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.
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.
How Do I Keep Track
Even though blood glucose meters can help you track your blood sugar test results, it’s still a good idea to write down the results. This makes it easier for you and your diabetes health care team to see patterns and trends in your blood sugar levels.
Writing down all your results in a log book or journal can help. You can also download special programs that allow you to track your blood sugar readings on your phone or computer. You might need to record other information too, such as what you were eating or how active you were. This information will help you learn more about how certain situations like eating or exercising affect your diabetes control.
The more information you, your parents, and your diabetes health team have, the easier it is to keep your blood sugar levels on the right track.
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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.
When Should I Test My Blood Sugar
You may need to check your blood sugar several times a day, such as before meals or exercise, at bedtime, before driving, and when you think your blood sugar levels are low.
Everyone is different, so ask your doctor when and how often you should check your blood sugar. If you’re sick, you’ll probably need to test your blood sugar more often.
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Why Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels
Keeping an eye on blood sugar levels has many benefits. For example, testing before and after meals helps you see how eating certain foods affects those levels. Knowing this can help you adjust your food choices and medicine doses.
Exercise also can change your blood sugar levels, so test them regularly when you’re active. This way you can tell whether your dose of diabetes medicine should be adjusted as you step up your physical activity.
And because being sick can mess up how much diabetes medicine your body needs, know your blood sugar levels when you’re feeling ill. This can help you and your doctor to decide if you should use less or more medicine, depending on your diabetes management plan.
If you manage your diabetes on your own most of the time, checking blood sugar levels also helps reassure your parents that you’re taking care of yourself.
Blood Sugar Levels And Your Medications
Regular monitoring of your blood sugar level will help you assess whether your diabetes is well controlled or not. It will also give you an idea of the effectiveness of the medication you are using.
It should be noted that not all anti-diabetic drugs have the same effectiveness in all patients. Some patients are able to achieve good glycemic control with certain anti-diabetic drugs while the same medications may fail to produce favorable results in other patients.
Hence, it is important to check your blood sugar level regularly in the initial few weeks to months of starting the treatment for diabetes. This will allow you to detect an increase or decrease in your blood sugar levels. The unfavorable response to the medications will help your physician change the treatment plan by modifying the dosages or the drugs. The process will have to be continued until your blood sugar levels are stabilized.
Similarly, it is also important to check your blood sugar levels frequently at any time later when you change your medications or their dosages.
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What Is The Recommended Target Blood Sugar Range
The ADA has recommended the following range of blood sugar level that patients with diabetes should ideally maintain:
- Your fasting blood sugar to be tested in the morning before breakfast or before meals should be within a range of 80 to 130 mg/dL or 4.4 to 7.2 mmol/L
- Your postprandial blood sugar tested about 2 hours after meals should be less than 180 mg/dL or 10.0 mmol/L
However, the ADA notes that the goal for diabetic control may vary for each patient depending on a combination of factors related to the patientâs health and hence, should be individualized.
This means the target blood sugar range for each person depends on several factors like his or her age and general health.
You can ask your doctor the blood sugar range that could be normal or reasonable for you to attain and maintain. Your doctor will be able to set the most appropriate target blood sugar level for you based on factors, such as:
- The type and severity of your diabetes
- How long you have had diabetes
- Pre-existing diseases like hypertension, high cholesterol, or obesity
- The presence of diabetic complications
- Pregnancy status
- Your overall health
Generally, healthy adults below 60 years of age can aim for a slightly lower blood sugar target. Also, some people may need a slightly higher blood sugar target, including those who:
How Do I Measure My Blood Sugar Level
Follow your doctors advice and the instructions that come with the BGM or CGM. Different meters work differently, so be sure to check with your doctor for advice specifically for you. With a BGM, youll usually follow the steps below:
- Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test.
- Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that youre going to prick. For most glucose meters, you will prick your fingertip. However, with some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or the fleshy part of your hand. Ask your doctor what area you should use with your meter.
- Prick yourself with a sterile lancet to get a drop of blood.
- Place the drop of blood on the test strip.
- Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into your glucose meter.
- The meter will give you a number for your blood sugar level.
