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How To Test For Blood Sugar Levels At Home

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How To Monitor Your Blood Glucose Levels

How to test your blood glucose (sugar) levels

Watch this film from Diabetes UK or read the instructions below.

Tip

There is less sensation in the sides of your fingers than the tips or the underneath. Try to prick the side of your finger, near the tip.

To monitor your glucose, you will be given a blood glucose monitor. This is designed for you to measure your own blood glucose levels at home, or wherever you happen to be, by checking a drop of your blood. You produce the blood by using a finger pricker.

To monitor your glucose, you will be given a blood glucose monitor. This is designed for you to measure your own blood glucose levels at home, or wherever you happen to be, by checking a drop of your blood. You produce the blood by using a finger pricker.

There are many different brands of meter on the market, but they all work in similar ways:

Step 1 Wash your hands.

Step 2 Set up a finger pricker with a clean needle.

Step 3 Insert one end of a test strip into the meter.

Step 4 Use the finger pricker to prick the side of your finger.

Step 5 When a spot of blood appears where you pricked you finger, place it onto the end of the testing strip that is sticking out of the meter to transfer the blood.

Step 6 After a few seconds, the meter will display your blood glucose level.

Step 7 Clean the blood off your finger.

Step 8 Record the results in your blood glucose diary or diabetes journal, or you may have a phone app that you use.

Step 9 Throw away the test strip.

How Do I Measure Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes, you probably already keep a watchful eye on your blood sugar through the use of a continuous glucose monitor or a blood sugar meter . Blood sugar measurement is also typically included in routine lab work for people without diabetes your physician will usually order a glycated hemoglobin test, which measures your average blood sugar over the past two to three months.

Say your A1C test comes back with no sign of diabetes constantly measuring your blood sugar can still be helpful. For instance, some people experiment with using a CGM to see how their body responds to different types of food. However, its good to note that this is a fairly cost-intensive way of figuring out your nutrition, and writing down a food diary that includes how you felt after each meal will also help you figure out what to eat.

Check out these blood sugar monitors if youre looking for recommendations on how to keep track of your levels at home.

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.

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Caroline Roberts

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Caroline Roberts writes articles and notifications for CNET. She studies English at Cal Poly, and loves philosophy, Karl the Fog and a strong cup of black coffee.

High blood sugar levels are a problem, even if you don’t have a family history of diabetes. Blood sugar that’s consistently higher than ideal can coexist with Type 2 diabetes and cause serious health conditions like kidney disease, nerve problems or stroke.

While that’s no reason to panic, when it comes to our health, it’s important to know exactly what’s going on inside of our bodies. Let’s get into what blood sugar means, how to measure it and everything else you need to know.

Checking Your Blood Glucose Levels Will Help You To:

Blood Sugar Monitoring, Blood Sugar Tester, Home Blood Glucose ...
  • Develop confidence in looking after your diabetes.
  • Better understand the relationship between your blood glucose levels and the exercise you do, the food you eat and other lifestyle influences such as travel, stress and illness.
  • Know how your lifestyle choices and medication, if used, are making a difference.
  • Find out immediately if your blood glucose levels are too high or too low , helping you to make important decisions such as eating before exercise, treating a hypo or seeking medical advice if sick.
  • Know when to seek the advice of your diabetes health team about adjusting your insulin, tablets, meal or snack planning when blood glucose goals are not being met.

Also Check: How High Should Blood Sugar Be After Eating

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Ways To Test Your Blood Sugar

Traditional home glucose monitoring

You prick your finger with a small, sharp needle called a lancet, put a drop of blood on a test strip, and then place the strip into a meter that displays your blood sugar levels. Record the test results so you can share them with your doctor. Based on your results, the two of you may adjust your diet, exercise, or medication.

Meters vary in features, portability, speed, size, cost, and readability . Devices deliver results in less than 15 seconds and store this information for future use.

Some meters also calculate an average blood sugar level over a span of time. Some also feature software kits that take information from the meter and display graphs and charts of your past test results. Blood sugar meters and strips are available at your local pharmacy.

Meters that test other parts of your body

Some devices let you test your upper arm, forearm, base of the thumb, and thigh.

These results may differ from the blood sugar levels gotten from a fingertip stick. Levels in the fingertips show changes more quickly. This is especially true when your sugar is changing fast, like after a meal or after exercise.

If you have symptoms of low blood sugar, donât rely on test results from other parts of your body.

Continuous glucose monitoring system

You’ll still need to check your levels throughout the day continuous glucose monitoring doesn’t replace that. It gives your doctor more information about trends that self-checking might not show.

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What Is A Blood Glucose Test

Blood Glucose testing is an important part of diabetes care. Blood glucose monitoring is the regular check of blood glucose level. The implementation of blood glucose monitoring can better control the blood glucose changes of diabetic patients, and has important guiding significance for life rules, activities, exercise, diet and rational use of drugs, and can help patients find problems at any time and seek medical treatment in time.

If you have diabetes, self-testing your blood sugar can be an important tool in managing your diabetes and preventing complications. You can test your blood sugar at home with a portable electronic device called a blood sugar meter using a small drop of your blood. You can also use a device called a continuous glucose monitor .

