Questions To Ask Your Doctor
When visiting your doctor, you might keep these questions in mind to ask during your appointment.
- What is my target blood sugar range?
- How often should I check my blood sugar?
- What do these numbers mean?
- Are there patterns that show I need to change my diabetes treatment?
- What changes need to be made to my diabetes care plan?
If you have other questions about your numbers or your ability to manage your diabetes, make sure to work closely with your doctor or health care team.
Blood Sugar Level Chart By Age
Blood sugar levels tend to rise with age due to an increase in insulin resistance and decrease in insulin sensitivity. In one study by the National Health Institute , each extra decade of age was linked to a 2.7 mg/dl increase in fasting glucose, and a 4.5 mg/dl increase in 2-hour post-prandial glucose levels.
How To Use A Blood Sugar Meter
There are different kinds of meters, but most of them work the same way. Ask your health care team to show you the benefits of each. In addition to you, have someone else learn how to use your meter in case youre sick and cant check your blood sugar yourself.
Below are tips for how to use a blood sugar meter.
Don’t Miss: Can We Control Sugar Without Medicine
A1c Blood Sugar Tests
The A1C test measures the percentage of glucose bound hemoglobin in a persons blood.
According to The National Institutes of Health , this gives a general picture of a persons blood glucose levels over the past 23 months .
Abnormal A1C test results do not necessarily mean a person has diabetes. A doctor will confirm these findings with another blood glucose test.
The doctor may recommend running more tests, such as blood work, to rule out other conditions that can affect blood sugar levels.
Monitoring Your Blood Sugar
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.
Read Also: How To Control Pp Sugar
When Does A Person Need To Have Their Blood Glucose Measured With This Test
Prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes often have no symptoms at first. A person can have the condition and not know it. Healthcare providers usually order a fasting blood sugar test:
- As part of a standard annual physical examination to monitor a persons blood glucose over time.
- For pregnant women to ensure that pregnancy hormones are not causing diabetes.
- When a person has symptoms of diabetes, a family history of diabetes or risk factors for diabetes .
- When a person has had a previous blood glucose level that was higher than normal.
How To Use Blood Glucose Testing Results
It’s not unusual for your blood glucose results to be out of range now and then. But if you see a pattern of highs or lows outside your target range, you may want to ask yourself:
- Did I eat at an unusual time, have a larger or smaller portion, or try a new food?
- Did I have more or less physical activity than usual?
- Did I forget to take my medication, take it at the wrong time, take too little or too much?
- Am I taking a new medication?
- Am I stressed about something?
- Do I have an infection or an illness?
- Did I drink alcohol?
Any of these can have an impact on your blood glucose numbers. If you’re making changes to your lifestyle, or if you can’t figure out why you’ve been out of range, talk to your doctor, nurse or diabetes educator.
Sign up for Accu-Chek news and offers
Get emails sent directly to your inbox with the latest updates and deals on Accu-Chek products.
1American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes2016 Abridged for primary care providers . Diabetes Care. 2016 34: 3-21. Available at: . Accessed April 26, 2019.
2Polonsky WH, et al. Structured self-monitoring of blood glucose significantly reduces A1C levels in poorly controlled, noninsulin-treated type 2 diabetes: results from the Structured Testing Program study. Diabetes Care. 2011 34:262-267. Accessed April 26, 2019.
4Talk with your healthcare professional before deciding if alternate site testing is right for you.
You May Like: Can Diabetics Eat Banana
Take Steps To Prevent Infection
To avoid infection, practice the strategies advised by the
Frequent and repeated testing can cause sore fingertips. Here are a few suggestions that may help prevent this:
- Dont reuse a lancet. They can become dull, which may make pricking your finger more painful.
- Be sure to prick the side of your finger, not the pad. Pricking the end of your finger can be more painful.
- Though it may be a tempting way to produce more blood quickly, dont squeeze your fingertip vigorously. Instead, hang your hand and arm down, allowing blood to pool in your fingertips. In addition:
- You can help increase blood flow by washing your hands with warm water.
