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How Do You Check Your Blood Sugar?

Blood Glucose Monitoring: Tips To Monitor Your Blood Sugar Successfully

Blood Glucose Monitoring: Tips To Monitor Your Blood Sugar Successfully

Blood sugar testing is an essential part of managing and controlling diabetes. Knowing your blood sugar level quickly can help alert you to when your level has fallen or risen outside the target range. In some cases, this will help prevent an emergency situation. You’ll also be able to record and track your blood glucose readings over time. This will show you how exercise, food, and medicine affect your levels. Conveniently enough, testing your blood glucose level can be done just about anywhere and at any time. In as little as a minute or two, you can test your blood and have a reading using an at-home blood sugar meter or blood glucose monitor. Learn more: Choosing a glucose meter » Whether you test several times a day or only once, following a testing routine will help you prevent infection, return true results, and better monitor your blood sugar. Here’s a step-by-step routine you can follow: Wash your hands with warm, soapy water. Then dry them well with a clean towel. If you use an alcohol swab, be sure to let the area dry completely before testing. Prepare a clean lancet device by inserting a clean needle. This spring-loaded device that holds the needle is what you will use to prick the end of your finger. Remove one test strip from your bottle or box of strips. Be sure to close the bottle or box completely to avoid contaminating the other strips with dirt or moisture. All modern meters now have you insert the strip into the meter before you collect blood, so you can add the blood sample to the strip when it is in the meter. With some older meters, you put the blood on the strip first, and then put the strip in the meter. Stick the side of your fingertip with the lancet. Some blood sugar machines allow for testing from different sites on your body, such as t Continue reading >>

Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Level

Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Level

What tests can I use to check my blood sugar level? There are 2 blood tests that can help you manage your diabetes. One of these tests is called an A1C test, which reflects your blood sugar (or blood glucose) control over the past 2-3 months. Testing your A1C level every 3 months is the best way for you and your doctor to understand how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Your A1C goal will be determined by your doctor, but it is generally less than 7%. The other test is called SMBG, or self-monitoring of blood glucose. Using a blood glucose monitor to do SMBG testing can help you improve control of your blood sugar levels. The results you get from an SMBG test can help you make appropriate adjustments to your medicine, diet and/or level of physical activity. Every person who has diabetes should have a blood glucose monitor (also called a home blood sugar meter, a glucometer, or a glucose meter) and know how to use it. Your doctor may prescribe a blood glucose monitor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved meters that work without pricking your finger. But these meters cannot replace regular glucose meters. They are used to get additional readings between regular testing. What supplies do I need? You will need a glucose meter, alcohol pads, sterile finger lancets and sterile test strips. Check with your health insurance plan to see if they will pay for these supplies. How do I pick a glucose meter? Check with your health insurance plan to see if they will pay for your glucose meter. If so, your plan may only pay for a certain meter. If your insurance plan doesn’t pay for glucose meters, ask your doctor which meters he or she recommends. Shop around and compare costs. Consider what features are important to you. For example, some meters are Continue reading >>

How To Test Your Blood Sugar

How To Test Your Blood Sugar

People with any type diabetes are given the task of managing their condition on a daily basis. We’re expected to adjust our food intake, amount of exercise and medications each and every day in order to do our best to control our blood sugar levels. One of the major tools we have to achieve this control is testing our blood glucose. Here’s a simple guide to the How, When and Why of checking your blood glucose. In the end, it’s a very good use of your time! Why: Using your glucose monitor is the number one way you can assess how your diabetes (and your body as a whole) is doing. Testing once a day is usually not enough to truly assess the information below because your blood sugar can change very easily throughout the day, after any food and drink, after exercise, etc. The number on your meter tells you important things, such as: How your food choices are impacting your diabetes How exercise effects your blood sugar levels The effects of illness (especially during flu season) and medications for non-diabetes thing (like cough medicine) Let’s you know if you need to adjust your oral or injectable medications with your doctor’s help Helps you identify blood sugar levels that are too high or too low It’s essential to reaching your goal A1c level How: First you need a glucose meter. There are a variety of makes and models available. The meter you choose might be guided by your insurance company or the cost of test strips. Regardless of the meter you choose, the FDA requires that all meters be within a 20% accuracy range. (Talk to your healthcare team or pharmacist to get started if you don’t have a meter yet!) Wash your hands with soap and water. This is the best method to ensure accuracy. Any substance on your hands might give you a false reading. It isn’t r Continue reading >>

