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How To Test Blood Sugar At Home

S To Follow When Checking Blood Glucose Levels At Home

How to test blood sugar at home with a glucometer

After arranging these supplies, you need to follow these steps for a correct reading:

  • Wash and dry your hands well with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol swab. Food and other substances can give you an inaccurate reading.
  • Do milking or rub your finger for better blood flow.
  • Insert a test strip into your meter.
  • Prick the side of your fingertip with the needle provided with your test kit.
  • Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood.
  • The meter will display your blood sugar level on a screen after a few seconds.
  • Note down your blood sugar in a notebook or chart.

First Who Should Monitor Their Blood Sugar At Home

Not everyone with diabetes needs to monitor their blood glucose at home. However, under a few conditions, your provider may feel that its worth considering:

  • If you are taking medications that can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate drastically, such as insulin or certain non-insulin diabetes medications

  • If you are pregnant

  • If you tend to experience low blood sugar

  • If you have a hard time reaching your goal blood sugar levels

What Is The Difference Between Home Blood Glucose Testing And Hba1c Levels

Home blood glucose testing: This is done with a blood glucose test meter. It is a finger prick test where a sample of blood is placed on a test strip. This is inserted into the blood glucose meter, which gives you a reading of your blood glucose at a single moment in time. HbA1c test:The HbA1c test measures the amount of glucose that has built up in your blood over a 3-month period. HbA1c testing is different from the glucose test that is used to tell you what your level is right now, due to things like smoking, exercise, medicines and what you eat. An HbA1c test is done to assess your blood glucose control over a longer 3-month period and to check how well your lifestyle measures such as diet and exercise, together with your diabetes medicines, are working to control your diabetes. An HbA1c test can’t be done at home instead a blood sample is sent to the laboratory. Read more about the HbA1c test for type 2 diabetes.

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How Can Measuring My Blood Sugar Help

Monitoring your blood sugar at home supports your overall diabetes treatment plan. Your provider will measure your blood sugar when you visit their clinic, but at-home monitoring will give you and your provider a record of how your blood sugar changes outside of those visits. This gives you both an idea of what to do next.

For example, if you notice that your blood sugar spikes at certain times of the day , youll know when to take your insulin. Or maybe you experience hypoglycemia after taking too much insulin. This could be a clue that you need to reduce your insulin dose. As you and provider adjust your dose, or maybe change your medications, home blood sugar measurements can give you an idea of whether your treatment is working or if you need to continue adjusting it.

What Are The Target Ranges

Many diabetics needlessly test blood sugar at home

Blood glucose targets are individualized based on:

  • duration of diabetes
  • conditions a person may have
  • cardiovascular disease or diabetes complications
  • hypoglycemia unawareness
  • individual patient considerations

The American Diabetes Association suggests the following targets for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes. A1C targets differ based on age and health. Also, more or less stringent glycemic goals may be appropriate for each individual.

  • A1C: Less than 7%A1C may also be reported as eAG: Less than 154 mg/dL
  • Before a meal : 80130 mg/dL
  • 1-2 hours after beginning of the meal *: Less than 180 mg/dL

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When Should You Check Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes, at home tests should be done before a meal, one to two hours after a meal, and at bedtime. Type 1 and type 2 diabetics who use insulin medication should check their blood sugar at least four times a day.

For those who have prediabetes, or at risk for developing diabetes, your blood sugar should be checked through routine blood work at a yearly doctors exam. If youre not at risk for diabetes, glucose levels can be checked every three years.

I wouldnt recommend that the general public be checking their blood glucose to figure out what their risk is, says Mathioudakis. But certainly people with diabetes, and especially people with diabetes that have medications that can really lower their blood glucose, they should be checking.

For more information, read our article about on whats considered healthy and normal blood sugar levels.

