How Is Blood Glucose Monitoring Performed
Before you begin, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent infection at the finger-prick site. If you use alcohol wipes instead of washing, be sure to let the site dry before testing.
Next, put a testing strip into the meter. Prick your finger with the lancet to get a small drop of blood. Use the sides of the fingertips instead of the tip to decrease finger discomfort.
The blood goes on the test strip you inserted into the meter. Your monitor will analyze the blood and give you the blood glucose reading on its digital display usually within a minute.
Finger pricks rarely require a bandage, but you may want to use one if bleeding continues beyond a few drops. Its important to follow all the instructions that came with your glucometer to ensure accurate results.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you may need to test your blood glucose four or more times per day. This includes before and after meals and exercise, and more often when you are sick.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor will let you know when and how often to test your blood glucose.
When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels
The number of times you should test your blood sugar levels each day and when will depend on lots of different things. It might even change from day to day. In general, most people with diabetes test their blood sugar levels before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner, and again at bedtime.
You may need to check blood sugar levels more often when you’re sick or when changes have been made to your medication doses or schedule. You also may need to check more often if you suddenly become more active, like after you join a sports team at school.
People who use an insulin pump or who follow a plan to control blood sugar levels very closely also need to check their blood sugar levels more often. Your diabetes health care team will help you decide how often and when you should check.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels must be checked in the middle of the night for instance, by people who are having problems with hypoglycemia symptoms during the night. And those who have just been diagnosed with diabetes may need more frequent blood sugar level tests to get a feel for how certain doses of insulin or other diabetes medicines affect their blood sugar levels.
What Happens If Blood Sugar Level Is Too High
If your blood sugar levels are too high then you risk developing diabetes. You can develop cardiovascular disease and nerve damage. With diabetes, the glucose in your blood does not reach your cells and can lead to these and other complications. Adding exercise and eating healthy can help to control your diabetes and prevent secondary diseases.
You may develop diseases and disabilities in the future, such as cardiovascular disease and nerve damage, if you have diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels are high then you can develop diabetes and risk developing cardiovascular diseases and nerve damage. Doing exercise and eating healthy is important to control your diabetes and prevent secondary diseases.
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Check Your Blood Sugar Often
Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their blood sugar every day. Others need to check it many times a day.
Usual times to test your blood sugar are before meals and at bedtime. Your provider may ask you to check your blood sugar 2 hours after a meal or even sometimes in the middle of the night. Ask your provider when you should check your blood sugar.
Other times to check your blood sugar may be:
- If you are having symptoms of low blood sugar
- After you eat out, particularly if you have eaten foods you don’t normally eat
- If you feel sick
- Before or after you exercise
- If you have been under a lot of stress
- If you eat too much or skip meals or snacks
- If you are taking new medicines, took too much insulin or diabetes medicine by mistake, or took your medicine at the wrong time
- If your blood sugar has been higher or lower than normal
- If you are drinking alcohol
Follow These Steps To Check Your Blood Sugar:
Write all of your blood sugar readings on the blood sugar record log. Write them down even if they do not match with the columns. Some people use an app on their smart phone to record their blood sugars.
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Fasting Blood Sugar : Normal Levels And Testing
Fasting blood sugar levels give vital clues about how a person is managing their blood sugar. Blood sugar tends to peak about an hour after eating and declines after that.
High fasting blood sugar levels point to insulin resistance or diabetes, while abnormally low fasting blood sugar could be due to diabetes medications.
Knowing when to test and what to look for can help people stay healthy, especially if they have diabetes or are at risk of developing the condition.
Keep reading to learn more about fasting blood sugar levels, including information on testing and tips for maintaining normal levels.
The body needs glucose for energy, and glucose comes from the food a person eats. However, the body does not use all of this energy at once. Insulin makes it possible to store and release glucose as necessary.
Following a meal, blood sugar levels rise and usually peak about an hour after eating.
How high blood sugar rises and the precise timing of the peak depends on a persons diet.
Food-related factors that can trigger significant rises include:
- eating large meals
- consuming sugary foods and drinks
- eating foods with simple carbohydrates, or carbs, such as bread and sweet snacks
As blood sugar rises, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin lowers blood sugar, breaking it down so the body can use it for energy or store it for later.
