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.
What Other Tests Can Help Me Keep Track
Using a glucose meter can help you check your blood sugar levels, but other tests can help you know how well you’re controlling your diabetes too.
The glycosylated hemoglobin test will tell you how you’ve been controlling your blood sugar levels over the past few months. It’s usually done during regular visits with your diabetes health care team.
Hemoglobin is the substance inside red blood cells that carries oxygen to the cells of the body. The higher the glucose level in the blood, the more the glucose sticks to the hemoglobin. And once hemoglobin picks up glucose, the glucose stays on it for the life of the red blood cell, which is about 2 to 3 months.
The most commonly measured type of hemoglobin in the blood that has glucose attached to it is called HbA1c. In general, the lower your HbA1c, the better you’ve been controlling your blood sugar levels over the last 2 to 3 months. Having lower HbA1c levels may make it less likely that you’ll develop long-term diabetes problems.
Ketones are something else you’ll need to check for sometimes. Ketones are chemicals that show up in the urine and blood after the body breaks down fat for energy. The body will break down fat when it can’t use glucose. This can happen when you haven’t taken enough insulin to help the glucose get into the cells, or when you haven’t eaten enough to provide glucose for energy .
What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar
In general, the American Diabetes Association’s recommended blood sugar levels are9:
- Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
- Less than 180 mg/dL after meals
Your range is yours alonebased on your health, age, level of activity and other factors. And remember that your target is a range you’d like to stay within, not a single number.
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What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels
- Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
- Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
- Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
- Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
- Drink water instead of juice or soda.
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
- For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
- Control your food portions .
The Big Picture: Checking Your Blood Glucose
Blood sugar monitoring is the primary tool you have to find out if your blood glucose levels are within your target range. This tells you your blood glucose level at any one time.
Its important for blood glucose levels to stay in a healthy range. If glucose levels get too low, we can lose the ability to think and function normally. If they get too high and stay high, it can cause damage or complications to the body over the course of many years.
The logging of your results is vital. When you bring your log to your health care provider, youll have a good picture of your body’s response to your diabetes care plan. To help keep track of your levels, we have a glucose log. We also have a blood glucose log available for purchase that is smaller so you can carry it with you.
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Times To Check More Often
There will be times when you need to check more often, however you should first discuss this with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. Example of these times include when you are:
- Being more physically active or less physically active
- Sick or stressed
- Experiencing changes in routine or eating habits, e.g. travelling
- Changing or adjusting your insulin or medication
- Experiencing symptoms of hypoglycaemia
- Experiencing night sweats or morning headaches
- A female planning pregnancy or are pregnant.
- Pre/post minor surgical day procedures
- Post dental procedures
Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you work out self-monitoring approach especially for you.
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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How Can I Check My Blood Sugar
Use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose monitor to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM, youll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate.
Using A Glucometer: Step
Glucometers only need a drop of blood. The meters are small enough to travel with or fit in a purse. You can use one anywhere.
Each device comes with an instruction manual. And typically, a healthcare provider will go over your new glucometer with you too. This may be an endocrinologist or a certified diabetic educator , a professional who can also help develop an individualized care plan, create meal plans, answer questions about managing your disease, and more.These are general instructions and may not be accurate for all glucometer models. For example, while the fingers are the most common sites to use, some glucometers allow you to use your thigh, forearm, or the fleshy part of your hand. Check your manual before using the device.
Verywell / Hugo Lin
Prepare what you need and wash up before drawing blood:
- Set out your supplies
- Wash your hands or clean them with the alcohol pad. This helps prevent infection and removes food residue that might alter your results.
- Allow the skin to dry completely. Moisture can dilute a blood sample taken from the finger. Don’t blow on your skin to dry it, as that can introduce germs.
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High Blood Sugar Level Causes
Several types of diabetes and medical conditions are the primary cause of high blood sugar levels. Most of which are unpreventable issues but are the reason for a spike in high blood sugar. The causes for high blood sugar levels are as follows:
Causes of low blood sugar levels are very different and are as important to be aware of, as they are in fact easier to control.
Normal Blood Sugar Ranges In Healthy Non
For a person without any type of diabetes, blood sugar levels are generally between 70 to 130 mg/dL depending on the time of day and the last time they ate a meal.
Newer theories about non-diabetic blood sugar levels have included post-meal blood sugar levels as high as 140 mg/dL.
Here are the normal blood sugar ranges for a person without diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association:
- Fasting blood sugar : Less than 100 mg/dL
- 1-2 hours after a meal: Less than 140 mg/dL
- 2-3 hours after eating: Less than 100 mg/dL
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Treatment For Low Blood Sugar Levels
For those with low blood sugar levels, management and treatment is a little easier to do yourself. If you find your blood sugar is too low and you notice symptoms, always seek medical attention. They will aid you with what necessary precautions to take if the reading is extremely low.
Most of the time, the following treatment methods are advised to do at home yourself. Having a sugary drink or snack can help increase blood sugar levels and balance out and improve any symptoms. Even a small juice of juice or sweets can improve weakness and similar symptoms.