If you have a CGM, youll follow the insertion directions that come with the monitor. Once its warmed up, the transmitter wirelessly sends the data to your computer or smartphone.
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Blood Glucose Monitoring: Devices And How To Use Them
Monitoring your blood sugar is a vital part of diabetes manage. Your diabetes care team will help you decide how often and when to check. Often people are told that they should check their blood sugar via finger stick at least four times if they dont use a continuous glucose monitor before each meal and at bedtime. And then are advised to check if they feel low or high, before exercise or driving, or more often when you are sick or other unusual circumstances that may affect your blood sugar. Often people check over 10 times per day to try to keep their blood sugar in their target range.
However, another blood sugar management tool more people are using is a continuous glucose monitor that measure the bodys glucose levels in real-time by sensing the glucose present in tissue fluid . Heres what you need to know about them:
Other Meters Being Developed
Besides the above four CGMs, other meters are being developed that dont require blood samples. One such CGM is called GlucoTrack by Integrity Applications, which measures blood glucose via your earlobe. However, it hasnt yet been approved by the FDA.
Other types of technologies may be seen soon to help improve diabetes management without the need for finger pricks. However, standalone smartwatches, contact lenses, and other buzzworthy devices havent yet proven to accurately measure blood glucose.
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Blood Sugar Monitoring For People With Diabetes Offers Undeniable Health Benefits
For people with diabetes, a major goal of therapy is to keep the blood sugar close to the normal range. This helps to prevent symptoms and complications, prolong life, and improve quality of life.
The development of CGM devices that can frequently and easily monitor blood sugar levels without finger sticks has revolutionized care for millions of people with diabetes. Besides providing results of blood sugar levels, some devices have alarm settings that alert the user, or other people, if blood sugar becomes dangerously low or high. And some systems can transmit results directly to the users doctor, if desired.
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
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What Causes Low Blood Sugar
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.
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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What Happens During The Test
Most people can take an A1C test at any time without preparing beforehand. However, a doctor may sometimes request that a person avoids eating or drinking for 8 hours before the test.
Women who are pregnant may need to drink a sugary beverage 1 hour before the test.
A doctor or nurse will collect a blood sample, usually from a vein in the arm or hand. They will send the sample to a laboratory for analysis.
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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How To Monitor Your Blood Sugar
Keeping an eye on your blood sugar level on a regular basis is the most critical factor you should never ignore while managing diabetes. So, learn how to monitor your blood sugar with these easy tips.
Diabetes is known to be a silent killer as it often does not cause any evident symptoms until one day the patient develops serious life-threatening complications. This marks the importance of monitoring blood sugar levels regularly.
Monitoring your blood sugar will help you know when it is higher or lower than the normal range. This will allow you to seek appropriate treatment in time to prevent complications.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes or one of your loved ones, read on to learn more about why and how to monitor blood sugar levels.
Blood Or Urine Ketone Strips
Diabetic Ketoacidosis can be a life-threatening condition. Ketones are caused by the breakdown of fat when there isnt enough insulin to allow the glucose into your cells for energy. When ketones build up, the result is acidosis . If not treated, this can lead to death. Usually blood glucose levels are elevated but not always. It is important to have a way to check for ketones, either using urine strips or blood test strips with a ketone-testing device, to help identify whether you are at risk of ketoacidosis.
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How To Use A Blood Sugar Meter
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.
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 Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
Most people have symptoms of low blood sugar when their blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dL. When your blood sugar is low, your body gives out signs that you need food. Common early symptoms of low blood sugar include the following:
- Feeling weak
Late symptoms of low blood sugar include:
- Feeling confused
- Being unable keep your mind on one subject
- Numbness in your mouth and tongue
- Passing out
Symptoms Of Diabetes That May Prompt An A1c Test
As mentioned by the , a doctor may recommend an A1C test if a person shows signs of poor glucose control, diabetes, or prediabetes.
Warning signs can include:
- increased urination, especially at night
- increased hunger
- numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- slow healing sores
- more than 45 years of age
- family history of diabetes
- long-term use of glucocorticoids, antipsychotics, and certain medications for HIV
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