How And When To Test Your Blood Sugar With Diabetes

How And When To Test Your Blood Sugar With Diabetes

Most people with diabetes need to check their blood sugar (glucose) levels regularly. The results help you and your doctor manage those levels, which helps you avoid diabetes complications. There are several ways to test your blood sugar: From Your Fingertip: You prick your finger with a small, sharp needle (called a lancet) and put a drop of blood on a test strip. Then you put the test strip into a meter that shows your blood sugar level. You get results in less than 15 seconds and can store this information for future use. Some meters can tell you your average blood sugar level over a period of time and show you charts and graphs of your past test results. You can get blood sugar meters and strips at your local pharmacy. Meters That Test Other Sites: Newer meters let you test sites other than your fingertip, such as your upper arm, forearm, base of the thumb, and thigh. You may get different results than from your fingertip. Blood sugar levels in the fingertips show changes more quickly than those in other testing sites. This is especially true when your blood sugar is rapidly changing, like after a meal or after exercise. If you are checking your sugar when you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, you should use your fingertip if possible, because these readings will be more accurate. Continuous Glucose Monitoring System: These devices, also called interstitial glucose measuring devices, are combined with insulin pumps. They are similar to finger-stick glucose results and can show patterns and trends in your results over time. 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 chec Continue reading >>

What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level?

What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level?

The aim of diabetes treatment is to bring blood sugar (“glucose”) as close to normal as possible. What is a normal blood sugar level? And how can you achieve normal blood sugar? First, what is the difference between “sugar” and “glucose”? Sugar is the general name for sweet carbohydrates that dissolve in water. “Carbohydrate” means a food made only of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. There are various different kinds of sugars. The one our body uses most is called “glucose.” Other sugars we eat, like fructose from fruit or lactose from milk, are converted into glucose in our bodies. Then we can use them for energy. Our bodies also break down starches, which are sugars stuck together, into glucose. When people talk about “blood sugar,” they mean “blood glucose.” The two terms mean the same thing. In the U.S., blood sugar is normally measured in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dl). A milligram is very little, about 0.00018 of a teaspoon. A deciliter is about 3 1/3 ounces. In Canada and the United Kingdom, blood sugar is reported in millimoles/liter (mmol/L). You can convert Canadian or British glucose levels to American numbers if you multiply them by 18. This is useful to know if you’re reading comments or studies from England or Canada. If someone reports that their fasting blood glucose was 7, you can multiply that by 18 and get their U.S. glucose level of 126 mg/dl. What are normal glucose numbers? They vary throughout the day. (Click here for a blood sugar chart.) For someone without diabetes, a fasting blood sugar on awakening should be under 100 mg/dl. Before-meal normal sugars are 70–99 mg/dl. “Postprandial” sugars taken two hours after meals should be less than 140 mg/dl. Those are the normal numbers for someone w Continue reading >>

Checking Your Blood Sugar

Checking Your Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes, a single drop of blood can speak volumes. When placed on a test strip and fed into a blood sugar meter, that little drop can tell you whether, at that moment, your sugar level is too high, too low, or just about right. You can also get an important glimpse into the future. If your blood sugar is too high for too long, you could be at risk for long-term complications such as blindness, heart disease, and amputations. By testing your blood sugar regularly, you can track the effectiveness of your medication, make informed decisions about meals and exercise, and head off problems such as high blood sugar or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) before it's too late. Checking blood sugar is an easy process, but it's possible to go astray. If you skip tests, don't record the information properly, or misuse the meter, your sugar levels could still be a mystery. Your doctor or diabetes educator can help you avoid these traps. Be sure to ask plenty of questions, and don't stop until you feel ready to measure your sugar levels on your own. Different patients have different needs, but some basic tips apply to everyone. When should I check my blood sugar? Your diabetes educator or your doctor can help you set your schedule. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, most patients on insulin have to check their blood sugar several times a day. You may also need to do daily monitoring if you are newly diagnosed with diabetes, if your blood sugar is not well-controlled, or if you're making major changes in your food intake or energy expenditure that could influence your blood sugar. If any of these applies to you, you may want to check your blood sugar once in the morning, an hour before each of the three major meals, and right before bedtime. Your doctor may also suggest Continue reading >>

