How Often Do I Need To Do Blood Tests
How often you should test your blood glucose can vary depending on your type of diabetes.
People with type 1 diabetes should test at least 4 times per day including before each meal and before bed.
People with type 1 diabetes should also be supported by their GP to test up to 10 times a day if factors apply such as taking part in sport, to ensure safe driving and if you have impaired hypo awareness.
People with other types of diabetes on hypo-causing medication should test their blood glucose levels at least once a day. Aim to test at different times of the day to discover whether blood glucose levels are going too low at certain times of day. This will help you to take steps to prevent low or high results from happening and this can be done with help from your doctor.
If on medication that can cause hypos, be prepared to test your blood glucose levels at any time you feel the signs of hypoglycemia
The Casual Plasma Glucose Test For Diabetes
The casual plasma glucose test is another method of diagnosing diabetes. During the test, blood sugar is tested without regard to the time since the person’s last meal. You are not required to abstain from eating prior to the test.
A glucose level greater than 200 mg/dL may indicate diabetes, especially if the test is repeated at a later time and shows similar results.
All You Need To Know About Reading Your Blood Glucose Test Report
Written by Dr Anitha Anchan | Updated : April 26, 2016 5:29 PM IST
Glucose is a type of sugar that is produced by the digestion of dietary carbohydrates. It is transported by the blood to all parts of the body and is body s main source of energy. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, transfers extra glucose from the blood to muscle, fat, and liver cells where it is stored. Blood glucose levels changes indicate abnormal digestion process. People with diabetes often have high levels of glucose in their blood.
Prediabetes is a condition where the blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough to be confirmed as diabetes. It could lead to diabetes if appropriate measures are not taken.
Blood glucose tests what are they?
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What Are The Types Of Blood Glucose Tests
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
A plasma glucose test measures the amount of glucose in the liquid part of your blood called the blood plasma rather than the amount of glucose in your whole blood. In the United States, plasma or whole blood glucose are measured in milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL. For the FPG test, you will need to fast for at least 8 hours before your test. A sample of your blood is taken at your healthcare providers office and analyzed in a lab.
The FPG test measures the amount of glucose that stays in the blood even after going without food for at least 8 hours. A high number is a signal that your body isnt making enough insulin to remove glucose from your blood stream.
This test can be done any time during the day and you do not need to fast. Like the FPG, a sample of blood is taken at your healthcare providers office an analyzed in a lab. An HbA1c test measures the percentage of glycosylated hemoglobin in your bloodstream. Heres what it means:
- Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells. It carries oxygen and is what makes your blood red.
- Hemoglobin picks up glucose from your bloodstream, becoming glycosylated. As blood glucose rises, so does the level of glycosylated hemoglobin, or HbA1c. And once hemoglobin becomes glycosylated, it stays that way for the life of the red blood cell, or about three months.
The HbA1c test is used to monitor blood glucose control over a period of time and also to diagnose diabetes.
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.
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What Does The Test Result Mean
Screening and Diagnosis
High levels of glucose most frequently indicate diabetes, but many other diseases and conditions can also cause elevated blood glucose.
A random glucose level in a person with signs and symptoms of diabetes and hyperglycemia that is equal to or greater than 200 mg/dL indicates diabetes.
The following table summarizes the meaning of fasting glucose results.
How Do I Pick A Glucose Meter
Your doctor will make a recommendation. Check with your health insurance plan to see if it will pay for your BGM, its supplies, or a CGM. If so, your plan may only pay for a certain meter.
Shop around and compare costs. Consider what features are important to you. For example, some meters are made for people who have poor eyesight. If you want to pay a little more money, you can get a BGM that stores the results in its memory. This allows you to compare results from several days at one time.
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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
Blood Glucose Levels Move Up And Down
Your results can vary because of natural changes in your blood glucose level. For example, your blood glucose level moves up and down when you eat or exercise. Sickness and stress also can affect your blood glucose test results. A1C tests are less likely to be affected by short-term changes than FPG or OGTT tests.
The following chart shows how multiple blood glucose measurements over 4 days compare with an A1C measurement.
Blood Glucose Measurements Compared with A1C Measurements over 4 Days
The straight black line shows an A1C measurement of 7.0 percent. The blue line shows an example of how blood glucose test results might look from self-monitoring four times a day over a 4-day period.
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Hba1c Is Your Average Blood Glucose Levels For The Last Two To Three Months If You Have Diabetes An Ideal Hba1c Level Is 48mmol/mol Or Below
If you’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, your target HbA1c level should be below 42mmol/mol .
On this page well go through what HbA1c means, and why aiming for your target level is so important. Well also explain the HbA1c test in more detail, and show you what you can do to lower your HbA1c levels if theyre too high. Plus, you can use our HbA1c converter tool if youre looking to find out your level in % or mmol/mol.
Tests For Blood Sugar And Hba1c
In this series
Blood sugar measurements are used to diagnose diabetes. They are also used to monitor glucose control for those people who are already known to have diabetes.
In this article
Tests for Blood Sugar and HbA1c
In this article
If your glucose level remains high then you have diabetes. If the level goes too low then it is called hypoglycaemia.
