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:
- A: Get a regular A1C test.
- B: Try to keep your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg .
- C: Manage your cholesterol levels.
- s: Stop smoking or dont start.
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.
Blood Sugar Testing At Home
A person can test their blood sugar levels at home.
In most cases, doctors ask people to measure fasting blood sugar immediately upon waking and before they have anything to eat or drink. It may also be appropriate to test blood sugar before eating or sometimes 2 hours after a meal when blood sugar has returned to normal levels.
The right time to test is dependant on treatment goals and other factors. For example, most people with diabetes do not need to test between meals unless they are using a diabetes drug that can lower blood sugar. Other people may test between meals if they feel their sugar levels may be low.
Since they do not make any insulin, some people with type 1 diabetes need to test several times a day. They do this because they need to check their levels regularly in order to adjust their insulin dose at that time.
To do the blood sugar test, a person will:
- Prepare the testing strip and glucose monitor to be ready for the blood sample.
- Clean the testing area, usually the side of a fingertip, using an alcohol swab.
- Lance the testing area. Bracing against a firm surface can help with the impulse to pull away.
- Squeeze the testing area around the wound to maximize blood flow.
- Squeeze a drop of blood onto the test strip.
- Put the strip into the monitor.
- Record the time, blood sugar reading, and recent food intake in a log.
Blood glucose monitoring kits for use at home are available for purchase online.
What Do I Do With The Results
You need to keep track of your results. There are a few ways you can do this. You can write them down in a record book. Use a small notebook or ask your doctor for a blood testing record book. Depending on the type of monitor you have, you may be able to keep track of the results on your computer or smartphone. Whatever method you use, you may also want to keep track of what you have eaten, when you took medicine or insulin, and how active youve been during the day. This will help you see how these things affect your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor about what is a good range for your blood sugar level and what to do if your blood sugar is not within that range.
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Misusing Lancets And Test Strips
For the least pain and the most accurate results, you need the right blood sugar testing supplies: lancets, an accurate glucose meter, and manufacturer-recommended test strips. Skimping may not offer you the payoff you’re hoping for lancets start out very sharp but quickly get dull and will hurt if you try to reuse them, says Amori. Also, using expired or poorly stored test strips can result in inaccurate readings.
Solutions for better diabetes control: Use a fresh lancet, make sure test strips are stored in a closed container, and check the test strip expiration date before using.
Levels After Youve Eaten
Many foods have types of carbohydrates called starches and sugars. When you eat foods with these types of carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is a type of simple sugar, and releases the glucose into your bloodstream. Aside from glucose produced by your liver, food is the main source of plasma glucose.
Two hours after eating, your blood sugar levels rise. They rise more when you eat more carbohydrates, when you do not eat fiber, fat, or protein with your carbs, and when you eat certain types of carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and starches.
These are target values from The Joslin Diabetes Center, which include levels for people with diabetes:
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Treat High Blood Sugar Early
The best way to prevent high blood sugar emergencies is to treat high blood sugar as soon as you have symptoms or when your blood sugar is well above your target range .
- Follow your doctor’s instructions for the steps for dealing with high blood sugar. Post the steps in a handy place at home and work. Make sure other people know what to do if you are unable to treat high blood sugar.
- Keep a record of high blood sugar levels. Write down your symptoms and how you treated them. And take the record with you when you see your doctor.
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.
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How The Test Is Done
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:
- Test strips
- 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 provider’s 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 don’t 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.
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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Random Blood Sugar Test
This measures your blood sugar at the time youre tested. You can take this test at any time and dont need to fast first. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes.
|140 mg/dL or below||N/A|
*Results for gestational diabetes can differ. Ask your health care provider what your results mean if youre being tested for gestational diabetes.Source: American Diabetes Association
If your doctor thinks you have type 1 diabetes, your blood may also tested for autoantibodies that are often present in type 1 diabetes but not in type 2 diabetes. You may have your urine tested for ketones , which also indicate type 1 diabetes instead of type 2 diabetes.
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When You Wake Up
Some people experience high blood sugar levels in the morning. This is sometimes called the Dawn phenomenon and is a result of body changes that occur during sleep, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Testing your blood sugar when you wake up, including waking from a nap, will help you understand your bodys reaction and determine whether your insulin schedule or dosage needs to be adjusted.
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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.
Gaining Insights From Routine Blood Glucose Testing
Day-to-day blood sugar checks can give you a good idea of how you’re doing at this moment, and they can be reviewed overall to see trends. They can help answer questions such as:
- Are your medications working as they should?
- How does the type or amount of food you eat affect your blood sugar?
- How does activity or stress affect your blood sugar?
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/8the Right Time To Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
The perfect time to check the fasting glucose levels is right after your wakeup. And the right time to check postprandial glucose levels is two hours after you have your meals.
A gap of two hours after a meal must be maintained to get the correct reading.
This helps you choose the right foods and medication. When you test before your meal, it tells you how much medication you need and when you test two hours after eating, you know if your medicines are working fine for you.
Checking Your Blood Glucose Levels Will Help You To:
- 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.
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Create A Journal To Log Your Blood Sugar Each Time You Test It
There are also apps available that can help you track this information and keep a running tally of your average blood sugar. You may also want to record the time of day youre testing and how long its been since you last ate.