- If you still have too little blood, you can squeeze your finger, but start at the part closest to your palm, and work your way down your finger until you have enough.
- Dont test on the same finger each time. As part of your routine, establish which finger youll use and when. This way, youll never repeat testing on the same finger during the same day.
- If a finger becomes sore anyway, avoid prolonging the pain by not using it for several days. Use a different finger if possible.
- If you have chronic finger pain as a result of testing, see your doctor about changing glucose monitors. Some monitors can use blood drawn from other parts of your body.
Being asked by your doctor to monitor your glucose levels is an important part of the diagnostic process. Remember that many things can affect your blood sugar, including:
What Should My Blood Sugar Levels Be
Your blood sugar level changes depending on what you’ve eaten, whether you’ve exercised and other factors but we have some general guidelines to determine what levels are healthy.
For generally healthy individuals who haven’t eaten for eight hours or more, a normal blood sugar level is between 70-99 mg/dL. When you’ve eaten in the past two hours, it should be no higher than 140 mg/dL. To refresh your chemistry knowledge, that unit is milligrams per deciliter and it’s measuring the amount of glucose present in your blood.
Only a medical professional can diagnose diabetes or another issue with your blood sugar, so if you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels, check with a doctor.
You May Like: How To Reduce Diabetes Instantly
How Does Blood Glucose Work
Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in your blood. When you eat or drink, your body breaks down carbohydrates in the food or liquid into sugar for energy.
Then your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which helps blood sugar enter your bodys cells. It also helps your body store blood sugar for later use. As the cells use the blood sugar, glucose and insulin levels in the blood decrease.
But with diabetes, your body has trouble regulating glucose. Either your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, or your body doesnt process insulin effectively. Therefore, the amount of sugar in your blood is higher than normal. And a lot of glucose in your blood is bad for your body.
A fasting blood glucose test measures the amount of glucose in your blood when it should be at its lowest. That happens in the morning and when you havent had anything to eat or drink for a while.
Exercise And Blood Sugar Testing
When we exercise, our muscles use glucose as a source of energy and this increased energy use persists after exercise, says Celeste Thomas, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the department of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the University of Chicago. This puts some people with diabetes at risk for low blood sugar during and after exercise. For anyone taking insulin, checking your blood sugar both before and after exercising can help you keep tabs on any sudden drop. Adjusting your blood sugar-lowering medication prior to exercise and eating carbohydrates prior to or during a workout can help stabilize those readings, says Wolf.
Also Check: Sugar In Low Blood Pressure
What If Your Morning Blood Sugar Level Is High
Due to certain hormonal changes, it is quite natural to have a relatively higher blood sugar levels in the morning. If you do not have diabetes, your body will produce enough insulin to bring your blood sugar back to normal again. It may not happen though if you have diabetes.
Your blood glucose levels may stay elevated because of insulin resistance, which refers to a condition in which your body’s fat cells and muscles fail to use insulin effectively. The condition also affects the function of your liver and changes the way it processes and releases sugar, especially at night.
The situation is different when you have type-2 diabetes because the liver starts releasing more glucose than is needed into your blood. It means that your hormones are causing your blood sugar to go up and your liver is also making things worse by releasing more sugar into your system. This leads to a spike in blood sugar levels that stay elevated unless you pay attention to your diet and exercise. You may also have to take medications to manage your blood sugar better.
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 > >
Recommended Reading: Reduce Sugar Level Immediately
What Is Blood Sugar
Blood sugar, or glucose, is your body’s main energy source. We get glucose from the food we eat, and our blood carries it around to all the cells in the body to give them energy to function. Glucose mainly comes from the carbohydrates we eat, though our bodies can convert protein and fat into sugar too if needed.
Glucose from protein is typically stored in the liver and doesn’t enter the bloodstream, so eating protein-rich foods won’t raise your blood sugar too much. Fats slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, which causes a delayed rise in blood sugar. High blood sugar can be an issue because it usually leads to sugar crashes, which are no fun — symptoms include fatigue, headaches and the jitters. So, eat meals balanced with protein, fat and carbs to avoid this.
