supplies in a drug store or by mail.
Read the directions that come with your meter to learn how to check your blood sugar. Your health care team also can show you how to use your meter. Write the date, time, and result of the test in your blood sugar record. Take your blood sugar record and meter to each visit and talk about your results with your health care team.
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What If The Blood Glucose Check Result Doesnt Sound Right
If youre not convinced that a result is correct, heres a suggested check list:
- Have the strips expired?
- Is the meter too hot or too cold?
- Is the calibration code correct?
- Is the battery low or flat?
All meters will give a different result with a different drop of blood. As long as there is not a big difference there is not usually cause for concern.
The accuracy of all meters can be checked with meter-specific liquid drops called control solutions. If you are concerned, you can arrange to have your meter checked with a control solution. Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator or pharmacist can help you with this.
Principles On Which The Glucometers Work
The three most common and popular glucometer principle includes:
Some meters and strips are coded. If you are using the glucose oxidase meter, it can interfere with your blood oxygen level and you will get the altered results. Similarly, glucose dehydrogenase can interfere with maltose and galactose contained in the solution for infusion. Therefore, the accuracy of the test result gets altered if you use the test strips of one glucometer on the other. This happens when the code on the test strips does not correspond to the code setting of your glucometer.
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