Setting Up Your Glucometer

  • 1Choose a glucose meter that meets your needs. Choosing the right glucose meter is the best way to be able to check your blood sugar yourself. Some glucometers store your readings in their memory while others do not, and the machines vary in how much blood is needed and how easy they are to use. Start by thinking about what you need in a glucose meterprioritize ease of use, price, memory capabilities, and whether there are extra functions.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the worlds leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Look at some of the different products that are available and compare them to find the best one for you.
  • Some special functions that machines may have include checking for ketones , using alternate languages, flagging capabilities, and being able to upload data to a computer.
  • The doctor or specialist who takes care of your diabetes probably has a lot of experience in helping patients choose the right blood sugar monitor. Ask something like, Do you have a brand of glucose meter that you recommend?
  • Read user reviews and check ratings. Some meters are more reliable than others in terms of readings, integrity of data archived, and especially accuracy. Take the time to check into consumer ratings and comments, so you are sure to get a quality machine.
  • When getting test strips online, check the expiration date on the strips and determine if you can reasonably use all those strips before that date.
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    Which Type Of Device Is Right For Me

    CGM devices are probably more convenient. Unlike SBMG devices, CGM devices dont require you to remember to test your blood sugar multiple times a day. They also dont need you to prick your finger, so they can be less painful.

    If you feel like SBMG devices are a hassle, talk to your provider about getting a CGM device. Theyll want to help, especially if it makes you more inclined to monitor your blood sugar regularly.

    When it comes to cost, insurance coverage can be a concern for some patients. Insurance plans will generally cover a few SMBG devices. CGM devices, on the other hand, are newer to the market so fewer insurance plans tend to cover them.

    And if you dont have insurance or the SMBG device you want is too expensive for you, know that there are ways for you to saveor even get them for free. See here for information on savings programs for SMBG monitors and test strips.

    Easy Ways To Check Blood Sugar Without A Meter

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    Diabetes is a complicated state of the body. Furthermore, it triggers more diseases. Thus, it is of utmost importance to keep a close watch on the blood sugar level readings. Here, we are presenting ways to monitor your blood sugar without a meter.

    Self-Monitoring: A Great Way To Check Blood Sugar At Home?

    Keeping a watch on your diabetes numbers is essential. We can easily determine, How to check blood sugar at home? by just observing the symptoms of the disease.

    If you feel thirsty more often

    Conventionally, when we feel thirsty, we used to drink a glass or two glasses of water. Conversely, if you are diabetic then no wonder if you down with a pitcher of water at one go.

    This is how people used to check sugar levels at home without machines. Furthermore, this method cannot tell you the numbers of your sugar level yet it will leave you with doubt to consult a doctor.

    You frequently start using restrooms

    Why a person urges more often for peeing? The reason behind this is that at the point when the sugar level is high in your blood, your kidneys cant haul the sugar out any longer.

    Your body attempts to weaken that sugar by pulling in more water from your tissues, leaving you feeling got dried out. This causes you to feel the desire to drink more water, bringing about you are peeing all the more regularly.

    Encountering such a condition can tell you if your blood sugar is high without a meter.

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    Urine Sugar test

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    The 17 Best Foods To Lower Your Blood Sugar

    For people with prediabetes, diabetes, or other conditions that affect blood sugar, diet is a major part of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

    Although factors like body weight, activity, stress, and genetics also play a role in blood sugar maintenance, following a healthy diet is critical for blood sugar control .

    While some foods, including items high in added sugar and refined carbs, can contribute to blood sugar fluctuations, others can optimize blood sugar control while promoting overall health (

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    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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    When Should Testing Occur

    A doctor might recommend testing at three different times, and often over the course of several days:

    • Morning fasting reading: This provides information about blood glucose levels before a person eats or drinks anything. Taking blood glucose readings before eating provides a baseline number. This number offers clues about glucose processes during the day.
    • Before a meal: Blood glucose before a meal tends to be low, so a high blood glucose reading at this time suggests difficulties managing blood sugar.
    • After a meal: Post-meal testing gives a good idea about how the body reacts to food, and if sugar can reach the cells efficiently. Blood glucose readings after a meal can help diagnose gestational diabetes, which happens during pregnancy. Most doctors recommend testing about 2 hours after a meal.

    The doctor will personalize the glucose monitoring schedule for the individual.

    • Fasting : 80â130 milligrams per deciliter
    • Before meals: 70â130 mg/dl
    • Two hours after starting meals: Below 180 mg/dl
    • At bedtime: Under 120 mg/dl
    • HbA1c: 7.0 percent or lower

    Before beginning home testing, it is important that people get clear, target figures from their doctor.

    Target numbers may vary from person to person and may change over time, depending on an individualâs health, age, weight, and other factors.

    For people who do not have diabetes, blood sugar levels should be within the following ranges:

    How To Test For Type 1 Diabetes At Home

    How to check your blood sugar at home  and the best ...