This information will help your doctor track your blood sugar and can be important when diagnosing whats causing your blood sugar to spike.
What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too High
High blood sugar is also called hyperglycemia . It means that your blood sugar level is higher than your target level or over 180. Having high blood sugar levels over time can lead to long-term, serious health problems.
If you feel very tired, thirsty, have blurry vision, or need to pee more often, your blood sugar may be high.
Check your blood sugar and see if it is above your target level or over 180. If it is too high, one way to lower it is to drink a large glass of water and exercise by taking a brisk walk. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is high more than 3 times in 2 weeks and you dont know why.
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Is There A Best Time To Check Your Blood Sugar
Blood observing is the primary instrument you need to check your diabetes control. This check reveals to you your blood glucose level at any one time. For a diabetic its the best way to find out what your blood sugars are.
Its significant for blood glucose levels to remain in a sound range. On the off chance that glucose levels get excessively low, we can lose the capacity to think and function typically.
If they get excessively high and remain high, it can make harm or difficulties the body through the span of numerous years. This is not a good thing!
Keeping a log of your outcomes is crucial. When you convey this record to your social insurance supplier, you have a decent image of your bodys reaction to your diabetes care plan.
To help monitor your dimensions, we should have a printable blood glucose log. We additionally should have a blood glucose log that is little so that you can convey it with you accessible for procurement.
When Is The Best Time To Check Blood Sugar Levels At Home
The glucometer is the best way to observe and track the immediate effects of your food choices, physical activity and other changes to your blood glucose. It helps you to take further action to bring your blood glucose back to the target range recommended by your doctor. Optimal blood glucose control is essential to prevent diabetes complications. Your blood sugar level undergoes alteration during the day, especially after a meal. Hence, monitoring your blood glucose levels at the right time helps in better management of diabetes.
While there is no standard number of measurements that apply to people with diabetes. Unless otherwise indicated, you must generally monitor your blood glucose levels 1 to 4 times a day and this time is based on several factors. The general plan for monitoring BG levels at home is:
- Early morning
- about 90-120 minutes from the moment you started eating
- the evening before bedtime
- when you have the feeling that your sugar levels have spiked.
Type 1 Diabetes
Frequency and time: The frequency and time of home blood glucose checks can vary depending on the individuals goals, but people with type 1 diabetes are required:
- at least 4 checks a day, in routine conditions
- The effect of the carbohydrates taken should be checked 1 or 2 hours after a meal.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus in conventional or mixed insulin therapy
Heres an overview of when to check your blood glucose levels and the course of action it may require.
When to Test
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Inconsistent Highs & Lows
Sometimes you may get a lower or higher blood glucose reading than usual and you may not be able to figure out the reason. When you are sick with a virus or flu, your blood glucose levels will nearly always go up and you may need to contact your doctor. There are a number of other common causes for blood glucose levels to increase or decrease. These include:
- Food time eaten, type and amount of carbohydrate for example: bread, pasta, cereals, vegetables, fruit and milk
- Exercise or physical activity
- Other medications
- Blood glucose checking techniques.
Contact your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator if you notice that your blood glucose patters change or are consistently higher or lower than usual.
When Should I Check My Blood Sugar More Frequently
- If your diabetes medicine changes
- If you begin taking other kinds of medicines
- If you change your diet
- If your exercise routine or activity level changes
- If your stress level increases
- If youre sick. When you are sick, even without eating, your sugar levels may run high, so testing is important.
Follow your doctors testing recommendations during this time. Continue testing more often until you have maintained your blood sugar goal values for at least 1 week. Or continue testing until your doctor advises you that more frequent testing is no longer necessary.
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When Is The Best Time To Check Blood Sugar
Has your healthcare team encouraged more frequent blood glucose monitoring? Are you someone who only checks blood sugar first thing in the morning? Whether you are new to testing blood sugar or you have your routine down pat, read on to see if you are getting the most out of your blood sugar testing.
If Your Diabetes Medication Changes
When your medication for diabetes changes or is adjusted, its important to know how that change is working. The best way is to check your blood sugar levels more often, according to FamilyDoctor.org. Check your blood sugar levels before and after taking medication and keep track of the results to show your doctor.
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By Step Instructions To Test Your Glucose
Glucose testing requires the utilization of a little electronic gadget called a glucometer. The meter peruses the measure of sugar in a little example of blood, as a rule from at the tip of your finger, that you place on a dispensable test strip. Your specialist or diabetes instructor can suggest a fitting gadget for you.
Your specialist or diabetes instructor can likewise enable you to figure out how to utilize a meter.
Adhere to the guidelines that accompany your glucose meter. As a rule, heres how the procedure works:
- Wash and dry your hands well.
- Supplement a test strip into your meter.
- Prick the side of at the tip of your finger with the needle furnished with your test pack.
- Tenderly crush or back rub your finger until a drop of blood pops.
- Contact and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood.
The meter will show your blood glucose level on a screen following a couple of moments.
In the event that your meter can test blood taken from a substitute site, for example, the lower arm or palm, its imperative to comprehend that these readings may not be as exact as readings from the fingertips, particularly after a feast or amid exercise when glucose levels change all the more as often as possible.