Am I Diabetic? How To Test Your Blood Sugar To Find Out

Am I Diabetic? How To Test Your Blood Sugar To Find Out

If you have not been diagnosed with diabetes but suspect you might have something wrong with your blood sugar, there is a simple way to find out. What you need to do is to test your blood sugar after you have eaten a meal that contains about sixty grams of carbohydrates. You can ask your doctor to test your blood sugar in the office if you have an appointment that takes place an hour or two after you've eaten or, if this isn't an option, you can use an inexpensive blood sugar meter to test your post-meal blood sugar yourself at home. You do not need a prescription to buy the meter or strips. One advantage of testing yourself at home is that with self-testing you do not run the risk of having a "diabetes" diagnosis written into your medical records which might make it impossible for you to buy health or life insurance. To run a post-meal blood sugar test do following: Borrow a family member's meter or buy an inexpensive meter and strips at the drug store or Walmart. The Walmart Relion meter store brand meters sold at pharamcies like CVS, Walgreens, etc are usually the least expensive. Some meters come with 10 free strips. Check to see if the meter you have bought includes strips. If it doesn't, buy the smallest package size available. Strips do not keep for very long once opened, so don't buy more than you need for a couple tests. Familiarize yourself with the instructions that came with your meter so that you know how to run a blood test. Practice a few times before you run your official test. Each meter is different. Be sure you understand how yours works. The first thing in the morning after you wake up but before you have eaten anything, test your blood sugar. Write down the result. This is your "fasting blood sugar." Now eat something containing at 60 - 70 grams of Continue reading >>

How To Check Your Blood Sugar

How To Check Your Blood Sugar

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Why do I need to check my blood sugar level? High blood sugar levels increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney problems. You can decrease your risk by controlling your blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar levels can also lead to serious health problems and must be treated right away. Check your blood sugar to help you learn how food, exercise, stress, and medicines affect your levels. Keep a record of your blood sugar levels. It can be used to adjust your meal plan, exercise routine, insulin doses, or diabetes medicine if needed. How do I check my blood sugar level? Check your blood sugar level with a glucose meter. This device uses a small drop of blood to measure your blood sugar level. Some glucose meters measure a drop of blood taken from your finger using a special lancet device. Other meters will also measure a drop of blood taken from your thigh, forearm, or the palm of your hand. Blood sugar levels change quickly after meals, after you take insulin, during exercise, and when you feel stressed or ill. It is best to use blood from your finger to check your blood sugar level during these times. Your healthcare provider will teach you how to use a glucose meter to check your blood sugar level. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about taking blood samples from areas other than your finger. When and how often should I check my blood sugar level? Ask your healthcare provider when and how often you should check your blood sugar levels. If you check your blood sugar level before a meal , it should be between 80 and 130 mg/dL. If you check your blood sugar level 2 hours after a meal , it should be less than 180 mg/dL. Ask your healthcare provider if these are good goals for you. Blood sugar levels need to be Continue reading >>

How To Check Your Blood Sugar

How To Check Your Blood Sugar

There are two primary ways to figure out your blood sugar: a blood glucose meter and a continuous glucose meter. Almost everyone with diabetes will be encouraged to get a blood glucose meter. Those with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes with hypoglycemia unawareness (where you can’t tell if you have low blood sugar) may use a continuous glucose meter. How to Check Your Blood Sugar on a Meter Checking your blood glucose requires three things: a blood glucose meter, a test strip, and a lancing device. Here are the typical steps: Wash your hands to ensure you have no sugary residue on them. You want to check your blood sugar, not the sugar content of the apple you had for a snack. Insert a test strip into the meter. Use the lancing device to get a drop of blood. Touch the end of the test strip to the drop of blood. It will magically “drink up” the drop of blood. See the result on your meter’s screen. Any blood glucose meter supports checking on your fingertips. Some meters support checking on alternate sites. If you think you have a low blood sugar, are about to drive, are feeling unwell, or during or after exercise–always check on your fingertips since blood sugar numbers when checking from your arm or another site may lag behind those using your finger. Alternate testing sites can lag up to 30 minutes behind. Here is a video from the Mayo Clinic demonstrating how to check your blood sugar: It helps to rotate your fingertip sites so areas on your fingers don’t get too sore. Changing your lancet regularly helps decrease pain when pricking your finger. Try pricking your finger off center. Pricking right in the middle of your finger or too much to the side generally hurts more. It helps to shake your hand at your side before checking to help coax the blood out. Continue reading >>

