What Do I Use To Check The Blood Sugar
Two kinds of devices can test blood sugar or glucose levels:
- a blood glucose meter measures the amount of glucose in the blood
- a continuous glucose monitor measures the amount of glucose just beneath the skin in the fluid around the cells
Your childs care team can tell you which device is best for your child.
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What Are The Recommended Targets For Blood Glucose Levels
Many people with diabetes aim to keep their blood glucose at these normal levels:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL
- About 2 hours after a meal starts: less than 180 mg/dL
Talk with your health care team about the best target range for you. Be sure to tell your health care professional if your glucose levels often go above or below your target range.
What Should My Blood Sugar Goals Be
Blood sugar goals may be different for each person, and can change throughout the day. The American Diabetes Association recommends these blood sugar goals:
- Before meals: 80 to 130 mg/dL
- Two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL
- Before bedtime: 100-150 mg/dL. If the level is less than 100 mg/dL, have a snack.
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If Knowledge Is Power Why Not Monitor Your Blood Sugar
So, why would a person who doesnt have diabetes want to monitor their blood sugar? Possible reasons include
- Detecting prediabetes. In prediabetes blood sugar is slightly high, but not high enough to meet the definition of diabetes. For healthy people, blood sugar testing is typically recommended every three years or so if prediabetes is diagnosed, repeat testing is recommended more often, at least yearly. CGM might allow earlier diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes. This could be particularly helpful for people at higher risk for diabetes due to family history or other factors, and people taking medicines that can raise blood sugar.
- The notion of âoptimizingâ blood sugar for peak mental or physical performance. Not surprisingly, some CGM makers suggest knowing your blood sugar can help you make changes to keep it in an âideal rangeâ that will help you perform your best, prevent diabetes, or improve health in some other way. For example, you might change what or when you eat. None of these marketing notions has been proven, or even well studied. And guess what even the ideal blood sugar range for a person who isnt diabetic is uncertain.
- The illusion of control. Having more information about your body may provide you with a sense of control over your health, even if you take no immediate action.
- Curiosity. Lets face it, its tempting to gather information about our bodies that might be interesting .
How Often Should I Be Tested For Prediabetes
Your healthcare provider will test for prediabetes using a hemoglobin A1c test, a blood test that measures your average blood glucose level over the last three months. If you fall into the prediabetes range of 5.8% to 6.4%, you will be tested every year. If your blood glucose levels are in the normal range, it is reasonable to be checked every 3 years. If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every 1-2 years after your diagnosis. Continue Learning about Prediabetes Videos Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.Continue reading > >
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Work With Your Health Care Team
Most people with diabetes get health care from a primary care professional. Primary care professionals include internists, family physicians, and pediatricians. Sometimes physician assistants and nurses with extra training, called nurse practitioners, provide primary care. You also will need to see other care professionals from time to time. A team of health care professionals can help you improve your diabetes self-care. Remember, you are the most important member of your health care team.
Besides a primary care professional, your health care team may include
- an endocrinologist for more specialized diabetes care
- a registered dietitian, also called a nutritionist
When You Are Sick
Blood sugars are more difficult to manage when youre sick, so its more important than ever to check your blood sugar frequently if youre under the weather with anything from the common cold, to a nasty flu, to even fighting off an infection.
Its often recommended to check as often as every 4 hours when sick, and to if:
- Your blood sugar has been over 250 mg/dL for several hours and you have mild or moderate ketones
- You cannot get your blood sugar above 70 mg/dL for several hours
- You cannot keep liquids down
- You have a temperature above 101 F
- You have diarrhea and/or vomiting
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Where Is Glucose Metabolized
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It May Also Help You Lose Weight The Researchers Say
In addition to lowering their cardiometabolic risk factors, eating during a 10-hour window also helped study participants lose more weight.
The researchers attributed this benefit to their observation that late eating increased hunger, decreased 24-hour serum leptin , and decreased energy expenditure. It also altered the participants’ gene expression in such a way that caused them to retain more fat on the body. “Combined, these changes upon late eating may increase obesity risk in humans,” the study authors wrote.
How Do I Check
People with diabetes check their blood glucose 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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What To Know About Blood Sugar Levels And Driving
If you have type 1 diabetes or have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, its possible to develop low blood sugar while driving, causing difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and operating the vehicle. You may even pass out. Before you head out on the road, check your blood sugar levels, especially if youre taking insulin or insulin-releasing med, such as Glucotrol , says Dr. Thomas. Depending on the length of your journey, you should also pull over during your trip to check your levels again. The bottom line: Swings in glucose levels with diabetes can be controlled if you monitor them carefully.
Stress, Meals, Exercise and Blood Sugar Testing:Journal of Diabetes Research. Variables to Be Monitored via Biomedical Sensors for Complete Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Management: An Extension of the On-Board Concept.
Regular Blood Sugar Testing:Diabetes Care. Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes, 2018. A Consensus Report by the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes .
Hypoglycemia:BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care. Never Again Will I Be Carefree: A Qualitative Study of the Impact of Hypoglycemia on Quality of Life Among Adults with Type 1 Diabetes.
