When Should I Test My Blood Sugar
You may need to check your blood sugar several times a day, such as before meals or exercise, at bedtime, before driving, and when you think your blood sugar levels are low.
Everyone is different, so ask your doctor when and how often you should check your blood sugar. If you’re sick, you’ll probably need to test your blood sugar more often.
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
Who Should Use Diabetes Home Tests
Your doctor will help you decide if you need to test your blood sugar at home. If you do, theyll work out how often you should test and at what times of day. Theyll also tell you what your blood sugar targets are. You may consider diabetes home tests if you have:
- cords to download data
Home testing follows these general steps:
Results should generally show up within seconds.
With some meters, you need to be sure the code on the strip matches the code on the meter.
Also, be sure to check the date on the strips every once in a while to make sure they arent out of date.
Finally, most meters now have a way to use an alternative site for testing, such as your forearm. Talk to your doctor to decide what is best for you.
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Restrain Your Pet Gently
This process necessitates that the pet remains calm and still for several minutes. The pet should be reasonably uninhibited. If you induce excessive stress to your pet while restraining it, you may not obtain an accurate blood pressure reading. This is especially true for cats, as their blood pressure can swiftly rise due to stress.
Of course, some struggling may occur, but if the pet becomes too anxious, you should would wait 15-30 minutes and attempt againrequest instruction from your veterinarian on how to properly restrain your pet. NEVER USE OVERWHELMING FORCE.
What Is The Future Of Blood Sugar Testing
Even though you can monitor blood sugar level with glucometers and CGMs, the future might provide additional ways to manage your diabetes.
- Multiple waves: Researchers have been studying and experimenting with new technologies. For example, some adults with type 2 diabetes in Europe have access to a device that can measure blood sugar using ultrasonic, electromagnet, and thermal waves.
- Radio waves: Other advances on the horizon involve using radio waves to measure blood sugar .
- Tears: Additionally, some researchers are working on a sensor to monitor blood sugar under the lower eyelid . It works by measuring the sugar level of tear fluid.
- Contacts and lasers: Other future technologies might possibly include using a smart contact lens to measure blood sugar, as well as laser technology.
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How To Do A Blood Sugar Test At Home
Most people with diabetes need to regularly test their blood sugar. This can be done at home by pricking your fingertip and getting a drop of blood on a test strip that gets read by the meter. The process is fairly quick and easy. Ask your doctor how often you should check your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
How The Test Is Done
You can buy a testing kit from a pharmacy without a prescription. Your provider can help you choose the right kit, set up the meter, and teach you how to use it.
Most kits have:
- Test strips
- Small needles that fit into a spring-loaded plastic device
- A logbook for recording your numbers that can be downloaded and viewed at home or at your provider’s office
To do the test, prick your finger with the needle and place a drop of blood on a special strip. This strip measures how much glucose is in your blood. Some monitors use blood from areas of the body other than the fingers, reducing discomfort. The meter shows your blood sugar results as a number on a digital display. If your vision is poor, talking glucose meters are available so that you don’t have to read the numbers.
Be aware that no meter or strip is accurate 100% of the time. If your blood sugar value is unexpectedly high or low, measure again with a new strip. Do not use strips if the container has been left open or if the strip has gotten wet.
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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.
How To Reduce The Pain Of Blood Sugar Checks
Nobody gets excited about pricking their fingertip. In fact, studies have shown that it’s one of the main reasons people refrain from regularly checking their blood glucose.6,7 So how can you make this less of a hurdle in your self-care?
Select a less-painful lancing device
Naturally, one factor that can contribute to the pain is your lancing device. That’s why we’ve worked hard to ensure that Accu-Chek lancing devices keep discomfort to a minimum. For example, our lancing devices feature:
- Technology that minimizes side-to-side motion, so there’s less skin tearing
- 11 customizable depth settings to help match your skin type
- Precisely manufactured, beveled, thin-gauge lancets to ensure smoother entry
You can reduce pain by using a fresh lancet for every test. Today’s lancets are so tiny that just a single use can bend or dull the tips. This can make them hurt more as you reuse them.
5 tips for reducing fingertip pain
You can make testing more comfortable and help ensure that you get a good sample on the first try by following these 5 easy steps.
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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.
What Equipment Do I Need To Test My Blood Glucose At Home
You will need:
- a lancing device
- blood glucose diagnostic test strips
- a notebook, diary or app to record your blood glucose levels.
In New Zealand a blood glucose test meter, together with lancets and diagnostic test strips, are only subsidised if you are taking insulin, glipizide, gliclazide, glibenclamide or if you have diabetes and are pregnant.
These criteria can change, so check with your diabetes nurse or doctor.If you dont qualify for a subsidised blood glucose meter, you can expect to pay between $5070 to get fully set up with testing equipment. If you are buying or applying for a home testing meter, you will also need a finger-pricking device. See these videos about blood glucose meters.