The main tests for measuring the amount of glucose in the blood are:
- Random blood glucose level.
- Capillary blood glucose .
- Urine test for blood sugar .
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Tracking Your Blood Glucose
Its important to keep a record of your daily blood glucose readings to show how well you are able to control your blood glucose. Use your record to keep notes about your diet, activity, and medication. This can help you and your healthcare team understand what may be causing your blood glucose to be high or low. And, it will help you decide what treatment changes if any are needed.
You can use several tools to help you track your daily blood glucose readings:
Diabetes Testing In Children
Many children have no symptoms before they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Most of the time, diabetes is discovered when a blood or urine test taken for other health problems shows diabetes.
Talk to your doctor about your child’s risk for diabetes. If your child’s blood sugar tests are higher than normal, but not yet at the level of diabetes , your doctor may instruct you in specific diet and exercise changes to help your child avoid getting diabetes altogether. Children with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes are almost always overweight or obese.
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Who Should Do The Test
According to the American Diabetes Association, screening for diabetes is recommended in people over 45 , or at any age if you have certain risk factors, including :
- Being overweight, obese, or physically inactive
- Having a close relative with diabetes
- Belonging to a certain race/ethnic group
- Having signs of insulin resistance or conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as high blood pressure , low good cholesterol and/or high triglycerides , and polycystic ovary syndrome
- Having had diabetes in pregnancy
The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test For Diabetes
The oral glucose tolerance test is yet another method used to detect diabetes, but it is usually only done during pregnancy to diagnose gestational diabetes or for someone who is suspected of having type 2 diabetes yet has a normal fasting glucose level. It can also be performed to diagnose prediabetes.
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Choosing A Blood Glucose Meter And Other Self
If you are not sure which blood glucose meter to buy, call your diabetes educator and health insurance company. They can tell you what you need to think about when shopping for a meter and other diabetes supplies. They may even be able to help you get a meter for a reduced price .
Most of todays home glucose meters also measure plasma glucose. If yours doesnt and instead measures the amount of glucose in your whole blood then it may be an old meter. You may want to check into getting a new one. Plasma and whole blood values aren’t that different, but if your home meter measures plasma glucose, it makes it easier for you and your healthcare team to compare home test results with your lab test results.
Should I Test My Blood Glucose Levels
Attitudes to blood glucose testing can vary quite considerably. Some people with diabetes, particularly those that have not received any education on managing their diabetes, find that blood glucose testing is not helpful and only contributes to anxiety.
However, other people, particularly those that are aware of how to interpret results and take appropriate action, find blood glucose testing to be vital to their diabetes management
Some people with type 2 diabetes on non-insulin medication regimes may find it difficult to be prescribed blood glucose testing equipment.
For more on this issue, see availability of blood glucose test strips.
FREE blood glucose chart
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Finally: A1c Is Also Defined As Estimated Average Glucose Or Eag
Another term you may come across when finding out your A1C is eAG. Your doctor might report your A1C results as eAG. eAG is similar to what you see when monitoring your blood sugar at home on your meter. However, because you are more likely to check your blood sugar in the morning and before meals, your meter readings will likely be lower than your eAG.
What Exactly Does Melatonin Do
While serotonin brightens your mood, melatonin makes you feel sleepy. Especially towards the evening, the concentration of this hormone in your body increases and makes you tired. But thats not all melatonin also affects other important processes that take place in your body, including:
- Body temperature
- Secretion of other hormones
- Immune system
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in our brain, and its production in our body is strongly dependent on light. You are tired earlier in winter than in summer because the days are also shorter. As you might already know, the artificial light from smartphones and laptops can keep you awake in the evening because it stops your brain from producing melatonin.
Melatonin supplements can help you relax and improve the quality of your sleep if you regularly find that you are struggling to nod off.
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How Often Should I Test My Blood Sugar Level
Your family doctor will recommend how often you should test. Testing times are based on the kind of medicine you take and on how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Youll probably need to check your blood sugar more often at first. Youll also check it more often when you feel sick or stressed, when you change your medicine, or if youre pregnant.
How Is The A1c Test Used After Diagnosis Of Diabetes
Your health care professional may use the A1C test to set your treatment goals, modify therapy, and monitor your diabetes management.
Experts recommend that people with diabetes have an A1C test at least twice a year.4 Health care professionals may check your A1C more often if you arent meeting your treatment goals.4
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Factors That Can Affect Blood Sugar Levels
If you have prediabetes or diabetes, you may have insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin. This means your body has difficulty regulating blood sugar levels on its own.
Its a delicate balance to maintain, so the following list can help you familiarize yourself with factors that can cause your blood glucose levels to go up or down.
How Do I Pay For These Tests And Supplies
Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and some of the cost of supplies for checking your blood sugar. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low cost or free supplies. Ask your health care team what to do if you run out of test strips. For more information about Medicare and diabetes, go to .
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What Are Target Blood Sugar Levels For People With Diabetes
A target is something that you aim for or try to reach. Your health care team may also use the term goal. People with diabetes have blood sugar targets that they try to reach at different times of the day. These targets are:
- Right before your meal: 80 to 130
- Two hours after the start of the meal: Below 180
Talk with your health care team about what blood sugar numbers are right for you.
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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