Thursday, June 16, 2022

How To Take Your Blood Sugar Levels

What If I Cant Get A Drop Of Blood For A Fingerstick

How To Test Your Blood Sugar Levels | 7 Simple Steps | Diabetes UK

If you want to get blood from your fingertip, try washing your hands in hot water to get the blood flowing. Then dangle your hand below your heart for a minute. Prick your finger quickly and then put your hand back down below your heart. You might also try slowly squeezing the finger from the base to the tip.

Best Times Of Day To Check Your Blood Sugar

Your blood sugar can change constantly throughout the day. Checking your blood sugar with test-strips or an FBGM several times throughout the day is just as important as taking your medications.

For example, checking your blood sugar before breakfast tells you how well your body is managing during the 8 hours you were asleep, but it doesnt tell you how well your body handles meals.

Here, well look at the best times to check your blood sugar for the most information about your diabetes management!

Which Is Right For You

Finding the best glucose monitoring system that is right for you is about finding the choice that best suits your needs. By considering the benefits and limitations between the different systems that are available in Canada, you can find a system that meets your individual requirements while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your diabetes care routine.

Our glucose monitoring comparison chart provides a summary of CGM, Flash glucose monitoring devices and test strips and meters.

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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.

When To See A Healthcare Provider

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Getting professional medical advice from a healthcare provider like an endocrinologist is the best way to learn more about whether your blood sugar levels are where they should be. Not getting proper treatment for low or high blood sugar levels can be serious and lead to health complications, especially for those with diabetes. Diabetes complications include nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, or heart attacks.

If you see a healthcare provider about your blood sugar levels, be prepared to answer questions about risk factors like what you eat, how much you exercise, and about your family history. Some healthcare providers may want to take a blood sample to test your blood sugar levels. They may also order an A1C test, which is a blood test that measures blood sugar levels over several months. You may have to fast eight hours beforehand to get accurate test results, so its always a good idea to check before your appointment.

If your blood sugar level goes above 250 mg/dL, you should go to the ER for immediate medical attention, says Dr. Tarugu. Emergency rooms are equipped to handle high blood sugar levels and can administer treatments like insulin therapy and fluid or electrolyte replacement.

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Illness: Youre Low Sugars High

Illness and the stress that sometimes precipitates it can boost blood-sugar levels by stimulating the release of hormones that work against the action of insulin and cause glucose to be released from storage sites in the muscles and liver. Naturally, you mainly need to treat the illness, but you also need to take some extra steps to keep your blood-sugar levels down.

  • Drink more water. If blood sugar is higher than usual, your kidneys are probably working harder and producing more urine. The result: You become dehydrated from the unusually high urine output. Therefore, keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least a cup of water every half hour or so.
  • Avoid exercise. Even if you think it might bring blood sugar lower, theres the possibility that exercise will cause the release of glucose from muscles. In any case, its more important that you rest in order to fight the illness.
  • Consider adjusting insulin. If youre taking insulin, ask your doctor if and when you should take additional or increased doses while youre sick.

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.

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Reflect On The Amount Of Sugar In Your Diet

Hyperglycemia occurs when there is too much glucose in the blood.

Therefore, one way of reducing your blood glucose levels is reflecting on where sugar may be consumed in the diet. Think about any refined and processed foods that may be in your diet as these are often high in sugar. This can be achieved through a low carbohydrate diet.

Why Check Blood Sugar Levels

How to test your blood glucose (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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Different Levels And What They Mean

The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last ate. Safe levels of blood sugar are high enough to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but low enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases guides. Dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range.

The target levels can also vary if you have diabetes. For example, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be mild hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes.

If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was low because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act.

That is fine because your body is capable, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in control to help prevent issues like heart disease or nerve damage.

Looking for the best prediabetes diet? Learn what foods are best to help you manage your prediabetes.

When To Contact Your Doctor

Hyperglycemia can turn into a medical emergency like DKA and HHS that requires immediate intervention by your doctor or a local emergency department. If you have two blood sugar readings of 300 mg/dL or more, or have blood sugar above your target range for more than a week, seek immediate medical help.

Signs of hyperglycemia include:

  • Ketones in your urine
  • Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath

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What Is The A1c Test

The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 2 or 3 months. The test is done at a lab or your doctors office in addition tonot instead ofregular blood sugar testing you do yourself.

A1C testing is part of the ABCs of diabetesimportant steps you can take to prevent or delay health complications down the road:

The A1C goal for most adults with diabetes is between 7% and 8%, but your goal may be different depending on your age, other health conditions, medicines youre taking, and other factors. Work with your doctor to establish a personal A1C goal for you.

