What If Your Glucose Levels Are Abnormal
Health conditions such as diabetes and hypoglycemia will obviously have a big impact on your blood sugar levels. Pregnancy can also affect your blood sugar, which sometimes results in gestational diabetes for the duration of the pregnancy.
The American Diabetes Association points out that every persons recommended blood sugar level is different and is based on several health factors. But, in general, the target range for glucose levels in diabetes is 80 to 130 milligrams/deciliter before eating and less than 180 mg/dl after a meal.
If your glucose levels dont fall within the normal range, you and your doctor will need to make a plan to determine the reason why. Additional testing for diabetes, hypoglycemia, certain medical conditions, and other endocrine issues may be necessary to identify why your blood sugar is too high or too low.
Continue to monitor your blood glucose levels while you wait on test appointments or test results. If you experience any of the following symptoms, let your doctor know right away:
- unexplained dizziness
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How Do I Check
People with diabetes check their blood sugar levels by poking their fingertips and using a blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor to measure the blood glucose level at that moment. Read on to find out how to use a blood glucose meter. To find out more about CGMs, start by talking to your doctor.
The Best Time To Check Blood Glucose After A Meal
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.
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.
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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.
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Tips For Using Glucose Meters
When using a glucose meter to check your blood sugar levels, its important to have clean fingers, as the accuracy of your test can be impacted by the presence of food or contaminants on your fingers. For those times when you cant wash your hands before you test, you may want to carry some finger wipes with you. However, if you do clean your finger first, be sure to have it dry before testing.
Just like insulin, glucose meters and strips can be affected by low or high temperatures, so remember not to leave your blood glucose monitor in your car, in direct sunlight, or anywhere that gets extremely hot or cold. Some types of meters are more sensitive than others to high and low temperatures. See the insert in the meter package or visit the manufacturers website for more specific storage instructions.
It might be tempting to leave your glucometer at home however, knowing how your blood sugar levels are trending will help you avoid instances of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia . Remember to pack your lancing device too, its usually in the case with the meter so double check that you have it in it.
Blood Sugar Instability Symptoms
Insulin resistance does not happen all-of-a-sudden. Rather it builds over time and increasingly contributes to health problems. Understanding the signs of poor blood sugar control is the best way to be proactive in this regard. There are several telling signs that your body is not stabilizing blood sugar effectively.
Some of the most common include:
- Unstable Energy Levels
- Sudden Intense Hunger
Most commonly, these symptoms arise simply because someone is consuming too many carbohydrates and sugar throughout the day. This is why I always start with a low-carb, anti-inflammatory nutrition plan to kick start a fat-burning state and help people step off the blood sugar rollercoaster. If you are commonly experiencing these symptoms, it is imperative to test blood sugar levels periodically as these symptoms can be effectively controlled by doing so.
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What If I Have Trouble Getting To My Blood Sugar Goals
There may be times when you have trouble reaching your blood sugar goals. This does not mean that you have failed. It means that you and your health care team should see if changes are needed. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is often too high or too low. Taking action will help you be healthy today and in the future.
Factors That Can Affect Blood Sugar Readings
There are a few things that should be avoided because they can affect blood sugar readings.
If there isnt enough blood in the sample, the meter may not be able to accurately read the glucose content. If youre not getting enough blood from a lancet prick, tilt your arm down and allow gravity to do the work for you. When more blood enters the fingertip, the drop will most likely become a testable amount.
Expired test strips should never be used. The enzyme used is not guaranteed to be reliable past the expiration date, so the reading it will provide may not always be trusted. Using expired test strips is not worth the risk and there are cost effective options available. Using expired test strips can greatly impact the accuracy of a reading and simply should not be done.
Making sure that the testing site is clean is incredibly important in getting an accurate reading. You should always wash your hands with soap and water prior to testing. If there is oil or another substance on your skin that contaminates the blood drop, it could be read inaccurately by the meter. Its also important to follow proper sanitary procedures in order to reduce risk of infection and make sure every testing experience is as safe as possible.
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Hours After Eating A Meal
Checking your blood sugar approximately 1 to 2 hours after eating is hugely important, because it tells you if your body has the tools it needs in order to handle your meals. Being consistently higher or lower than your goal range after eating can tell you some very important and clear things about your current diabetes management regimen.
A high blood sugar level 1 to 2 hours after eating could suggest:
- What you ate or drank at your last meal was more than your body could handle on your current diabetes management regimen.
- Your body may need some extra help from a diabetes medication.
- Your current diabetes medications may need a change in dosage.
- Your current diabetes medication may not be the right fit for you.
- Its time to try a different type of diabetes medication.
A low blood sugar level in the hours after eating could suggest:
- Youre getting too much of a certain diabetes medication .
- Your insulin sensitivity or insulin production has improved, which means your medication dosages need to be adjusted by your healthcare team.
Talk to your healthcare team about making any adjustments to your diabetes regimen to help you achieve your blood sugar goals.
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.
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Tips For Checking Your Blood Sugar With Less Pain
Fingertips have more nerve endings, so this part of the finger tends to be the most sensitive.
If you use a finger prick to check your blood sugar level, a few techniques can make the process less painful whether youre using a glucometer or a continuous glucose monitor.
Blood sugar testing is crucial to diabetes management because high or low blood sugar can cause severe complications. If too much blood sugar accumulates in your bloodstream, you can experience major complications such as:
- nerve damage
- difficulty speaking
Blood sugar can fluctuate throughout the day especially after meals, after exercising, and during stressful events. So its important to carefully monitor your blood sugar and keep it within a healthy range.
