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When Should I Be Checking My Blood Sugar

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Blood Sugar Level Immediately After Eating:

When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels? Diabetes Education.

Blood sugar level changes rapidly according to the intake of the meal. The normal blood sugar level before eating or during fasting is between 3.5 to 6.1 mmol/L.

Normal blood sugar right after eating rises drastically as the digestive tract acts quickly to digest the food through mechanical actions, digestive enzymes and different hormones. So the blood glucose rises sharply during this time. The rate at which the blood sugar rises depends on the type of food, the amount is taken, the metabolic condition of the individual, etc.

Why Is It So Important To Check My Blood Levels

Regular checking and recording of your blood glucose level can reinforce your healthy lifestyle choices as well as inform you of your response to other choices and influences.

Importantly, blood glucose level pattern changes can alert you and your health care team to a possible need for a change in how your diabetes is being managed.

Easy Before Bed Routines For People With Diabetes

You might be surprised to learn what your blood sugar should be at bedtime. The range is usually 5.0-8.3 mmol/L , and its important to check what yours is before going to bed. Checking your blood sugar before you go to sleep will give you information about what caused any spikes or dips in the day that you might not have noticed. For instance, if your nighttime reading were high, this would tell us that something may have happened during the day that could affect your diabetes management plan.

Creating a bed routine can also be helpful if your blood sugar at bedtime is higher than what youd like it to be. For instance, rather than eating or drinking anything sweet before bedtime and then checking how what should happen next for diabetes management will depend on what the readings are in the morning, try adding this into a routine:

  • Eat dinner earlier in the evening
  • Dont drink sugar-sweetened beverages before bedtime
  • Eating a nitrile snack before bed helps maintain your blood sugar normal and prevents your liver from releasing excess glucose
  • Limit alcoholic beverages to the extent they disturb sleep
  • Too close to bed exercises often can cause poor sleeping habits
  • Avoid eating caffeine within several hours of going to bed
  • Take medicine if needed to lower your blood sugar levels, but dont take too much insulin so you wont have a low reading in the morning.

Always consult with your doctor before changing anything to your diet, insulin plan, or diabetes management.

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Consider Testing After You Eat

Whether or not you take insulin or one or more other glucose-lowering medications to control your blood glucose levels, consider checking one to two hours after you eat to see how certain meals affect your blood sugar. This is especially helpful when you are first diagnosed. It’s also useful to do what’s called paired testing, which is testing before you eat and then again after you eat. Doing this at your biggest meal of the day can be valuable.

Below are target blood sugar guidelines for adults with diabetes who have no other health issues. There’s a slight difference between the two organizations’ recommendations. Ask your provider about specific fasting and after-eating glucose levels and A1C targets that are right for you.

Guidelines for checking glucose after a meal :

American Diabetes Association: Less than 180 mg/dl

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists: Less than 140 mg/dl

Do I Have To Monitor My Blood Glucose Levels If I Am On Metformin

How to test your Blood Sugar Levels

Do I have to monitor my blood glucose levels if I am on metformin? Not everyone agrees with me on this, but I very strongly feel that everyone with diabetes should be checking their blood sugar. Diabetes is a progressive disease, it will get worse on its own, even when you do everything right. I dont believe in giving diabetes any foothold, handhold, or toehold in your body and as such, the meter is the first line of defense to see change for the worst when it starts to happen. The meter is the sentinel in the watch tower. Now many people feel that diabetics who take oral meds with little to no risk of low blood sugar, like your metformin, dont need to be testing blood sugar because there is nothing the patient can do if they find they are high. Again, I disagree, and this time because the fact that there is nothing you can do is false. First and foremost you can look at what you did to get yourself high in the first place and avoid doing it again. Testing before and several hours after various meals will help you learn what foods your body can tolerate and which ones it cant. If you numbers are always depressingly high, no matter what you eat, then your therapy needs adjusting.Continue reading > >

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What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis

If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.

When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:

  • Fast, deep breathing.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Stomach pain.

If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.

DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.

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 “optimizing” 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 “ideal range” 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 .

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Structured Blood Glucose Testing

Structured testing supports your routine or daily testing by giving you deeper, more targeted data to work from. It can help you determine if you’re in a safe range and problem-solve around how the things you do are connected to your blood sugar. You simply perform additional tests over a short period at specific times of day.

Structured blood glucose testing can help you:

  • Discover how to best use your numbers
  • See how certain activities can affect on your blood sugar levels
  • Problem-solve around highs and lows
  • Identify blood sugar patterns
  • Work with your healthcare team decide if any adjustments are needed in your insulin therapy or other areas of your diabetes management

Pattern management: If you find that your A1C result is rising in spite of your best efforts, or if you don’t feel as well as you’d like, talk with your healthcare professional about the Accu-Chek 360° View tool. This simple paper tool helps you track your blood sugar over 3 days, so you and your doctor can quickly identify patterns that can guide adjustments to your treatment plan. As a result, you may be able to feel better and lower your A1C.2

Before-and-after testing: You may also decide to try the Accu-Chek Testing in Pairs tool. This easy-to-use, printable tool helps you see changes in your blood glucose with before-and-after testing. In just 7 days, you can see the effect a specific meal, exercise or other event has on your blood sugar.

