How To Use Blood Glucose Testing Results
It’s not unusual for your blood glucose results to be out of range now and then. But if you see a pattern of highs or lows outside your target range, you may want to ask yourself:
- Did I eat at an unusual time, have a larger or smaller portion, or try a new food?
- Did I have more or less physical activity than usual?
- Did I forget to take my medication, take it at the wrong time, take too little or too much?
- Am I taking a new medication?
- Am I stressed about something?
- Do I have an infection or an illness?
- Did I drink alcohol?
Any of these can have an impact on your blood glucose numbers. If you’re making changes to your lifestyle, or if you can’t figure out why you’ve been out of range, talk to your doctor, nurse or diabetes educator.
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1American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes2016; Abridged for primary care providers . Diabetes Care. 2016;34: 3-21. Available at: . Accessed April 26, 2019.
2Polonsky WH, et al. Structured self-monitoring of blood glucose significantly reduces A1C levels in poorly controlled, noninsulin-treated type 2 diabetes: results from the Structured Testing Program study. Diabetes Care. 2011;34:262-267. Accessed April 26, 2019.
4Talk with your healthcare professional before deciding if alternate site testing is right for you.
How To Test Your Blood Sugar At Home
Follow these steps:
Consider Testing At Night
Bedtime checks are recommended for:
People who take multiple daily injections.
People who use an insulin pump.
Checking before bed may be recommended if you take basal insulin, such as Levimir or Lantus, once a day at bedtime or split your dose of long-acting insulin into two injections.
What you should know about middle-of-the-night checks:
People who use insulin may be advised to do checks in the middle of the night to reveal hypoglycemia during the night. Talk to your provider about nighttime testing options for you.
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High Blood Sugar Symptoms
Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar. Hyperglycemia happens when the body doesnt have enough insulin or when it cant use insulin correctly. Many things can cause high blood glucose levels like Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, stress, illness, or the dawn phenomenon. If you have hyperglycemia or suspect you may have it, talking with a healthcare provider is always a good idea. A doctor can help you determine whats causing your high blood sugar levels and lower it to a healthy range.
Here are some of the most common symptoms that may indicate hyperglycemia:
- Vision loss
You should seek immediate medical attention if your blood sugar reaches 400 mg/dL or higher.
When patients experience any of these accompanied by elevated blood sugar levels, diabetic patients are advised to go directly to the ER to avoid diabetes-induced coma, says Vikram Tarugu, MD, a gastroenterologist and the CEO of Detox of South Florida. Patients who have elevated blood sugar may also present with frothy, ketone-like smelling breath.
Here are some lifestyle changes and medical treatments that can help treat hyperglycemia:
Different Levels And What They Mean
The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last ate. Safe levels of blood sugar are high enough to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but low enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases guides. Dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range.
The target levels can also vary if you have diabetes. For example, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be mild hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes.
If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was low because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act.
That is fine because your body is capable, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in control to help prevent issues like heart disease or nerve damage.
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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.Â 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.
If You Start Stop Or Change Any Medications
Different medications can have an effect on your blood sugar, for example, steroids and anti-psychotic medications increase your blood sugar levels according to the American Diabetes Association. Several medications, such as beta-blockers, bactrim, MAO inhibitors, and metformin can cause low blood sugar according to MedLinePlus. Whenever you start, stop or change medication, it is a good idea to frequently test your blood sugar until you understand how the medication affects your glucose levels.
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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.
Buying Guide For The Best Blood Glucose Meter
So those were some of the suggestions for the best accurate glucose meters. Now the question is how to pick the right one for yourself? Well, to make it easy for you, here are some of the things that you need to take in consideration:
One of the most important parts is the result delivery time. There are quite a lot of meters that offer you results in just a few seconds. But some of the best glucometer too take some time. However, waiting for a few minutes to get your test done does not seem like a big deal, though. But a meter with a short delivery time will surely make your job easy.
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Our Choice For The Best Glucose Meter: Contour Next Ez Diabetes Testing Kit
High blood sugar is an ever-increasing global health problem caused due to unhealthy lifestyle. To keep it in check, glucose meters are something that we usually use. Blood glucose or blood sugar is typically measured in milligrams per deciliter, or you can say mg/dL. Doctors usually use the best glucose meter for diabetes and perform two blood sugar tests basically on two separate occasions.
And two readings of the 126 mg/dL or greater confirm the presence of the chronic, incurable disease in your body. Also, a fasting blood sugar level between 100 to 125 mg/dL is a clear sign of prediabetes. And in healthy individuals, sugar is something that offers vital energy to the cells.
But if you have diabetes, then elevated blood sugar can act as slow poison. And high blood sugar makes it difficult for your body to function properly.
However, in short, if you have diabetes and you are concerned about your blood sugar levels, then a blood glucose meter will allow you to check blood sugar levels easily. But when it comes to purchasing one, there are quite a lot of options that are available out there.