When To Seek Medical Care

How to test blood sugar at home with a glucometer
  • 1Talk to your doctor if you think you might have diabetes. Try not to worry, but diabetes is a serious medical condition. Without treatment, it can cause complications that can harm your health. Fortunately, you can treat diabetes and possibly prevent further health issues. Visit your doctor to discuss your concerns and find out if you need treatment.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • You should always discuss your diabetes concerns with your doctor, even if your home tests come back normal. Theyâll make sure nothing is wrong.
  • 2See a doctor if your blood sugar is consistently over 200 milligrams/deciliter. Whether you’ve eaten recently or not, a blood sugar level higher than 200 mg/dL may indicate you could have diabetes. However, it’s normal to occasionally have a high reading, especially after you’ve just eaten. Take several readings over the course of a week to determine if your blood sugar is consistently high. If your readings are high, your doctor can run further tests to figure out if you have diabetes.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Don’t assume that you have diabetes after 1 reading. Take several readings at different times of the day for at least a week. Record all of the readings so you can look for trends.
  • Certain foods, such as candy and alcohol, can cause higher blood sugar readings right after you’ve consumed them.
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    What Is The Future Of Blood Sugar Testing

    Even though you can monitor blood sugar level with glucometers and CGMs, the future might provide additional ways to manage your diabetes.

    • Multiple waves:Researchers have been studying and experimenting with new technologies. For example, some adults with type 2 diabetes in Europe have access to a device that can measure blood sugar using ultrasonic, electromagnet, and thermal waves.
    • Radio waves: Other advances on the horizon involve using radio waves to measure blood sugar .
    • Tears: Additionally, some researchers are working on a sensor to monitor blood sugar under the lower eyelid . It works by measuring the sugar level of tear fluid.
    • Contacts and lasers: Other future technologies might possibly include using a smart contact lens to measure blood sugar, as well as laser technology.

    What Should My Blood Sugar Level Be

    The paragraph below gives you an idea of what your blood sugar levels should be. Blood sugar ranges might be different for each person and can change throughout the day. Your health care provider will tell you what range is good for you. Call your health care provider if one of the following applies:

    • Your blood sugar test results are higher than usual for more than two days for an unknown reason.
    • Your blood sugar level is low more than 2 times a week.

    Recommended blood glucose range for people with diabetes

    Time of test goal

    • Two hours after meal starts: < 180 mg/dl
    • Before bedtime snack: 100-150 mg/dl

    American Diabetes Association, 2009

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    Weighing Your Risk Factors

  • 1Take an online risk factor assessment. You can find these tests from many reputable medical websites. They will ask you a series of questions, and then they will tell your level of risk for having diabetes or developing it in the future.XResearch source
  • For instance, try the one here: .
  • 2Consider your age a factor if you’re over 45. People over 45 are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people under 45. As you age, make sure to monitor your health closely.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source
  • However, age is just one of many risk factors. Being over 45 doesn’t automatically mean you’ll develop diabetes.
  • 3Watch your health if you belong to certain minority groups. You’re at higher risk if your Asian-American, African-American, Hispanic, or American Indian. If you’re worried about your health, talk to your doctor about how you can reduce your risk.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source
  • While you can’t change your genes, you can take steps to lower other risk factors.
  • While you can’t change these conditions, you can work to lower other risk factors.
  • Losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and increasing your daily activity level can all help with these issues.
  • How Can I Check My Blood Sugar

    Blood Sugar Test Machine for Home Use

    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.

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    Check Your Blood Glucose Levels

    For many people with diabetes, checking their blood glucose level each day is an important way to manage their diabetes. Monitoring your blood glucose level is most important if you take insulin. The results of blood glucose monitoring can help you make decisions about food, physical activity, and medicines.

    The most common way to check your blood glucose level at home is with a blood glucose meter. You get a drop of blood by pricking the side of your fingertip with a lancet. Then you apply the blood to a test strip. The meter will show you how much glucose is in your blood at the moment.

    Ask your health care team how often you should check your blood glucose levels. Make sure to keep a record of your blood glucose self-checks. You can print copies of this glucose self-check chart. Take these records with you when you visit your health care team.

    About The Microlet Next Lancing Device

    Your lancing device holds the lancet youll use to prick your finger. It has 6 main parts .

    Figure 1. Microlet Next lancing device

    • The endcap covers the lancet until youre ready to use it.
    • The endcap dial controls how deeply the lancet will prick your finger.
    • The white band connects the endcap to the rest of the lancing device. The endcap is locked onto the lancing device when the black drop is in line with the release button.
    • The release button makes the tip of the lancet spring out to prick your finger.
    • The reset handle resets the lancet if you need to prick your finger again.
    • The lancet ejector pushes the lancet out of the lancing device once youre done using it.

    Your Microlet Next lancing device works with Microlet lancets. Microlet Next lancets come in different colors, but theres no difference between them.

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    Why You Should Test Your Blood Sugar

    Self-testing is called self-monitoring of blood glucose . It’s an important tool that can tell if your diabetes treatment plan is working. While your healthcare provider will still check your hemoglobin A1C levels when you come in for a checkup, many people need to augment this with blood glucose monitoring at home. The A1C test gives a good overall picture of how well your blood sugar has been managed over the past three months. But testing your blood sugar at home can provide a quick measurement of your blood sugar level at any given time. The results of home blood sugar testing can help you make appropriate adjustments to your diabetes medicine, diet and/or level of physical activity. Your diabetes healthcare team will give you specific advice on how to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

    How The Test Is Done

    Gestational Diabetes: Testing your blood sugar at home

    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:

    • 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 providers 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 dont 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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