When You Are Sick

How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar Level?

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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Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Level

Last Updated February 2021 | This article was created by familydoctor.org editorial staff and reviewed by Robert “Chuck” Rich, Jr., MD, FAAFP

If you have diabetes, its important to monitor your blood sugar at different times of the day and throughout the year. There are 3 tools that can help you do this and, therefore, manage your diabetes: A blood test done every three months, blood tests taken every day, and a system that constantly monitors your blood glucose.

The 3-month blood test is called an A1C test. This test reflects your blood sugar control over the past 2-3 months. Testing your A1C level every 3 months is the best way for you and your doctor to understand how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Your doctor will likely be the one who orders an A1C test. However, you can also purchase over-the-counter A1C testing kits that you can use at home. Your A1C goal will be determined by your doctor. However, the goal is generally less than 7% or 8%, depending on your age.

The daily blood test is done with a blood glucose monitor . This is also called a home blood sugar meter, a glucometer, or a glucose meter. This type of testing is often referred to as self-monitoring of blood glucose. Your doctor may prescribe a BGM, especially if your blood sugar fluctuates. They will show you how to use it.

What Should I Do If My Glucose Levels Are Too High

You should establish a treatment plan with your doctor. You may be able to manage your glucose levels through diet and other lifestyle changes, like weight loss. Exercise can also help lower your glucose levels.

Medications may be added to your treatment if needed. Most people with type 2 diabetes will start on metformin as their first medication. There are many different types of diabetes medications that act in different ways.

Injecting insulin is one way to quickly reduce your glucose levels. Your doctor may prescribe insulin if you need help managing your glucose levels. Your doctor will determine your dosage and go over with you how to inject it, and when.

Let your doctor know if your glucose levels are consistently high. This could mean you need to take regular medication or make other changes to your diabetes treatment plan. Working with your doctor to get your glucose levels under control is important. Consistently high levels can lead to serious complications, like diabetic neuropathy or kidney failure.

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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:

  • Neuropathy

  • Diabetic nephropathy

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?

When You Wake Up

Pin on Blood Sugar

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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Whats My Target Range

You might be asking, what’s the normal range for blood sugar levels? The answer is, there is a healthy range that you should ideally be aiming for. The infographics above show the general guidelines, but your individual target range for your blood sugar levels may be different. Youll healthcare team will agree with you what it is.

Youll get different readings at different times of the day, depending on things like what youve eaten and how much you are moving around. Heres a guide to help you get started on finding your target range:

If youre a child with Type 1 diabetes

  • when you wake up and before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
  • after meals: 5 to 9mmol/l

If youre an adult with Type 1 diabetes

  • when you wake up and before meals: 5 to 7mmol/l
  • before meals at other times of the day: 4 to 7mmol/l

If you have Type 2 diabetes

  • before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
  • two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l

How Do I Check Blood Sugar Level

Checking blood sugar level is very simple thanks to the availability of easy-to-use handheld glucometers. These consumer glucometers have made it very easy to always keep an eye on your blood sugar level. They are an absolute essential for diabetics and also for people trying to maintain their blood glucose level.

They operate by taking pin-pricks of blood onto a small electrode slip, which when inserted into the device gives a digital readout of the amount of glucose content in the blood. These devices have become extremely popular for their convenience, reliability and accuracy.

An essential laboratory test of blood glucose level is the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test or OGTT. It is a diagnostic test for DM or any glucose intolerance. Here, a blood sugar reading is taken after a 10-12 hour fast. Then another reading is taken after 2 hours after ingesting a measured amount of glucose. This test shows the bodys ability to absorb glucose, thus is a confirmatory test for DM.

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Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

If your test results show you have prediabetes, ask your doctor or nurse if there is a lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program in your community. You can also search for an online or in-person program. Having prediabetes puts you at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but participating in the program can lower your risk by as much as 58% .

Sleeping Habits And Diabetes

Diabetes – Checking Your Blood Sugars -When do I check my blood sugars?

According to research, insomnia affects how well you respond to insulin. People who sleep more than 9 hours each night also tend to have higher rates of diabetes. Sleep apnea can also increase someones probability of diabetes. Researchers have discovered that sleep-induced diabetes could raise the risk of other types of diabetes. More than 400 respondents reported how much sleep they get the night before.

Therefore its quite important to have a good nights rest so you have enough strength throughout the day. Below you can find a few tips to create the perfect routine.

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How Do I Check My Blood Glucose Levels

To check your blood glucose levels, you prick your finger with the lancet and add a small drop of blood onto a blood glucose checking strip. This strip is then inserted into the meter, which reads the strip and displays a number your blood glucose level.

When and how often you should check your blood glucose levels varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being used. Blood glucose levels are measured in millimoles per litre of blood . Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator will help you decide how many checks are needed and the levels to aim for.

Keeping a record of your blood glucose levels can be very helpful for you and your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. You can keep a diary or use a mobile phone app or website to record your levels.

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