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How Do You Manage Blood Sugar

Checking Blood Sugar (Glucose) Level | How to Use a Glucometer (Glucose Meter)

It’s not easy to manage your blood sugar, but it’s important to do so if you have diabetes. There are many things you can do to keep your blood sugar levels in the healthy range.

The first step is to understand what causes your blood sugar levels to go up and down. This will help you make choices that keep your blood sugar levels within your target range.

How To Reduce The Pain Of Blood Sugar Checks

Nobody gets excited about pricking their fingertip. In fact, studies have shown that it’s one of the main reasons people refrain from regularly checking their blood glucose.6,7 So how can you make this less of a hurdle in your self-care?

Select a less-painful lancing device

Naturally, one factor that can contribute to the pain is your lancing device. That’s why we’ve worked hard to ensure that Accu-Chek lancing devices keep discomfort to a minimum. For example, our lancing devices feature:

  • Technology that minimizes side-to-side motion, so there’s less skin tearing
  • 11 customizable depth settings to help match your skin type
  • Precisely manufactured, beveled, thin-gauge lancets to ensure smoother entry

You can reduce pain by using a fresh lancet for every test. Today’s lancets are so tiny that just a single use can bend or dull the tips. This can make them hurt more as you reuse them.

5 tips for reducing fingertip pain

You can make testing more comfortable and help ensure that you get a good sample on the first try by following these 5 easy steps.

  • Make sure that your hands are clean and dry. Washing your hands with warm water and hanging your hand at your side for a few minutes may increase blood flow.3
  • Lance on the side of the fingertip rather than the pad. The pad of your fingertipwhere your fingerprints are most visibleare some of the most sensitive parts of your body.8
  • Keep the skin taut by pressing the lancing device firmly against the skin.
  • How To Check Blood Sugar Without A Meter

    Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body either doesnt make enough insulin or doesnt use insulin properly or both. This can lead to a higher than normal blood sugar level.

    Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to complications, such as:

    • heart disease
    • nerve damage

    For these reasons, its important to monitor your blood sugar if you have diabetes.

    Prior to using meters, people with diabetes would monitor their blood sugar by testing their urine. This method, however, wasnt as accurate, nor did it provide real-time results.

    If you self-test your blood sugar several times a day using a glucometer, or meter, it requires that you prick your finger to draw blood to test. Due to the discomfort of this method, you might look for a way to monitor your level without this tool.

    If finger pricks are very bothersome for you, dont worry theres hope. Advances in blood sugar monitoring technology could mean no more finger pricks in the future.

    If you have diabetes, there are several portable devices you can use to check your blood sugar level and not all of them require a finger prick.

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    How Do I Measure My Blood Sugar Level

    Follow your doctors advice and the instructions that come with the BGM or CGM. Different meters work differently, so be sure to check with your doctor for advice specifically for you. With a BGM, youll usually follow the steps below:

    • Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test.
    • Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that youre going to prick. For most glucose meters, you will prick your fingertip. However, with some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or the fleshy part of your hand. Ask your doctor what area you should use with your meter.
    • Prick yourself with a sterile lancet to get a drop of blood.
    • Place the drop of blood on the test strip.
    • Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into your glucose meter.
    • The meter will give you a number for your blood sugar level.

    If you have a CGM, youll follow the insertion directions that come with the monitor. Once its warmed up, the transmitter wirelessly sends the data to your computer or smartphone.

    Choosing A Blood Glucose Monitor

    Fasting blood sugar: Normal levels and testing

    A blood glucose monitor, testing strips, and a lancet to draw the blood are all necessary for testing. Some testing kits offer all three, while others require separate purchases for each piece.

    People with diabetes use many testing strips, and so it may be wise to carefully consider the cost of the testing strips as well as the monitor.

    Some other tips for buying a monitor include:

    • Select one with automatic coding to avoid the need to code in results with every test.
    • Check insurance plans to see if an insurer only covers certain monitors.
    • Look at whether the unit stores previous data.
    • Consider portability, since larger units can be difficult to carry around.
    • Think about blood sample size, particularly for people who do not like pricking themselves.

    Monitors that require a smaller blood sample may be more comfortable as the depth of the lancet can be less.

