If you have diabetes, self-testing your blood glucose (blood sugar) can be an essential tool in managing your treatment plan and avoiding diabetes problems. You can evaluate your blood sugar at home with a portable electronic device (glucose meter) that determines sugar level in a little drop of your blood.
Why test your blood sugar
Blood glucose testing– or self-monitoring blood sugar– offers useful information for diabetes management. It can help you:
– Judge how well you’re reaching general treatment goals
– Understand how diet and workout affect blood glucose levels
– Understand how other aspects, such as health problem or tension, impact blood sugar levels
– Monitor the effect of diabetes medications on blood sugar levels
– Identify blood glucose levels that are high or low
When to evaluate your blood sugar level
Your doctor will recommend the frequency you need to inspect your blood sugar level. In general, the frequency of testing depends upon the type of diabetes you have and your treatment strategy.
Your medical professional may recommend blood sugar screening 4 to 10 times a day if you have type 1 diabetes. You may also need to check your blood sugar level more typically if you are ill, alter your day-to-day regimen or start a brand-new medication.
– Type 2 diabetes. If you take insulin to manage type 2 diabetes, your physician might recommend blood sugar checking a few times a day, depending on the type and amount of insulin you use.
Testing is normally advised before meals and at bedtime if you are taking numerous injections everyday. You may want to check only two times daily, prior to breakfast and supper if you just utilize a long-acting insulin. If you manage type 2 diabetes with non insulin medications or with diet plan and exercise alone, you may not need to check your blood sugar daily.
What if you have a constant glucose monitor (CGM)?
Individuals treated with insulin, especially those with type 1 diabetes, might also choose to utilize a CGM. These gadgets determine your blood sugar level every couple of minutes utilizing a sensor inserted under the skin.
Some devices show your blood glucose reading at all times on a receiver, and an alarm will go off if your blood sugar level is going up or going down too quickly. Others need that you check your blood sugar level by running the receiver over the sensing unit periodically.
The majority of these devices still require finger-stick checks to calibrate the maker. Inspect your device’s user guide to find out if you need to inspect, and how typically you need to do so.
Know your target range
Your medical professional will set target blood glucose test results based on numerous factors, consisting of:
– Type and severity of diabetes
– How long you’ve had diabetes.
– Pregnancy status.
– The existence of diabetes issues.
– Overall health and the presence of other medical conditions.
For many people who have diabetes, Mayo Clinic normally suggests the following target blood sugar levels prior to meals:
– Between 80 and 120 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for people age 59 and below who have no other underlying medical conditions.
– Between 100 and 140 mg/dL for people age 60 and older, or for those who have other medical conditions, such as heart, lung or kidney illness or minimized ability to sense low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia awareness).
For many individuals who have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association typically recommends the following target blood glucose levels:.
– Between 80 and 130 mg/dL (4.4 and 7.2 mmol/L) prior to meals.
– Less than 180 mg/dL (10.0 mmol/L) two hours after meals.
How to test your blood sugar level
Blood sugar testing requires making use of a little electronic device called a glucometer. The meter checks out the amount of sugar in a little sample of blood, generally from your fingertip, that you put on a disposable test strip. Your family doctor can recommend a proper device for you.
Your physician can also help you to understand how to use a meter
Follow the instructions that feature your glucose meter. In general, here is how the process works:
1. Wash and dry your hands well.
2. Insert a test strip into your meter.
3. Prick the side of your fingertip with the needle (lancet) supplied with your test set.
4. Gently squeeze or massage your finger till a drop of blood types.
5. Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood.
6. The meter will show your blood glucose level on a screen after a few seconds.
If your meter can check blood taken from an alternate site, such as the forearm or palm, it’s crucial to comprehend that these readings might not be as precise as readings from the fingertips, especially after a meal or throughout exercise when glucose levels change more regularly.
Recording your results
Talk with your doctor about how frequently you need to tape your blood glucose outcomes. Many gadgets can now be downloaded to a computer.
When you manually log your results, tape-record the date, time, test results, medication and dose, and diet plan and exercise details. Bring your record of results with you to all consultations with your medical professional. Speak to your physician about what to do and when to call when you get outcomes that do not fall within the range of your target objectives.
Preventing issues with meter use
Blood sugar level meters require to be used and maintained effectively. Follow these ideas to guarantee correct use:.
– Follow the user handbook for your meter– procedures might vary from one device to another.
– Use a blood sample size as directed in the manual.
– Use just test strips created for your meter.
– Store test strips as directed.
– Do not utilize expired test strips.
– Clean the gadget and run quality-control checks as directed.
– Bring the meter to your doctor appointments to resolve any questions and to demonstrate how you utilize your meter.
Options for unused test strips
On occassion people with diabetis switch devices and equipment at the recommendations of their medical practitioner. The testing equipment isn’t always interchangeable and able tot be used with the new equipment. They often get stuck with boxes of diabetic test strips they can’t use. Rather than allowing those test strips to waste, there are companies that offer cash for test strips. These companies make it possible for individuals with the disease that are underinsured or have no medical insurance at all the opportunity to buy them at a much affordable rate. Selling unused test strips is a benefit to all parties involved in the process.