However, people who have diabetes have difficulties with insulin in one of two ways:
Other Important Times To Check Your Blood Sugar
Some other important times in your life that you should pay special attention to your blood sugar and check more frequently may be:
- When theres a change to your medication regimen, including insulin
- When youre on vacation or traveling
- During pregnancy
- If theres been a change to your daily routine
- Youve been diagnosed with a new health condition
- Theres been a drastic change to your diet
- Youve been under a lot of stress
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Ways To Control Your Blood Sugar Levels
Ways individuals with diabetes can balance their blood sugar include keeping their weight in check, exercising regularly, following their medication and diet plans, and checking their blood sugar levels regularly. For some individuals, taking insulin shots may be necessary to keep glucose levels in check. Sticking to a schedule is important for individuals with diabetes. As it can help them regulate their blood sugar level.
However, just eating healthy and exercising regularly can help to a great extent. High fiber food, green vegetables, low GI fruits are all good food choices for people with diabetes. And exercises like Zumba, yoga, or just walking for 30 minutes every day can be very beneficial for bringing the blood sugar level back to normal.
Why Do I Need To Know My Blood Sugar Numbers
Your blood sugar numbers show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss.
As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your numbers go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your numbers go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your numbers go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change.
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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.
When To Seek Medical Care
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What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too High
High blood sugar is also called hyperglycemia . It means that your blood sugar level is higher than your target level or over 180. Having high blood sugar levels over time can lead to long-term, serious health problems.
If you feel very tired, thirsty, have blurry vision, or need to pee more often, your blood sugar may be high.
Check your blood sugar and see if it is above your target level or over 180. If it is too high, one way to lower it is to drink a large glass of water and exercise by taking a brisk walk. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is high more than 3 times in 2 weeks and you dont know why.
What Is Hemoglobin A1c
Hemoglobin A1C is a lab test. It indicates an average blood glucose reading for the last 90 days. It is done when you find out you have diabetes, and every 3 months after that at clinic visits. A person without diabetes has a Hemoglobin A1C of less than 5.6%.
Target Hgb A1C is 7.5% for all children and adults with diabetes.
The chart below shows the Hemoglobin A1C result compared with the blood glucose number.
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What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
Which Finger Is Best To Test Blood Sugar
All content on this website is for educational purposes only and does not replace the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
When using a blood glucose monitor, it is important to get the most accurate readings possible to gain meaningful insight into your health and detect patterns in your blood glucose levels. The FDA mandates that results from self-monitoring blood glucose systems be within ±15% of lab results 95% of the time. But accuracy doesnt depend just on the capabilities of the monitor it also depends on how the user performs a test. This includes where you choose to collect your blood sample from.
So which finger is best to test blood sugar? It depends. Read on to find out more.
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Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water could help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy ranges.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out any excess sugar through urine.
One review of observational studies showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels (
You can do so at home using a portable blood glucose meter, which is known as a glucometer. You can discuss this option with your doctor.
Keeping track allows you to determine whether you need to adjust your meals or medications. It also helps you learn how your body reacts to certain foods .
Try measuring your levels regularly every day and keeping track of the numbers in a log. Also, it may be more helpful to track your blood sugar in pairs for example, before and after exercise or before and 2 hours after a meal.
This can show you whether you need to make small changes to a meal if it spikes your blood sugar, rather than avoiding your favorite meals altogether. Some adjustments include swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting them to a handful.
Checking your blood glucose and maintaining a daily log enables you to adjust foods and medications when necessary to better manage your blood sugar levels.
Completing Your Blood Sugar Routine
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Manage Your Carb Intake
Your carb intake strongly influences your blood sugar levels .
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars, mainly glucose. Then, insulin helps your body use and store it for energy.
When you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, this process fails, and blood glucose levels can rise.
Thats why the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes manage their carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many they need .
Some studies find that this can help you plan your meals appropriately, further improving blood sugar management (
Foods that are high in fiber include:
- whole grains
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 35 grams for men. Thats about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .
Eating plenty of fiber can aid blood sugar management. Soluble dietary fiber appears to be more effective than insoluble fiber for this purpose.
How To Check Blood Sugar Levels
A health care professional will teach you and your child how to properly use a blood glucose meter.
- Clean hands with soap and water. Make sure the finger is dry before obtaining the blood sample wet fingers can alter the value.
- Prick the side of the fingertip. The forearm also can be pricked with certain meters using a lancet device. Do not use the forearm if you suspect a low blood sugar or when the blood sugar is rapidly changing, such as after meals or exercise.
- Insert strip into meter.
- Obtain a drop of blood.
- Apply the drop of blood to a test strip.
- Read the result and enter it in a logbook.
Bring the meter and logbook to all doctor visits.
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