If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, monitoring glucose or blood sugar is essential to help you manage your diabetes and avoid diabetes-related complications.
Monitoring glucose helps you identify current blood sugar levels, monitor how your medications affect blood sugar levels, track your progress, and learn how your diet and activity level affects your blood sugar levels. These days, you do not have to go to your doctor’s office to test your blood sugar as you can do it at home.
Ways To Monitor Glucose Levels
Using a blood sugar meter
This is the most common and most effective way of monitoring glucose levels. To test your blood sugar levels, you have to prick your fingerprint and place a drop of blood on a disposable test. To use the blood sugar meter:
- Thoroughly wash and dry your hands and the meter.
- Insert a test strip into the blood sugar meter.
- Prick your fingertip’s side with the meter needle/ lancet. This usually comes with your test kit.
- Touch and hold the test strip’s edge on the place with the blood to transfer a small amount of blood on it.
- After a few seconds, the blood sugar meter will display your glucose levels on the screen.
After testing, properly dispose of the test strip and lancet. Sometimes, you might take the blood from your palm or forearm, but these readings are not usually as accurate as those from the fingertip. That is because the blood sugar levels in those areas often change, especially after exercising or after meals.
Your diabetes educator or doctor will recommend the best device for you and even show you how to use it.
Always ensure that you store your test strips in the provided container to keep them from moisture and extreme temperatures.
Continuous Glucose monitor
People with type one diabetes may opt to use GCMs. These are devices that test your blood glucose levels after every several minutes using a sensor under your skin. If you use a CGM, you have to wear the sensor for two weeks then change it.
New CGMs in the market can test your blood sugar for up to three months. You can also have a transmitter in your body that sends information about your blood sugar levels to a smartphone app from the sensor.
When To Test Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor will tell you how often you should monitor your glucose levels depending on the type of diabetes you have. If you have type 1 diabetes, you need to test your blood sugar levels 10 times daily.
This includes before snacks and meals, before bed, before and after exercising, and sometimes at night. If you are ill, start a new medication or change your daily routine, you have to test more often.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor might recommend monitoring depending on the amount and type of insulin you are using. Doctors recommend that you test at bedtime and before meals if you take multiple injections.
If you use long-acting or intermediate insulin, you need to only test before dinner and breakfast. If you manage your type 2 diabetes with non-insulin medications, exercise, or diet, you might not need to test your blood sugars daily.
When you visit your doctor, you should ask about your blood sugar range, which depends on the type and severity of your diabetes, your age, pregnancy status, overall health, and how long you have had diabetes.
If you want to learn more about diabetes and blood sugar, you should look for resources from reputable sources like Tandem Diabetes Care.
Originally posted 2022-02-07 23:20:30.