And to help you out, I am going to share a list of some of the best blood glucose meters for you. So lets just go ahead and have a look at them:
Other Tips For Checking:
- With some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or fleshy part of your hand.
- There are spring-loaded lancing devices that make sticking yourself less painful.
- If you use your fingertip, stick the side of your fingertip by your fingernail to avoid having sore spots on the frequently used part of your finger.
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Testing Blood Sugar Levels In Dogs At Home
If your dogs diabetes is pretty well managed: the blood sugar monitoring system is an excellent choice to check the blood sugar level on an occasional basis. You can perform a blood sugar test quickly, conveniently, and at the time of your choice.
Whereas, if your dogs diabetes is a little hard to regulate, the blood sugar monitoring system can be useful to get the information, which might be necessary for your vet to identify more suitable adjustments to your dogs insulin therapy.
Why Test Your Glucose
Glucose testing or self-checking blood glucose gives valuable data to diabetes the executives. It can support you:
- Judge how well youre achieving by and broad treatment objectives;
- See how diet and exercise influence glucose levels;
- See how different elements, for example, sickness or stress, influence glucose levels;
- Screen the impact of diabetes drugs on glucose levels;
- Recognize glucose levels that are high or low.
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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
Blood Sugar Monitoring: When To Check And Why
Managing diabetes is one part investigation and two parts action. Unlike some other diseases that rely primarily on professional medical treatment, diabetes treatment requires active participation by the person who has it. Monitoring your blood sugar level on a regular basis and analyzing the results is believed by many to be a crucial part of the treatment equation.
When someone is first diagnosedwith diabetes, he is usually given a blood sugar meter and told how and when to use it, as well as what numbers to shoot for. However, the advice a person receives on when to monitor and what the results should be generally depend on his type of diabetes, age and state of overall health. It can also depend on a health-care providers philosophy of care and which set of diabetes care guidelines he follows. At least three major health organizations have published slightly different recommendations regarding goals for blood sugar levels.
There is some common ground when it comes to blood sugar monitoring practices. For example, most people take a fasting reading before breakfast every morning. Some people also monitor before lunch, dinner and bedtime; some monitor after each meal; and some monitor both before and after all meals. However, when monitoring after meals, some people do it two hours after the first bite of the meal, while others prefer to check one hour after the start of a meal.
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Don’t Forget These Important Times To Test
You should also test your blood sugar if you:
Are sick or have an infection. Illness can send blood sugar levels up. Do a check every two to four hours. If it’s:
Over 250 mg/dl, check your urine for ketones ; if ketones are present in more than trace amounts, call your doctor.
* Over 250 mg/dl for more than six hours, call your doctor.
* Over 350 mg/dl even once, call your doctor.
Start a new blood glucose-lowering medication or change the dose of one. A prescription or over-the-counter medicine for a condition other than diabetes may affect blood sugar levels. Steroids are one example.
Are under a lot of stress. Emotional stress may lead to higher blood sugar numbers. Exercise — even just a walk around the block — can help reduce stress and glucose levels.
Feel as though your blood sugar level is too low. If your meter confirms it with a number of 70 mg/dl or less, eat 15-20 grams of pure glucose or drink 1/2 cup fruit juice or regular soda. Wait 15 minutes and check again to make sure it has come back into the normal range.
Consider Testing Before A Meal
If you’re on a flexible insulin plan , you need to check before you eat to determine the dose of rapid-acting insulin you need. If you have type 2 diabetes and are starting to take insulin once a day, your provider or diabetes educator will probably adjust your dose based on your daily fasting glucose results and perhaps other results.
Below are target blood sugar guidelines for adults with diabetes who have no other health issues. There’s a slight difference between the two organizations’ recommendations. Ask your provider about specific fasting and after-eating glucose levels and A1C targets that are right for you.
Guidelines for testing before a meal:
American Diabetes Association: 70-130 mg/dl
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists: Less than 110 mg/dl
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When Is The Best Time To Check Blood Sugar Levels At Home
The glucometer is the best way to observe and track the immediate effects of your food choices, physical activity and other changes to your blood glucose. It helps you to take further action to bring your blood glucose back to the target range recommended by your doctor. Optimal blood glucose control is essential to prevent diabetes complications. Your blood sugar level undergoes alteration during the day, especially after a meal. Hence, monitoring your blood glucose levels at the right time helps in better management of diabetes.
While there is no standard number of measurements that apply to people with diabetes. Unless otherwise indicated, you must generally monitor your blood glucose levels 1 to 4 times a day and this time is based on several factors. The general plan for monitoring BG levels at home is:
- Early morning ;
- before meals ;
- about 90-120 minutes from the moment you started eating ;
- the evening before bedtime;
- when you have the feeling that your sugar levels have spiked.
