How To Test Your Blood Sugar At Home
Follow these steps:
If You Have Questions About Your Diagnosis
It’s usually difficult to take in everything the GP tells you during the appointment.
Talk to family and friends about what the GP told you, and write down any questions you have.
Then make another GP appointment and take your list of questions with you.
There’s also a lot of information on diabetes available.
When To Talk With A Pro
Testing your blood sugar is crucial to diabetes management. Using a meter or continuous glucose monitoring can provide accurate results. But you might seek a pain-free method to check blood sugar.
Talk with your doctor or a certified diabetes educator. You might be a candidate for a glucose monitoring device that involves fewer finger pricks or no finger pricks.
Additionally, making a few adjustments in the way you collect your blood sample might reduce the level of pain and discomfort.
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Type 2 Diabetes Screening By Pharmacists
Some pharmacists offer short appointments where you can find out your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You usually pay a fee for this service, which involves answering a series of questions.
A diabetes screening test does not diagnose you and is not completely accurate. Instead, it can be used as a guide. Depending on the results from this screening, you or your loved one may be advised to seek further medical help from your local GP. If you dont appear to be at risk at the time of screening, this doesnt mean you arent still at risk of developing type 2 in the future. If you later find signs of diabetes its worth being screened again, or being tested for diabetes.
Some pharmacists offer blood tests to diagnose diabetes, but youll need to pay for these unlike having them through your doctor.
Check your risk
If you dont want to attend a diabetes screening test but want to know your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, you can check your risk for free by using our online risk score.
When Should I Check My Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Typical times to check your blood sugar include:
- When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
- Two hours after a meal.
If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.
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How Does Blood Sugar Level Work
With a lack of nutrients and food that contain glucose, the blood sugar level will begin to decline. This is known as hypoglycemia.
After blood sugar becomes low, the pancreas releases a peptide hormone called glucagon. When this happens, the glucose that is stored in the body for energy is instructed to release due to the liver. This causes the glucose to turn into glycogen, known as the glycogenesis process. This is what can help a body to regain energy as the readily stored glycogen, in the liver and muscles, will release into the body.
On the other hand, the blood sugar can also rise and become too high which is known as hyperglycemia.
When the body does not produce enough of the insulin hormone, blood sugar levels begin to increase. This is because glucose relies on the insulin hormone to help it absorb into the bloodstream. Usually, this occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin, known as type 1 diabetes, or does not respond to insulin correctly, known as type 2 diabetes.
Eating too many processed foods can also cause your blood sugar level to rise. If there is not enough insulin present in the body, too much bad food can cause your blood sugar level to build up.
For those with a normal blood sugar level, this will be due to eating the right foods and your body being able to produce and respond to insulin.
You may be wondering what exactly causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels, so here is a roundup:
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:
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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What Is The Future Of Blood Sugar Testing
Even though you can monitor blood sugar level with glucometers and CGMs, the future might provide additional ways to manage your diabetes.
- Multiple waves:Researchers have been studying and experimenting with new technologies. For example, some adults with type 2 diabetes in Europe have access to a device that can measure blood sugar using ultrasonic, electromagnet, and thermal waves.
- Radio waves: Other advances on the horizon involve using radio waves to measure blood sugar .
- Tears: Additionally, some researchers are working on a sensor to monitor blood sugar under the lower eyelid . It works by measuring the sugar level of tear fluid.
- Contacts and lasers: Other future technologies might possibly include using a smart contact lens to measure blood sugar, as well as laser technology.
Why Get A Free Diabetes Screening
The purpose of this type of screening is to serve as an early alert, hopefully cutting down on the damage done by type 2 diabetes by uncovering it and addressing it early, before you have any complications of high blood sugar. Also, “These screenings have the potential to catch other types of diabetes,” adds Knapp. Since more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and another 86 million are at risk for the disease, early diagnosis is more important than ever.
Here are more reasons for getting a screening:
- You can find out whether you might have a type of diabetes called prediabetes, which almost always starts before full-blown type 2 diabetes.
- Early diagnosis enables you to start self-care with healthy lifestyle changes, like increasing exercise and losing weight.
- For some people with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range.
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How To Test Blood Sugar
People with diabetes usually check their blood sugar levels themselves. However, its a good idea to have a roommate, friend, or family member also know how to do it if you are sick and cant do it yourself.
To use a blood sugar meter, follow these steps:
If you are interested in CGM, you should talk to your healthcare provider since these are prescription devices. To use CGM, follow these steps:
You will also need to change the sensors on the CGM regularly, usually every one to two weeks.
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% .