Monitoring Your Blood Sugar

Proven Tips &  Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down ...

Regular blood sugar monitoring is the most important thing you can do to manage type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Youll be able to see what makes your numbers go up or down, such as eating different foods, taking your medicine, or being physically active. With this information, you can work with your health care team to make decisions about your best diabetes care plan. These decisions can help delay or prevent diabetes complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. Your doctor will tell you when and how often to check your blood sugar levels.

Most blood sugar meters allow you to save your results and you can use an app on your cell phone to track your levels. If you dont have a smart phone, keep a written daily record like the one in the photo. You should bring your meter, phone, or paper record with you each time you visit your health care provider.

Sometimes having high blood sugar can feel like a test you didnt pass. But numbers are just numbers. Think of them instead as information. Did a certain food or activity make your levels go up or down? Armed with that knowledge, you can make adjustments and get closer to your target range more often.

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When To See A Doctor

According to the University of Michigan, blood sugar levels of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. They recommend calling a doctor if you have two readings in a row of 300 or more.

See your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of this include:

  • increased thirst
  • high levels of sugar in urine

Ask your doctor how often to check your blood sugar and about your ideal blood sugar levels.

If you dont currently see a doctor who specializes in diabetes, known as an endocrinologist, you can find one by searching the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website.

You can find a certified diabetes educator by visiting the American Diabetes Associations website and searching by zip code.

Summary

Talk to your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar readings or symptoms of chronic hyperglycemia.

Checking your blood sugar and then treating hyperglycemia early will help prevent any complications.

Health problems can arise when someone has high blood sugar regularly and without treatment.

Examples of complications include:

  • nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, that may affect sensations in the feet and hands
  • diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the eyes that affects vision
  • increased risks for kidney problems
  • increased risks for heart problems

Taking steps to keep your blood sugar at target levels can help to minimize the likelihood that these complications will occur.

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 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.

Who Should Not Take Metformin

How to Test Your Blood Sugar

There are a few people for whom Metformin is contraindicated:

  • If you are having an X-Ray or CT scan requiring dyes, you will have to temporarily stop taking Metformin
  • Because Metformin is cleared by the kidneys, it is contraindicated in kidney disease
  • Because Metformin works in the liver, it is contraindicated in liver disease
  • In rare cases, Metformin can cause a life threatening condition called lactic acidosis

As with all medications, whether to take metformin should be a shared decision between you and your physician.

Remember to discuss your goals, current blood sugar control , family history, length of time you have been diagnosed, and any symptoms you may have.

Keeping a diary/log of medications and symptoms along with a food and glucose journal is very helpful in troubleshooting and making informed decisions regarding your health care in the future.

Please share, pin, or tweet this info to help others.

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How To Test Your Blood Sugar: A Step

It can be intimidating to test your blood sugar if youre new to diabetes. There are several steps to follow, and its important to get an accurate reading so you know how much insulin to administer. Heres a breakdown of the 10 steps you should take to accurately test your blood sugar.

  • Wash your hands. This might seem like a trivial or common sense step, but its very important that you dont contaminate your test. If contaminated, you will not get an accurate read and will need to test again. Save yourself time and always make sure you start your test with clean hands.
  • Gather your materials. This includes your glucose meter, test strips, alcohol wipe, lancets, and lancing device. Having it all laid out and ready will make it easier to get an accurate test result.
  • Prepare lancing device. You can prepare your lancing device by removing the top cap and inserting the lancet into the spring-loaded chamber until its secure. Then, remove the protective cap from the needed and put the top back on the lancing device. You may have to adjust the depth of the lancet on your lancing device to ensure you produce a blood sample.
  • Prepare your meter. Once your lancet is prepared, open the sterile container of test strips. Make sure youre inserting the correct end into the glucose meter. Slide the test strip into the glucose meter, and wait for the meter to indicate it is ready for a blood sample.
  • When To Check Blood Sugar Levels

    Check your child’s blood sugar level at the following times:

    • Before meals and bedtime, a minimum of four times a day.
    • If you suspect your child has a low blood sugar level.
    • Before and after your child exercises.
    • When your child is ill.
    • Two hours after the start of a meal, if results from before the meal don’t match HbA1c.
    • During the night. This is particularly important if your child had a low blood sugar level during the day, exercised more than usual, made a change in the insulin dose or has been ill.

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