After youve consumed a sugary drink or snack, it is recommended to test your blood sugar level again. If it has increased and you feel better then you should consume a carbohydrate containing meal, such as bread, biscuits or milk. It is advised to eat a small meal to prevent any further drop in blood sugar.
For normal people without diabetes, it is sometimes advised to consume daily supplements that are beneficial for increasing insulin sensitivity and balancing your blood, its sugars and pressures. You can seek medical advice for those from a doctor. Some options may include supplements such as Garcinia Cambogia, which has shown results for increasing insulin sensitivity.
You may be wondering exactly how you can read and calculate your blood sugar level, as it advised to do so for both treatments. If you wish to calculate your blood sugar level, here is how to do so:
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:
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?
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How To Calculate Your Blood Sugar Level: The Complete Guide
To get an accurate reading of your blood sugar level, the best and most effective method is using a glucose meter. This will involve a small prick in your finger so receive a blood sample. The strip is then inserted into the meter and tested.
You may be wondering what your reading should be. There is no normal reading, an ideal reading differs from person to person. Everyone will get different readings at different times of the day. However, there is a rough range to determining a low, normal and high blood sugar level. Blood sugar level is read in mmol/L, which stands for millimoles per liter. Here is a guide as to what an ideal reading is for each diabetic type and non-diabetic patients:
|4 5.9 mmol/L< 7.8 mmol/L||4 5.9 mmol/L< 7.8 mmol/L|
It is advised to check it regularly if you are concerned, show regular symptoms or have diabetes. You should check before meals, exercise, before bedtime and after driving. Everyone is different so it is best to ask your doctor if you are unsure how many times and when you should check your blood sugar levels.
Research shows that over 50% who try to estimate their blood sugar level reading are incorrect. This may be due to over underlying medical conditions that did not know they had or poor lack of judgement. Therefore, this suggests it is very important to test at home to check in on your levels regularly to avoid any unnecessary future complications.
How Does A Continuous Glucose Monitor Work
A CGM works through a tiny sensor inserted under your skin, usually on your belly or arm. The sensor measures your interstitial glucose level, which is the glucose found in the fluid between the cells. The sensor tests glucose every few minutes. A transmitter wirelessly sends the information to a monitor.
The monitor may be part of an insulin pump or a separate device, which you might carry in a pocket or purse. Some CGMs send information directly to a smartphone or tablet. Several models are available and are listed in the American Diabetes Associations product guide.
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How To Test Blood Sugar
People with diabetes usually check their blood sugar levels themselves. However, its a good idea to have a roommate, friend, or family member also know how to do it if you are sick and cant do it yourself.
To use a blood sugar meter, follow these steps:
If you are interested in CGM, you should talk to your healthcare provider since these are prescription devices. To use CGM, follow these steps:
You will also need to change the sensors on the CGM regularly, usually every one to two weeks.
What Are Unsafe And Alarming Blood Sugar Levels
A blood sugar reading of more than 180 mg/dL or any reading above your target range is too high. A 300 mg/dL or more blood sugar reading can be dangerous. If you have 2 readings in a row of 300 or more, call your doctor. High blood sugar can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage. Thats why its important to control your blood sugar levels. You can do many things to help lower your blood sugar, such as eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and monitoring your blood sugar levels. Taking these steps can help keep your blood sugar under control and reduce your risk of developing serious health problems.
At what sugar level is diabetic coma?
Normal blood glucose levels are important for the diabetic patient. A normal blood sugar level is around 80-100 mg/dL. When the blood sugar level goes above this, it is said to be hyperglycemia. This can lead to diabetic coma if not treated right away. Diabetic coma happens when the blood sugar gets too high, usually 600 mg/dL or more. The person becomes very dehydrated and may have a hard time breathing. This is a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated immediately. If you think someone has a diabetic coma, call 911 right away.
What to do when blood glucose levels are high?
Drink plenty of water. Water helps you avoid dehydration by removing excess sugar from your blood through urine.
Will drinking water lower blood sugar significantly?
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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.
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.
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Why Should You Monitor Your Blood Sugar
As mentioned before, diabetes is a silent killer that can affect men and women, old and young, and rich and poor. According to a report published in the International Diabetes Federation, nearly 1 in 11 adults suffers from diabetes across the world and 1 person dies due to this condition every 6 seconds.
Maintaining good blood glucose control is key to prolonging your life span. Keeping blood sugar levels within the recommended blood glucose level ranges will help to offset the likelihood of complications and therefore increase life expectancy. Read more here about the Joslin Lifetime Achievement Award.
Persistent elevated blood sugar levels may put you at risk of developing long-term complications like retinopathy, neuralgias, cataracts, and diabetic nephropathy. You can read more about how to prevent diabetic retinopathy here.
Uncontrolled diabetes can also increase your risk of life-threatening complications like stroke and heart attacks without you being aware of the damage caused to your vital organs due to the abnormal blood sugar levels.