Type 1 Diabetes
Frequency and time: The frequency and time of home blood glucose checks can vary depending on the individuals goals, but people with type 1 diabetes are required:
- at least 4 checks a day, in routine conditions;
- The effect of the carbohydrates taken should be checked 1 or 2 hours after a meal.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus in conventional or mixed insulin therapy
Heres an overview of when to check your blood glucose levels and the course of action it may require.
When to Test
Keep Track Of Your Testing Strips
Make sure your strips arent expired. Out-of-date strips arent guaranteed to return true results. Old strips and inaccurate results may affect your daily log of blood glucose numbers, and your doctor may think theres a problem when there really isnt.
Also, keep the strips out of sunlight and away from moisture. Its best to keep them at room temperature or cooler, but not freezing.
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Is There A Best Time To Check Your Blood Sugar
Blood observing is the primary instrument you need to check your diabetes control. This check reveals to you your blood glucose level at any one time. For a diabetic its the best way to find out what your blood sugars are.
Its significant for blood glucose levels to remain in a sound range. On the off chance that glucose levels get excessively low, we can lose the capacity to think and function typically.
If they get excessively high and remain high, it can make harm or difficulties the body through the span of numerous years. This is not a good thing!
Keeping a log of your outcomes is crucial. When you convey this record to your social insurance supplier, you have a decent image of your bodys reaction to your diabetes care plan.
To help monitor your dimensions, we should have a printable blood glucose log. We additionally should have a blood glucose log that is little so that you can convey it with you accessible for procurement.
How To Choose A Blood Glucose Meter
There are many blood sugar meters to choose from, so start by thinking about what’s most important to you. Ask yourself a few questions.
- Are you concerned about accuracy? Make sure you’re using a meter and test strips that provide accurate results. Roche quality control processes ensure consistent accuracy. Find out more about our accuracy commitment.
- Do you use blood glucose results to dose insulin? The Accu-Chek Guide meter sends results directly to a smartphone app that includes an insulin calculator.5
- Do you feel like you’re always short on time? A system that syncs your data wirelessly, without manually entering results, can save time with every test. You may also want to consider a blood glucose meter that gives results quickly, makes it easier to handle test strips, doesn’t require coding, or simplifies lancing or dosing.
- Would you like to reduce the pain of testing? Choose a system with a lancing device specifically designed for comfort, such as the Accu-Chek FastClix lancing device. Precision-guided technology minimizes the lancet’s painful side to side motion and thin-gauge, bevel-cut lancets help ensure smoother entry. Plus, 11 customizable depth settings make it easier to get the right amount of blood the first time.
- Will you track results in the blood sugar meter, with an app or on a computer? Most blood sugar monitors have built-in memories, and many can beam or transfer data directly to your computer or an app on your smartphone, such as the mySugr app.
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
How Does It Work
You can test blood sugar levels at home using a blood glucose meter, which is a computerized device that measures the amount of glucose in a sample of your blood and displays it on a screen.
To get a sample of your blood, a small needle called a lancet is used to poke the skin to get one drop of blood. The drop is placed on a testing strip that goes into the glucose meter, and the blood glucose reading appears on a screen within a few seconds.
When you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, your mom or dad may help you test your blood sugar levels and keep track of the results. As you get older, though, you’ll learn how to use the glucose meter and monitor your blood sugar levels on your own. If you have any questions about using or taking care of your glucose meter, ask a member of your diabetes health care team.
How do you know which blood glucose meter to use? When you and your parents are choosing a glucose meter, you might want to consider:
Newer technologies are making it easier and less painful to keep track of diabetes. Adjustable lancets can make finger poking less painful by changing the depth to which the needle enters the skin, and certain meters can use blood drawn from a forearm or other body parts that are less sensitive than a fingertip for some people. Your diabetes health care team will help you choose the best type of equipment for you.
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How To Do A Finger
Your healthcare team will show you how to do it the first time, but these are the key steps:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dont use wet wipes as the glycerine in them can affect the test result. Make sure your hands are warm so its easier to get blood and wont hurt as much.
- Take a test strip and slot it into the meter to turn it on. Some meters will have tests strips built in.
- Remove the cap from your finger prick device and put in a new lancet. Then put the cap back on and set the device by pulling or clicking the plunger.
- Choose which finger to prick but avoid your thumb or index finger . And dont prick the middle, or too close to a nail. Place the device against the side of your finger and press the plunger. Use a different finger each time and a different area.
- Take your meter with the test strip and hold it against the drop of blood. Itll tell you if the test strip is filled, usually by beeping.
- Before you look at your reading, check your finger. Use a tissue to stop bleeding, then use it to take out the lancet and throw it away in your sharps bin.
- You can use the same tissue to take out the test strip and throw that away too. Taking out the strip will usually turn the meter off.