Tips To Make Glucose Monitoring Easier
Whether youre using a traditional finger prick monitor or a CGM for your diabetes management, here are some tips to make checking your glucose easier:
- Always wash your hands with soap and water before checking your glucose for a more accurate result. Dont use hand sanitizer before using finger sticks.
- If inserting a sensor into your skin for a CGM, be sure to wash the area of skin with soap and water and allow it to dry first.
- Change any sensors by the recommended manufacturer time for example, every 14 days for the FreeStyle Libre and every 10 days for the Dexcom G6.
- If using finger strips, you may experience less pain by using the side of your fingertip closer to your fingernail.
- Even if youre using a CGM, you may consider having a traditional meter on hand to double-check your glucose. This is in case you experience symptoms of high or low blood sugar despite a normal reading.
Why You Should Check Your Blood Sugar
Testing blood glucose can help you manage diabetes by showing you:
- How well your diabetes treatment plan is working
- How exercise and food affect your blood sugar levels
- How things like stress and illness affect your levels
- How well your diabetes medication is working
- When your blood sugar levels are too high or too low
What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Continuous glucose monitoring automatically tracks blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, throughout the day and night. You can see your glucose level anytime at a glance. You can also review how your glucose changes over a few hours or days to see trends. Seeing glucose levels in real time can help you make more informed decisions throughout the day about how to balance your food, physical activity, and medicines.
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What Should I Know About Ketones
Ketones appear in your urine when your body uses its own fat for energy instead of sugar. Ketones usually appear when your blood sugar level is more than 300 mg/dl. If ketones build up in your blood, you can develop a very dangerous health condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketones are most likely to occur in people with Type 1 diabetes.
When Should I Measure My Blood Glucose
Throughout the rest of your pregnancy, you will need to measure your blood glucose levels at various points through the day, to check that they are within the limits you have been given at each of those times:
When you get up You need to measure your blood glucose levels each morning when you get up, before you have anything to eat or drink. This blood glucose level is called your fasting blood glucose level because you will have an empty stomach. You must not have eaten or drunk anything apart from water overnight, for at least eight hours.
Your team should have discussed this with you and agreed the ideal morning blood glucose level for you to aim for.
Before or after every meal You will probably be asked to measure your blood glucose level around the time of a meal. Some services measure before eating while others measure one or two hours after a meal .
Again, you will have discussed and agreed an ideal blood glucose level after meals with your diabetes team. These levels will be higher than your fasting blood glucose levels, as you will just have eaten.
If you are taking insulin to help to control your blood glucose levels, you may need to do a separate test before you go to bed, or even during the night, although this is unusual.
“When we did go out for a special meal or two, and I’d have a little bit of cheesecake or something, it really affected my sugar levels. But that would’ve been just twice in the whole pregnancy.” Gemma, mum of one
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How Does A Continuous Glucose Monitor Work
A CGM works through a tiny sensor inserted under your skin, usually on your belly or arm. The sensor measures your interstitial glucose level, which is the glucose found in the fluid between the cells. The sensor tests glucose every few minutes. A transmitter wirelessly sends the information to a monitor.
The monitor may be part of an insulin pump or a separate device, which you might carry in a pocket or purse. Some CGMs send information directly to a smartphone or tablet. Several models are available and are listed in the American Diabetes Associations product guide.
How To Test For Diabetes
There are several ways to test for diabetes, and one common method is through an A1C blood test. This test shows your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months by determining the percentage of blood sugar attached to the hemoglobin protein in your red blood cells. The higher the number, the better the odds are that you may have diabetes. You can also perform a random blood sugar test that is taken at a random time. Anything over 200 mg per deciliter suggests diabetes. Random blood sugar tests can be done on your own using a blood glucose monitor.
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What Are Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, are a measurement that show how much glucose you have in your blood. Glucose is a sugar that you get from food and drink. Your blood sugar levels go up and down throughout the day and for people living with diabetes these changes are larger and happen more often than in people who don’t have diabetes.
You can check your sugar levels yourself by doing a finger-prick test, by using a flash glucose monitor or with a continuous glucose monitor . You can do this a number of times a day helping you keep an eye on your levels as you go about your life and help you work out what to eat and how much medication to take. Find out your ideal target range.
But not everyone with diabetes needs to check their levels like this. Youll need to if you take certain diabetes medication. Always talk to your healthcare team if youre not sure whether thats you theyll give you advice on whether to check them yourself and how often.
