One method of understanding your diabetes and how different foods, medications, and activities affect it is to test your blood glucose level. Monitoring your blood glucose levels can assist you and your physician in developing a management strategy for this illness.
To check your blood sugar level, you can use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose meter (CGM), a portable electronic device that uses a small drop of blood to measure your blood sugar at home.
First, you must insert a test strip into the blood sugar meter. Then you use a special needle (lancet) to puncture a clean fingertip to get a drop of blood. Gently press the test strip against your skin and wait for the blood glucose reading to appear on the screen. However, because blood sugar levels fluctuate, you must test and record them frequently.
You can find these monitoring kits from:
- Doctor’s clinic
- Diabetes health consultant’s office
- Online stores
To know about the cost, you can talk with your doctor or pharmacist about it. This glucose meter kit includes testing strips, needles, or lancets to prick your finger and a device that will hold the needle. You might also get a logbook together with the kit, or you can download all the readings to your computer.
For the price and size, glucose meters differ. Some have added features to respond to the patient’s needs and preferences, such as:
- Audio capabilities for those who are visually impaired
- Illuminated screens to assist you to view in low light
- Extra memory or data storage
- Preloaded test strips for those who have trouble using their hands
- USB ports for transferring data directly to a computer
Advantages of Monitoring Blood Glucose
If your blood sugar level is too high or too low, a blood glucose monitor can notify you. It can help you since not knowing your body’s sugar level may be quite harmful to you. If you have diabetes, you should invest in a blood glucose monitor to help you keep track of your glucose levels and protect yourself from any harm.
One benefit of a blood glucose monitor is that you can see if your blood sugar will go up when you eat a certain kind of food and if it goes too low when you eat another kind of food. It will help you to identify which foods will spike your blood sugar level.
Your blood glucose target range will be determined by your doctor based on your age, diabetes type, overall health, and other factors. Maintaining your blood glucose levels as near to your target range as possible is essential.
High and Low Blood Sugar Levels Complications
People should be aware of the signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar levels to take the necessary steps to avoid health problems in the short and long term.
High blood sugar levels, if not treated, can lead to long-term issues, such as:
- Illness of the heart
- Nerve damage
- Issues with vision
- Insufficient blood flow
- Kidney disease
Take note that in overweight persons, losing weight can sometimes be confused with losing muscle mass. Excessive episodes of hyperglycemia can be uncomfortable, and they might increase the risk of long-term consequences if they become a regular occurrence.
If blood glucose levels go too low, one or more of the following symptoms may appear:
- Pale appearance
- Inability to create decision
Low blood sugar can cause significant problems such as seizures and coma. It can be harmful to those who have hypoglycemia if they are taking anti-diabetic drugs such as:
- Prandial glucose regulators (glinides)
These drugs need people with diabetes to recognize the indicators of low blood sugar levels immediately and treat them before they become hazardous.
Tell your doctor about any medications you’re taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements, before your test. Certain drugs might cause blood glucose levels to rise or fall. Before your blood test, your doctor may urge you to stop taking medicine for a while.
The risk associated with a Blood Glucose Test
The chance of having a problem during or after a blood test is low. The risks are the same as they are with any other type of blood test. Among the risks are:
- If it’s hard to identify a vein, multiple puncture wounds will appear
- Extreme bleeding
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Blood pooling under your skin infection
You might be running the risk of having the disease if you share insulin needles with someone infected. These are:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
For any reason, you should never share needles or finger-stick devices.
How to Get Ready for Blood Glucose Testing
Make sure you have the following items before monitoring your blood glucose levels:
- Lancelet, or any device that to prick your finger
- Alcohol for sanitizing
- A blood glucose monitor
- And a bandage if bleeding persists
Depending on your doctor’s instructions, you may need to change your meal plan or time it around your meal, depending on the type of test you’re undergoing.
What is the procedure for checking blood glucose levels?
Wash your hands properly before starting to avoid any infection. Or you can also use alcohol or alcohol wipes, but first, let your hands dry before testing. After that, insert a test strip into the meter. To get a small drop of blood, prick your finger with the lancet. To reduce finger soreness, use the sides of the fingertips instead of the tip.
The blood is collected on the test strip that you placed in the meter. In just a minute, your monitor will analyze the blood. It will provide the blood glucose reading on its digital display.
You may not be needing a bandage for finger pricks, but if bleeding persists beyond a few drops, you may wish to apply one. To get reliable results, make sure you follow all of the instructions that came with your glucometer.
You may need to test your blood glucose four or more times each day if you have type 1 diabetes. You might do physical activity before and after meals. As well as more frequently while you are sick.
Your doctor will tell you when and how often to test your blood glucose if you have type 2 diabetes.
Understanding Blood Glucose Monitoring Results
Your results will depend on the type of blood glucose test you utilized. A typical blood glucose level for a fasting test is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL. A fasting blood glucose level of 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered normal. The precise level, though, will be determined when you last ate.
There is a recommendation in the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology to keep fasting and keep premeal glucose levels between 80 and 130 and postprandial glucose levels between 180 and 200. And also, for the two-hour post-meal, you should keep the readings below 140 mg/dL.
Inquire with your doctor about your desired levels because these rules do not apply to everyone.
Regularly monitoring your blood glucose levels is an essential part of managing your diabetes. You’ll learn more about how diet, exercise, stress, and other things affect your diabetes if you track and report variations in your blood sugar levels.