Blood sugar is closely related to insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas that helps your body use glucose that’s in the carbohydrates you eat. Insulin helps regulate your blood sugar levels — if you eat more sugar than you need in the moment, the hormone helps store the glucose in your liver until it’s needed for energy.
You probably also know about blood sugar in the context of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which people are unable to make insulin, so they need to inject the hormone in order to keep their blood sugar levels stable. People with Type 2 diabetes, which usually occurs later in life, either don’t secrete insulin or are resistant to it.
When To Test Your Blood Sugar
by Health Writer
If youve got diabetes, keeping blood glucose levels steady is the name of the game. Normally, your body regulates blood sugar well, thanks to a series of feedback mechanisms that involve the secretion of the hormone insulin. But in people with type 1 diabetes, your body doesnt make enough insulin in type 2 diabetes, an inability to effectively use insulin causes glucose levels to swing around. The complex regulation of glucose is one reason that managing diabetes can be challenging for patients, says Jacob Kohlenberg, M.D., assistant professor in the division of diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, MN. Here, tips for tracking your blood sugar levels.
Also Check: What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Sugar Cravings
The Best Time To Check Blood Glucose After A Meal
Q: I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Should I check my blood glucose two hours from when I start eating or after I finish eating my meal? A: Most of the food you consume will be digested and raises blood glucose in one to two hours. To capture the peak level of your blood glucose, it is best to test one to two hours after you start eating. The American Diabetes Association recommends a target of below 180 mg/dl two hours after a meal. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a lower target: below 140 mg/dl two hours after a meal. Ask your doctor which target is right for you. Postmeal blood glucose monitoring is important because it helps you see how your body responds to carbohydrates in general and particular foods. Managing postmeal blood glucose can help reduce your risk of developing heart and circulation problems. Virginia Zamudio Lange, a member of Diabetic Living’s editorial advisory board, is a founding partner of Alamo Diabetes Team, LLP in San Antonio.Continue reading > >
Factors That Affect How Often You Need To Test Your Blood Sugar
How often you test depends on several different factors.
You should test your blood sugar at home, but how often is enough? Well, it dependsmostly on your medication, you, and your doctor.
The American Diabetes Association recommends testing your blood sugar at least three times a day if you need multiple daily insulin injections. But for the rest of those with type 2 diabetes, testing frequency should be “dictated by the particular needs and goals of the patients,” the ADA says.
That means that frequent testing is clearly necessarily for some people with type 2 diabetes, but there is a little wiggle room for others.
Some studies suggest that frequent monitoring is not always helpful for people with type 2 diabetes. But that research is still being debated. Your doctor or diabetes educator can help you determine how often and when you should be testing.
How often you test depends on the following factors.
Next Page: Blood sugar at diagnosis
Also Check: Reduce Sugar Level Instantly
Who Should Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar regularly will help you understand how medication like insulin, food, and physical activity affect your blood glucose. It also allows you to catch rising blood sugar levels early. It is the most important thing you can do to prevent complications from diabetes such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.
Other people who may benefit from checking their blood glucose regularly include those:
- Taking insulin
Why It Is Done
A home blood glucose test is an accurate way to measure your blood sugar level at the time of testing. If you have diabetes, testing your blood glucose levels at home provides information about:
- Your blood sugar level. It is important to know when your blood sugar is high or low, to prevent emergency situations from developing. It is also important to treat consistently high blood sugar levels so you can decrease your chances of developing heart, blood vessel, and nerve complications from diabetes.
- How much insulin to take before each meal. If you take rapid-acting or short-acting insulin before meals, the blood sugar test results can help you determine how much insulin to take before each meal. If your blood sugar level is high, you may need extra insulin. If your blood sugar level is low, you may need to eat before you take any insulin.
- How exercise, diet, stress, and being ill affect your blood sugar levels. Testing your blood sugar can help you learn how your body responds to these things. Where possible, you can adjust your lifestyle to improve your blood sugar level.
Home blood sugar testing also may be used to:
- Test blood sugar levels in people who have symptoms of high blood sugar or low blood sugar .
You May Like: How To Decrease Sugar Level Immediately