A blood sugar level less than 140 milligrams per deciliter , but greater than 70 mg/dL is typically considered in the target range.
You should check your blood sugar regularly, even if you arent experiencing symptoms of a high or low glucose level. Some people with high and low blood sugar dont have any symptoms.
When Should I Check My Blood Sugar More Frequently
- If your diabetes medicine changes
- If you begin taking other kinds of medicines
- If you change your diet
- If your exercise routine or activity level changes
- If your stress level increases
- If youre sick. When you are sick, even without eating, your sugar levels may run high, so testing is important.
Follow your doctors testing recommendations during this time. Continue testing more often until you have maintained your blood sugar goal values for at least 1 week. Or continue testing until your doctor advises you that more frequent testing is no longer necessary.
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Why Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels
Keeping an eye on blood sugar levels has many benefits. For example, testing before and after meals helps you see how eating certain foods affects those levels. Knowing this can help you adjust your food choices and medicine doses.
Exercise also can change your blood sugar levels, so test them regularly when you’re active. This way you can tell whether your dose of diabetes medicine should be adjusted as you step up your physical activity.
And because being sick can mess up how much diabetes medicine your body needs, know your blood sugar levels when you’re feeling ill. This can help you and your doctor to decide if you should use less or more medicine, depending on your diabetes management plan.
If you manage your diabetes on your own most of the time, checking blood sugar levels also helps reassure your parents that you’re taking care of yourself.
Which Is Right For You
Finding the best glucose monitoring system that is right for you is about finding the choice that best suits your needs. By considering the benefits and limitations between the different systems that are available in Canada, you can find a system that meets your individual requirements while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your diabetes care routine.
Our glucose monitoring comparison chart provides a summary of CGM, Flash glucose monitoring devices and test strips and meters.
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Testing Your Blood Glucose
Testing your blood glucose
Testing your blood glucose, also known as Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose , is a method of checking how much glucose is in the blood using a glucose meter anywhere, anytime. Your doctor can also test your glucose from a blood sample that is checked in the lab.
Blood glucose targets for non-pregnant adults*
Less than 180 mg/dL
Your doctor uses what is called an A1C test to see what your average blood glucose level has been over the recent 3 months. Used for all types of diabetes, this test gives you and your doctor an indication on how well you are responding to your treatment plan. The recommended goal is to keep the level below seven percent . Your doctor will talk to you about the goal that is right for you. The A1C test is sometimes referred to as the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c or glycohemoglobin test.
The importance of self-testing
Your A1C test result will not show the daily effects of food choices and activity on your blood glucose levels. A blood glucose meter is a good way to test and track the immediate effects of food, activity and other changes in your blood glucose levels. This allows you to take immediate action to bring your glucose levels within range as recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may also rely on your blood glucose meter results, in addition to your A1C test result, to assess and adjust your treatment plan.
The connection between A1C and average blood sugar levels.
Recording your blood glucose results
How To Check Blood Sugar Without A Meter Conclusion
We delivered you the right methods to answer, How to check blood sugar without a meter. Despite these, we would like to say that you should go for the meter testing methods for accuracy.
Checking blood sugar naturally without finger pricking can help you in the primary examination. As soon as you find your raised blood sugar, consult a doctor, and get your test done for accurate measures.
Moreover, untreated diabetes can cause genuine inconveniences, so tune in to your primary care physicians treatment. With type 1 diabetes, you will generally have to take insulin because your body doesnt make it.
Also, you may require a way of life changes. For type 2 diabetes, your primary care physician will probably suggest a blend of diet and way of life changes. You will have to screen your glucose every day to ensure its leveled out.
If you are not a diabetic person then also know the weight of the risk factors of being diabetic.
- You can take online tests to know your risk of being a diabetic.
- If you are over 45 years, then it is mandatory to keep a check on your eating habits.
- You are at high risk if you have a family history of diabetes. Check regularly.
- If you are over 45 and obese, you may trigger high blood sugar levels.
Irrespective of age, we must take very good care of our body. Let be it a blessing always.
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When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar
Blood sugar testing is important for controlling type 2 diabetes. Find out what goes into determining the best testing schedule for you.
Blood sugar testing is a fundamental part of treating type 2 diabetes. By obtaining regular blood sugar readings, people with diabetes can, among other things, help their doctor make more informed decisions regarding the type and dosage of medication they need. Blood sugar testing also can help you see what foods, events, and activities trigger highs and lows in your blood sugar levels.
So how often should you test your blood sugar? The answer depends mostly on the status of your health and the demands of your daily life.
People with type 2 diabetes should take a blood sugar reading at least once a day. Some may need to test as frequently as seven times a day. Whether you need to or are able to perform more frequent testing depends on a number of factors:
You should talk with your doctor about these factors to devise the right blood glucose monitoring schedule for you.
Creating a Blood Sugar Testing Schedule
In general, type 2 diabetes patients should schedule blood sugar testing to coincide with specific daily events. That makes it easier to remember when to test. Regular testing times include:
- Before all three meals
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How To Test Your Blood Sugar: A Step
It can be intimidating to test your blood sugar if youre new to diabetes. There are several steps to follow, and its important to get an accurate reading so you know how much insulin to administer. Heres a breakdown of the 10 steps you should take to accurately test your blood sugar.
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Tips To Balance Your Blood Sugar
Blood sugar should always be monitored because it can help to prevent issues later on in life. You might develop type 2 diabetes, heart complications, or kidney problems if your blood sugar is uncontrolled.
There are easy ways to ensure that you are keeping your blood sugar levels healthy, and you can do them within the comfort of your own home without the need for any prescription from a doctor!