What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar
In general, the American Diabetes Associations 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 youd like to stay within, not a single number.
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How Do I Check My Blood Sugar
The usual blood sugar check involves sticking your finger with a small needle called a lancet, putting a drop of blood on a test strip, and using a meter that displays your blood sugar level. Blood sugar meters and test strips are available at your local pharmacy, through mail order, or through your healthcare provider. There are many different types of meters. Your healthcare provider can help you select the meter that is best for you.
If you have insurance, check with your insurance company to see if you are covered. If you do not have insurance, check with your caregiver for other options.
How Meds Impact Blood Sugar Testing
Its important to check blood sugar more frequently if your physician changes your diabetes medications or if youre prescribed other medications, including steroids and certain antibiotics, which can affect blood sugar, notes Wolf. Depending on the drug, it can do wonky things to your blood sugar soon after taking it, sometimes within a few hours. For example, glucocorticoids such as prednisone can cause hyperglycemia via multiple mechanisms, adds Dr. Kohlenberg. His advice: Anytime you start a new medication, review it with your physician to see if this will impact your glucose and diabetes treatment plan.
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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.
How Often Should I Check Blood Sugar
People who have diabetes need to check blood sugar levels every day. The exact number of times during the day in which a diabetic person needs to check blood sugar levels typically varies depending on how severe her diabetes is and what her doctor recommends for her individual case. People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are generally advised to check their sugar levels at least three times a day, although it may be necessary to do so more often if a person is sick or pregnant. Before meals, after meals, and bedtimes are some of the best times of day to test sugar levels.
When a person is initially diagnosed with diabetes, he may be advised to check his blood sugar levels many times throughout the day. This is typically so that he can get a better understanding of what factors affect his blood sugar levels. It takes new diabetics a while to learn which foods and daily activities negatively affect their blood sugar. A persons levels should be closely monitored when he begins any new exercise routine, diet, or medication to see how they will react to the changes. Once a person better understands how different things affect his blood sugar, he may be able to check it less frequently, although he should still monitor it around mealtimes and at bedtime.
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Other Reasons For High Morning Blood Sugar Levels
If you continuously wake up with high blood sugar levels and havent eaten a bedtime snack the night before, your doctor may need to prescribe you more basal insulin , says Dr. Spratt.
However, if you typically eat a snack that contains carbohydrates before going to bed and dont counteract it with rapid-acting insulin, your blood sugar levels may be higher in the morning as a result. Switch to a snack that wont raise your blood sugar levels â for example, a pairing of ham and cheese or a few bites of non-sweetened peanut butter, she says.
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Lastly, if your blood sugar levels dip too low in the middle of the night, your body may release hormones that rescue you from dangerously low levels, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The result is that your liver releases stored glucose, causing your blood sugar levels to be higher than usual in the morning. This is called the Somogyi effect.
If youre experiencing low blood sugar in the four to six hours after a meal, thats a sign that your basal insulin dose is too high, says Dr. Spratt.
A lot of people have lows of which they are not aware of, she says. They wake up and their blood sugar is high and assume they must need more insulin at night. But, she explains, its important to check your blood sugar at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. to make sure you arent experiencing a drop in glucose levels.
Random Glucose Testing And Exercise
Exercise can play a role in your random glucose test results. Generally, exercise will lower glucose levels. It may even require you to adjust your insulin regimen if youre on intensive insulin therapy.
This shouldnt discourage you from exercising. Exercise is one of the best ways you can help control diabetes. Most people with diabetes gain benefits from even moderate exercise.
Exercise increases your bodys ability to use insulin. It also burns extra glucose in your bloodstream. In the long term, exercise will lead to more stable random glucose test results.
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Why Do I Need To Check Blood Sugar
You may be thinking my doctor orders blood work to monitor my blood sugar every few months, why do I need to check blood sugar at home?
While your healthcare team is able to monitor overall blood sugar control via labs for HbA1c, and can check random blood glucose or fasting blood glucose on the day of the blood work, these labs dont provide much information on how much your blood sugar fluctuates across the day. At-home monitoring of blood sugar is a great way to get feedback on how your food and activity routines impact blood sugar and is crucial information for guiding your healthcare teams treatment decisions.
To paint a full picture of what blood sugar looks like across the day, there really isnt a short cut – it takes testing at different times across the day!
Best Times To Check Blood Sugar With Type 1 Diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin throughout the day and with meals, since their bodies dont produce insulin on their own. As a result, they need to test their blood sugar frequently, often between four and 10 times a day. Some of the most-common times to test include before and after meals, before and after exercising, before bed, and in some cases, during the night.
According to Wolf, Someone should check blood sugar before meals when they are on a medication, such as insulin, that requires them to adjust their dose based on their blood sugar reading. This so-called correction dose is given if your blood sugar is above your target. It is helpful to check blood sugar one to two hours after eating as well because it tells you how your body responded to your meal.
You may need to test more often if youre sick, starting a new medication, or undergoing another change in your routine, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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