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Top Suggestions For One Hour Glucose Test Normal Range
normal glucose test results chart quote. Proinsulin is the precursor molecule for insulin and is found in the rough endoplasmic reticulum of the beta cells in the pancreatic islets. As shown in Figure 79-2, the proteolytic conversion of proinsulin results in the formation of equimo-lar amounts of insulin and its connecting peptide, C peptide.
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How Does Gestational Diabetes Develop
Your body makes a hormone called insulin to help keep your blood glucose at the right level. Your blood glucose levels become higher if your body doesnt make enough insulin or if your insulin does not work as well as it should.
During pregnancy, hormones are made by the placenta to help the baby develop and grow. These hormones, however, can stop the mothers insulin from working properly. This is called insulin resistance. As the pregnancy develops and the baby grows bigger, the mothers body has to make more insulin to keep her blood glucose in the recommended glucose range.
Later in pregnancy the amount of insulin needed to keep blood glucose levels in the optimal range is 2 to 3 times higher than usual. If the mother is unable to produce enough insulin to meet this demand then her blood glucose levels rise and gestational diabetes develops.
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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.
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.
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Are There Any Risks
While the test itself does not come with any real risk, there are certain risk factors for developing gestational diabetesincluding being over the age of 25, having a family history of diabetes, and/or being obese. That said, half of those who develop gestational diabetes have no known risk factors, making testing is so important.
What Should A Normal Blood Sugar Level Be One Hour After Eating
You should always consult with your doctor about what your target blood sugar levels should be, as its not always the same for everyone. If youre looking for a standard benchmark, the American Diabetes Association recommends a target of below 180 mg/dL one to two hours after you eat. For people without diabetes, you should aim for a target below 140 mg/dL.
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What Can Make My Blood Glucose Fall
Hypoglycemia is the technical term for low blood glucose . Its when your blood glucose levels have fallen low enough that you need to take action to bring them back to your target range. Here are a few of the causes:
- Not enough food, like a meal or snack with fewer carbohydrates than usual, or missing a meal or snack
- Alcohol, especially on an empty stomach
- Too much insulin or oral diabetes medications
- Side effects from other medications
- More physical activity or exercise than usual
Dont worry: There are things you can do to avoid lows. Be sure to learn the symptoms, and how to treat them when you get them.
How Do I Prepare For The Plasma Glucose Level Test And How Are The Results Interpreted
To get an accurate plasma glucose level, you must have fasted for at least 8 hours prior to the test. When you report to the clinic or laboratory, a small sample of blood will be taken from a vein in your arm. According to the practice recommendations of the American Diabetes Association, the results of the blood test are interpreted as follows:
Fasting blood glucose level
- If your blood glucose level is 70 to 99* mg/dL . . .
- What it means: Your glucose level is within the normal range.
*Values between 50 and 70 are often seen in healthy people.
**The condition of prediabetes puts you at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood lipid disorders.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/21/2018.
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The Big Picture: Checking Your Blood Glucose
Blood sugar monitoring is the primary tool you have to find out if your blood glucose levels are within your target range. This tells you your blood glucose level at any one time.
Its important for blood glucose levels to stay in a healthy range. If glucose levels get too low, we can lose the ability to think and function normally. If they get too high and stay high, it can cause damage or complications to the body over the course of many years.
The logging of your results is vital. When you bring your log to your health care provider, youll have a good picture of your body’s response to your diabetes care plan. To help keep track of your levels, we have a glucose log. We also have a blood glucose log available for purchase that is smaller so you can carry it with you.
Blood Sugar And Heart Disease
As was just briefly mentioned, poor blood sugar regulation ultimately contributes to heart disease. This is because chronically elevated insulin drives up inflammation and contributes to the oxidation of cholesterol within the arteries. Chronic elevation in insulin also increases blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, creating the perfect storm for heart disease development.
This is likely the reason why it is so common for those who have heart issues to also have diabetes and general metabolic disorders. Whenever I am working with someone who is concerned about heart disease, the first thing I recommend is to test blood sugar on a regular basis and use strategies to ensure it remains stable.
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How The Test Is Performed
During the first step, you will have a glucose screening test:
- You do not need to prepare or change your diet in any way.
- You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose.
- Your blood will be drawn 1 hour after you drink the glucose solution to check your blood glucose level.
If your blood glucose from the first step is too high, you will need to come back for a 3-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test:
- DO NOT eat or drink anything for 8 to 14 hours before your test.
- You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose, 100 grams .
- You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 3 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it. Each time, your blood glucose level will be checked.
- Allow at least 3 hours for this test.
You need to go to the lab one time for a 2-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test:
- DO NOT eat or drink anything for 8 to 14 hours before your test.
- You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose .
- You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 2 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it. Each time, your blood glucose level will be checked.
- Allow at least 2 hours for this test.
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