    The physician may suggest blood sugar testing 4-10 times per day if a person has type 1 diabetes. He or she might require testing:

    • Before bed
    • More frequently when a person is sick
    • Before meals or snacks
    • More frequently if a person begins any new medicine
    • Before and after doing any physical activity
    • More frequently if a person modifies his or her daily routine
    • During the night

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    Ways To Test Your Blood Sugar

    Traditional home glucose monitoring

    You prick your finger with a small, sharp needle called a lancet, put a drop of blood on a test strip, and then place the strip into a meter that displays your blood sugar levels. Record the test results so you can share them with your doctor. Based on your results, the two of you may adjust your diet, exercise, or medication.

    Meters vary in features, portability, speed, size, cost, and readability . Devices deliver results in less than 15 seconds and store this information for future use.

    Some meters also calculate an average blood sugar level over a span of time. Some also feature software kits that take information from the meter and display graphs and charts of your past test results. Blood sugar meters and strips are available at your local pharmacy.

    Meters that test other parts of your body

    Some devices let you test your upper arm, forearm, base of the thumb, and thigh.

    These results may differ from the blood sugar levels gotten from a fingertip stick. Levels in the fingertips show changes more quickly. This is especially true when your sugar is changing fast, like after a meal or after exercise.

    If you have symptoms of low blood sugar, donât rely on test results from other parts of your body.

    Continuous glucose monitoring system

    You’ll still need to check your levels throughout the day continuous glucose monitoring doesn’t replace that. It gives your doctor more information about trends that self-checking might not show.

    Do You Need To Test Your Blood Sugar At Home

    Research over the past decade has provided strong evidence that home glucose testing is not of value for many patients, says Guillermo E. Umpierrez, MD, a professor of medicine at Emory University and the section head of diabetes and endocrinology at Grady Health System in Atlanta. Dr. Umpierrez was not involved in the study. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes take metformin or other medications not associated with daily fluctuations in blood sugar levels, he says.

    The benefit of home glucose monitoring has been found to be of questionable significance in several studies during the past decade, Umpierrez says. In patients with type 2 diabetes when not taking insulin, the use of home glucose monitoring has very little impact on improving glycemic control. Several other studies have shown the same thing.

    Three medical societies the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Society of General Internal Medicine, and the Endocrine Society have all issued guidance on home glucose testing. Those recommendations were based on a 2012 study by the Cochrane Database System Review that analyzed 12 randomized clinical trials of more than 3,000 participants. The meta-analysis showed no differences in glycemic control or hypoglycemic events between patients who do not self-monitor multiple times a day and those who do.

    The guidelines are reflected in the Choosing Wisely initiative, an effort to reduce wasteful healthcare spending.

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    Many Diabetics Needlessly Test Blood Sugar At Home

    One in 7 people with Type 2 diabetes may be needlessly testing their blood sugar at home several times a day, a U.S. study says.

    People with Type 2 diabetes don’t need to test their blood at home if they have well-controlled symptoms and don’t take medications that can cause dangerously low blood sugar, doctors say. For these patients, studies have not found that home blood sugar monitoring makes any difference in blood sugar levels. But still, many of them are pricking their fingers unnecessarily.

    The researchers examined data on more than 370,000 people with Type 2 diabetes. Overall, almost 88,000, or about 23 percent, had at least three insurance claims for test strips used to check blood sugar at home.

    Why You Should Test Your Blood Sugar

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    Self-testing is called self-monitoring of blood glucose . It’s an important tool that can tell if your diabetes treatment plan is working. While your health care provider will still check your hemoglobin A1C levels when you come in for a checkup, many people need to augment this with blood glucose monitoring at home. The A1C test gives a good overall picture of how well your blood sugar has been managed over the past three months. But testing your blood sugar at home can provide a quick measurement of your blood sugar level at any given time. The results of home blood sugar testing can help you make appropriate adjustments to your diabetes medicine, diet, and/or level of physical activity. Your diabetes health care team will give you specific advice on how to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

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    How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar

    The number of times that you check your blood sugar will depend on the type of diabetes that you have and the type of medicine you take to treat your diabetes. For example, people who take insulin may need to check more often than people who do not take insulin. Talk with your health care team about how often to check your blood sugar.

    The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up , before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime. Talk with your health care team about what times are best for you to check your blood sugar.


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