    Many people with diabetes have no signs of the disease at all. However, the lack of symptoms does not necessarily mean the absence of diabetes.

    When symptoms occur, many of the effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the same since both affect blood sugar regulation in the body. Symptoms include:

    • increased hunger and thirst

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    What Are Blood Sugar Levels

    Blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose level, is the level of sugar/glucose present in the blood. Glucose is a simple version of sugar which comes from the food we eat. Therefore, the more food you consume with high sugar levels over a period of time, will typically increase your blood sugar level.

    Glucose comes from the foods we eat and its sugar content. When a person consumes a food with high sugar content, that is turned into glucose. The glucose is then absorbed into the bloodstream with the support of insulin. This is then distributed between the bodys cells and used as energy.

    Foods high in glucose include most carbohydrates and a handful of proteins and fats. Most foods contain glucose as it is simply a natural sugar that occurs in most dietary forms. However, it is carbohydrates that contain the most sugar and 100% of it turns into glucose, through the process mentioned above, once consumed. The concentration of glucose present in the blood will determine your blood sugar level.

    Here is a quick video explaining Blood sugar levels chart :

    Your blood sugar level can either be low, normal or high. Depending on what you eat and health conditions, it will vary from person to person. Here is a breakdown of how your blood sugar works and how low or high blood sugar levels happens:

    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

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    Blood Sugar Levels: What’s Normal What’s Not And How To Measure

    What do blood glucose levels mean and what range is healthy? Here’s what you need to know.

    Caroline Roberts

    Digital Editorial Intern

    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.

    We all want to keep track of our health in every way we can — you may weigh yourself, keep track of your blood pressure or monitor your resting heart rate. But how close of an eye do you keep on your blood sugar?

    People with diabetes are all too familiar with their blood sugar levels, but the rest of us might not even think about it much. However, consistently high blood sugar levels 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. Without further ado, let’s get into what blood sugar means, how to measure it and everything else you need to know.

    How Can I Check My Blood Sugar Level Without A Meter

    How to test your blood glucose (sugar) levels

    There are ways in which you can check blood sugar level without the traditional meter method, but do note that they are not as accurate. A device called the continuous glucose monitoring pump is like an insulin pump, which can help you find patterns and trends in your sugar levels. These non-prick methods use electromagnetic waves to read glucose in the body.

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    Treating Low Blood Glucose If You Take Medicines That Slow Down Digestion

    Some diabetes medicines slow down the digestion of carbohydrates to keep blood glucose levels from rising too high after you eat. If you develop low blood glucose while taking these medicines, you will need to take glucose tablets or glucose gel right away. Eating or drinking other sources of carbohydrates wont raise your blood glucose level quickly enough.

    Symptoms Signs Causes Of Levels Of High Blood Sugar In The Blood

    High blood sugar or hyperglycemia is an abnormally high blood sugar level in the blood. Hyperglycemia is a hallmark sign of diabetes and prediabetes.

    Signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia include blurred vision, headaches, hunger, and …

    The normal ranges for blood sugar levels in adults who do not have diabetes while fasting are 72-99 mg/dL. These ranges may increase to 80-130 mg/dL for those being treated for diabetes.

    According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes should have

    • blood sugar levels of 80-130 mg/dL before eating a meal , and
    • less than 180 mg/dL about 1-2 hours after eating a meal

    High blood sugar ranges for people who dont have diabetes begin at 140 mg/dL, while those being treated for diabetes have a high range beginning at 180 mg/dL.

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    Other Tips For Checking:

    • With some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or fleshy part of your hand.
    • There are spring-loaded lancing devices that make sticking yourself less painful.
    • If you use your fingertip, stick the side of your fingertip by your fingernail to avoid having sore spots on the frequently used part of your finger.

    What Number Should My Blood Glucose Be

    The Big Picture: Checking your Blood Glucose

    Blood glucose is measured in mg/dl. The normal range for blood glucose for people without diabetes is 70 to 120 mg/dl.

    The Diabetes Center has guidelines for blood glucose readings. This is called a target range. There may be times when your healthcare provider gives you a different target range, like for bedtime, with exercise, or after eating.