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When To Talk With A Pro
Testing your blood sugar is crucial to diabetes management. Using a meter or continuous glucose monitoring can provide accurate results. But you might seek a pain-free method to check blood sugar.
Talk with your doctor or a certified diabetes educator. You might be a candidate for a glucose monitoring device that involves fewer finger pricks or no finger pricks.
Additionally, making a few adjustments in the way you collect your blood sample might reduce the level of pain and discomfort.
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.
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What Do My Results Mean
When you finish the blood sugar check, write down your results and note what factors may have affected them, such as food, activity, and stress. Take a close look at your blood glucose record to see if your level is too high or too low several days in a row at about the same time. If the same thing keeps happening, it might be time to change your diabetes care plan. Work with your doctor or diabetes educator to learn what your results mean for you. It can take time to make adjustments and get things just right. And do ask your doctor if you should report results out of a certain range right away by phone.
Keep in mind that blood glucose results often trigger strong feelings. Blood sugar numbers can leave you upset, confused, frustrated, angry, or down. It’s easy to use the numbers to judge yourself. Remind yourself that tracking your blood sugar level is simply a way to know how well your diabetes care plan is working, and whether that plan may need to change.
Whats My Target Range
You might be asking, what’s the normal range for blood sugar levels? The answer is, there is a healthy range that you should ideally be aiming for. The infographics above show the general guidelines, but your individual target range for your blood sugar levels may be different. Youll healthcare team will agree with you what it is.
Youll get different readings at different times of the day, depending on things like what youve eaten and how much you are moving around. Heres a guide to help you get started on finding your target range:
If youre a child with Type 1 diabetes
- when you wake up and before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
- after meals: 5 to 9mmol/l
If youre an adult with Type 1 diabetes
- when you wake up and before meals: 5 to 7mmol/l
- before meals at other times of the day: 4 to 7mmol/l
If you have Type 2 diabetes
- before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
- two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l
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What Affects Your Results
If you keep seeing unusual results, recalibrate your meter and check the test strips.
The chart below gives you an idea of where your blood sugar level should be throughout the day. Your ideal blood sugar range may be different from another person’s and will change throughout the day.
|Time of Test|
Choosing A Blood Glucose Monitor
A blood glucose monitor, testing strips, and a lancet to draw the blood are all necessary for testing. Some testing kits offer all three, while others require separate purchases for each piece.
People with diabetes use many testing strips, and so it may be wise to carefully consider the cost of the testing strips as well as the monitor.
Some other tips for buying a monitor include:
- Select one with automatic coding to avoid the need to code in results with every test.
- Check insurance plans to see if an insurer only covers certain monitors.
- Look at whether the unit stores previous data.
- Consider portability, since larger units can be difficult to carry around.
- Think about blood sample size, particularly for people who do not like pricking themselves.
Monitors that require a smaller blood sample may be more comfortable as the depth of the lancet can be less.
Many people with diabetes have no signs of the disease at all. However, the lack of symptoms does not necessarily mean the absence of diabetes.
When symptoms occur, many of the effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the same since both affect blood sugar regulation in the body. Symptoms include:
- increased hunger and thirst
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Blood Glucose Monitors: What Are My Options
There are many devices on the market that can help you check your blood glucose, but they generally fall into 2 categories:
Self-monitoring blood glucose devices. With SMBG devices, you test your blood sugar multiple times a day, each time pricking your finger and testing a drop of blood with a test strip. Many of these devices can store your results over time. Some newer ones even allow you to send your results to your smartphone through an app. Popular SMBG devices include OneTouch Ultra 2, Coaguchek XS, and Contour Next.
Continuous glucose monitoring devices. In contrast to SMBG devices, CGM devices measure your blood sugar at regular intervals throughout the day. Popular CGM devices include Freestyle Libre 14 day, Dexcom G6, and Medtronic Guardian Sensor 3. These tend to be newer than SMBG devices and feature an adhesive patch with a small microneedle sensor that you attach to your skin . The sensor measures your blood sugar and sends your results to an app on your smartphone or another device you carry around with you. Some CGM devices come attached to insulin pumps that give you insulin when your blood sugar is high.
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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Other Reasons For Monitoring Your Blood Glucose More Often
You will need to check your blood glucose more often if you:
- are pregnant
- take insulin, glipizide, gliclazide or glibenclamide and work in a hazardous job such as driving or operating machinery
- have a big change in your daily routine
- have poorly controlled blood glucose levels your healthcare team will advise you when to do this, so that your treatment can be adjusted.
Why You Should Check Your Sugar Level On A Regular Basis
Following are the benefits of self-monitoring your blood glucose regularly:
- It gives you a quick measurement of your blood glucose level at a given time.
- It can determine if you have a high or low blood glucose level at a given time.
- It can show you how your lifestyle and medication affect your blood glucose levels.
- It can help you and your diabetes healthcare team assess the need to take action that helps you improve your blood glucose levels.
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Checking Your Blood Sugar