And theres also something called an HbA1c, which measures your average blood sugar level from the previous few months. Everyone with diabetes is entitled to this check.
High blood sugar levels increase your risk of developing serious complications. However you manage your diabetes, stay in the know about your blood sugar levels.
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.
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How To Test Your Blood Sugar At Home
Follow these steps:
Things To Consider While Buying A Glucometer
There was a time when monitoring blood glucose levels were not so easy. People have to visit pathology and wait for their turn to give the blood sample for a glucose test. Thankfully, glucometers have ended the stress of visiting pathology for getting their blood sugar levels checked. If you also want to keep track of your sugar level at home, it is worthy to invest in a quality glucometer. Here are some tips to consider while buying a glucometer:
Apart from these, you can also look for the other features in glucometers. You can look for audio compatibility, having USB connectivity mode, the backlight to enhance the readability of the readings. Some glucometers provide multiple test checks. You can check body ketone levels, record carbohydrates grams and insulin dose in addition to the blood glucose level.
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What Should I Do Next
If you experience any symptoms of prediabetes or you have risk factors for developing prediabetes, it is important to get tested for as soon as possible. Some people are at higher risk and need regular testing. If you are 45 years or older or have other risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, you will require more frequent testing. By diagnosing and treating the prediabetes early, it means you can decrease the risk of developing or delay any further health complications of prediabetes, for example nerve damage, blindness, and heart disease. It is important to know that diagnosing prediabetes should not rely solely on using a Hb A1c test.
Once you learn what your prediabetes status is, or if you already have prediabetes, the next most important step is to become educated. You can join the Personalised 12-week Prediabetes Program to help you learn how to prevent or delay prediabetes. The prediabetes program is personalised and tailored, giving you more of the content that you want. The program also helps you to stay motivated and teaches you what changes you need to make. The first week is free and full of helpful and crucial information.
If you would like to be a part of a supportive program, with easy to understand video content covering all aspects of diabetes, join our Personalised Prediabetes 12-week Program today! Don’t forget, when you sign up, you receive the first week free!
The Importance Of Checking Blood Sugar Levels
Besides helping to keep blood sugar levels under control, checking them according to the diabetes management plan will help you and your child:
- feel more aware and in control of what is happening with your child’s diabetes
- prevent short-term diabetes symptoms and future health problems
- troubleshoot problems and make changes to the diabetes management plan promptly and effectively
- better understand of the impact of food, exercise, and medicines on blood sugar levels
How To Use A Blood Sugar Meter
There are different kinds of meters, but most of them work the same way. Ask your health care team to show you the benefits of each. In addition to you, have someone else learn how to use your meter in case youre sick and cant check your blood sugar yourself.
Below are tips for how to use a blood sugar meter.
What Are The Target Ranges
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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Invasive Glucometers Or The Glucometer With Testing Strips
Blood testing meters that use testing strips are the more popular type of glucose meter in the market. There are lots of brands that manufacture such type of glucose monitoring device. They are simple to use and give accurate results. These are portable, easy to use, and invasive glucose meters. You need to use your blood sample to test your blood sugar levels. They are affordable as well. The characteristics of invasive glucose monitoring devices differ from one model to another. Some of the features of invasive glucose monitors are:
When To Seek Medical Care
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What Tests Do I Need To Do At Home
- Blood test: The blood test is used to measure the amount of sugar in your blood. It will help you find out if your meal plan, exercise, and medicine are working to control your blood sugar.
- Urine test: The urine test looks for ketones in your urine. This can be done if you are sick or if your blood sugar level is very high. Meters are also available that can test your blood for ketones.
What Is A Blood Glucose Test
Blood Glucose testing is an important part of diabetes care. Blood glucose monitoring is the regular check of blood glucose level. The implementation of blood glucose monitoring can better control the blood glucose changes of diabetic patients, and has important guiding significance for life rules, activities, exercise, diet and rational use of drugs, and can help patients find problems at any time and seek medical treatment in time.
If you have diabetes, self-testing your blood sugar can be an important tool in managing your diabetes and preventing complications. You can test your blood sugar at home with a portable electronic device called a blood sugar meter using a small drop of your blood. You can also use a device called a continuous glucose monitor .
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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.
For people with diabetes, blood sugar readings should be as follows:
- 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:
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