    Nationwide Childrens Hospital Diabetes Center Target Blood Glucose Ranges

    Age

    The goal is to keep the blood glucose within the target range most of the time.

    Recommended Reading: What Should Your Sugar Level Be If You Have Diabetes

    What Are The Different Types Of Insulin

    Several types of insulin are available. Each type starts to work at a different speed, known as onset, and its effects last a different length of time, known as duration. Most types of insulin reach a peak, which is when they have the strongest effect. After the peak, the effects of the insulin wear off over the next few hours or so. Table 1 lists the different types of insulin, how fast they start to work, when they peak, and how long they last.

    Table 1. Types of insulin and how they work1,2

    Insulin Type
    does not peak36 hours or longer

    Another type of insulin, called premixed insulin, is a combination of insulins listed in Table 1. Premixed insulin starts to work in 15 to 60 minutes and can last from 10 to 16 hours. The peak time varies depending on which insulins are mixed.

    Your doctor will work with you to review your medication options. Talk with your doctor about your activity level, what you eat and drink, how well you manage your blood glucose levels, your age and lifestyle, and how long your body takes to absorb insulin.

    Follow your doctors advice on when and how to take your insulin. If you’re worried about the cost, talk with your doctor. Some types of insulin cost more than others. You can also find resources to get financial help for diabetes care.

    What Is The Normal Blood Sugar Level For Teens

    Teenagers are recommended to have a blood sugar range between 70-150 mg/dL. It’s not easy for a teenager to maintain a tight range, therefore it’s important to aim for these numbers to give them a bit more flexibility.

    • Fasting: 70-150 mg/dL
    • Preprandial : 90-130 mg/dL
    • Postprandial : Less than 140 mg/dL
    • Bedtime: 90-150 mg/dL

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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% .

    Low Blood Sugar Level Causes

    How To Test Your Blood Sugar Levels | 7 Simple Steps | Diabetes UK

    Most low blood sugar level causes are preventable and are caused due to a persons lifestyle and diet habits. Low blood sugar is common among diabetic patients who take medications to increase insulin levels.

    All of the above causes are risk factors that may or may not be able to be inhibited. They are important to be aware of and act accordingly to keep yourself from getting a too high or too low blood sugar level.

    If a person has medical, lifestyle or diet habits that cause irregular blood sugar levels, symptoms will begin to develop along with the drop or spike in blood sugar, and are as follows:

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    What You Need To Know About Glucose Meter Accuracy

    Here are some things that can affect readings:

    User error. Suspicious of the results? Read and follow the user guide instructions that come with your meter. Store your meter and strips away from sunlight and temperature extremes. Check the viability of each new bottle of test strips by running a check using glucose control solution .

    Laboratory versus at-home results. Meters intended for self-monitoring by people with diabetes are allowed to vary by as much as plus or minus 10 percent from the results laboratory equipment would give.

    Location of the blood. Blood glucose levels differ within the body. Rapid changes from dosing insulin or eating show up first in blood obtained from the fingertips.

    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.

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    Normal And Diabetic Blood Sugar Ranges

    For the majority of healthy individuals, normal blood sugar levels are as follows:

    • Between 4.0 to 5.4 mmol/L when fasting
    • Up to 7.8 mmol/L 2 hours after eating

    For people with diabetes, blood sugar level targets are as follows:

    • Before meals : 4 to 7 mmol/L for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
    • After meals : under 9 mmol/L for people with type 1 diabetes and under 8.5mmol/L for people with type 2 diabetes

    How Do I Keep Track

    Blood sugar level testing

    Even though blood glucose meters can help you track your blood sugar test results, it’s still a good idea to write down the results. This makes it easier for you and your diabetes health care team to see patterns and trends in your blood sugar levels.

    Writing down all your results in a log book or journal can help. You can also download special programs that allow you to track your blood sugar readings on your phone or computer. You might need to record other information too, such as what you were eating or how active you were. This information will help you learn more about how certain situations like eating or exercising affect your diabetes control.

    The more information you, your parents, and your diabetes health team have, the easier it is to keep your blood sugar levels on the right track.

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