Fda Approves First Blood Sugar Monitor Without Finger Pricks

Fda Approves First Blood Sugar Monitor Without Finger Pricks

U.S. regulators have approved the first continuous blood sugar monitor for diabetics that doesn’t need backup finger prick tests. Current models require users to test a drop of blood twice daily to calibrate, or adjust, the monitor. The pain of finger sticks and the cost of testing supplies discourage many people from keeping close tabs on their blood sugar, which is needed to manage insulin use and adjust what they eat. Abbott’s new FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, approved Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration, uses a small sensor attached to the upper arm. Patients wave a reader device over it to see the current blood sugar level and changes over the past eight hours. Most of the 30 million Americans with diabetes use standard glucose meters, which require multiple finger pricks each day and only show current sugar level. More-accurate continuous glucose monitoring devices are used by about 345,000 Americans. But most don’t do the finger pricks to calibrate them and may get inaccurate readings, said Dr. Timothy Bailey, who helped test FreeStyle Libre. “We’re able to lower blood sugar safely” with this technology, said Bailey, director of the Advanced Metabolic Care and Research Institute in California. He receives consulting fees from various diabetes device makers. Too-high blood sugar levels can damage organs and lead to heart attacks, strokes, blindness and amputations. Very low blood sugar can cause seizures, confusion and loss of consciousness. Abbott’s device was approved for adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and should be available in pharmacies within months. The company, based near Chicago, did not disclose the price of the reader or the sensors. Abbott’s system can’t be used with an insulin pump, a device worn a Continue reading >>

How To Check Your Blood Sugar

How To Check Your Blood Sugar

Keeping track of how much sugar (glucose) is in your blood is an important part of self-care when you have diabetes. This is also called self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). To make sure your glucose and insulin are in balance, check your blood sugar as instructed by your healthcare provider. You may need to check your blood glucose levels at certain times every day. Or you may need to check them only a few times a week. Using a blood glucose meter You can check your blood sugar at home, at work, and anywhere else. Your diabetes team will help you choose a blood glucose meter. A meter measures the amount of glucose in a tiny drop of blood. You’ll use a device called a lancet to draw a drop of blood. Put the strip in the meter first. Then touch the test strip to the drop of blood. The meter then gives you a number (reading) that tells you the level of your blood sugar. Aim for your target range Your blood sugar should be in your target range—not too high and not too low. A target range is where your blood sugar level is healthiest. Staying in this range as much as possible will help lower your risk for health problems (complications). Your diabetes team will help you figure out the best target range for you. That range depends on many things. They include your age, other health problems, how well your diabetes is controlled, and how long you have had diabetes. In general, target ranges are: Control of blood glucose (hemoglobin A1c or A1c): generally, 7.0% or less. You will usually have this test at the lab. Before a meal (preprandial glucose): Between 80 and 130 mg/dL. One to 2 hours after a meal (postprandial glucose): Less than 180 mg/dL. Track your readings Use a notebook, chart, or log book to keep track of your readings. Write down the date, time, and your b Continue reading >>

When To Check Your Blood Sugar

When To Check Your Blood Sugar

Your diabetes treatment and self-management plan will determine how often and when to check your blood sugar levels. How Often to Test Check your blood sugar levels when you need information to make decisions. How you use the information from testing is more important than how often you test. Whatever you decide is the best testing schedule for you, be sure you have a plan for what to do with the information from your tests. Many people find it helpful to check their blood sugar when they first wake up in the morning and again before their evening meal or going to bed. Others test before or after each meal. Many people test before and after exercising. In general, most people test at least 1 time a day if they: Manage diabetes by diet and exercise only Take diabetes pills Take 1 to 2 insulin shots a day People test 4 to 6 times a day when they: Take more than 2 insulin shots a day Start to have very high or very low blood sugar readings Are pregnant Use an insulin pump Are under more stress than usual Are sick Have changed their routine When to Test Testing at different times of the day can give you different information about how your diabetes care plan is working. First thing in the morning, before eating or drinking anything. This will tell you whether you have enough insulin in your body to control blood sugar levels at night, while you're asleep. Before each meal. This will help you make decisions about how much medicine to take and how much food to eat. After meals and before bedtime. This can tell you if you're taking enough medicine to cover the food you eat during the day and whether you're making the right food choices. Before certain activities, such as driving or using any kind of machine. This will let you know if your blood sugar is in a normal range. If y Continue reading >>

How To Test Your Blood Sugar

How To Test Your Blood Sugar

Expert Reviewed Four Methods:Setting Up Your GlucometerUsing a GlucometerCompleting Your Blood Sugar RoutineGetting Tested By Your DoctorCommunity Q&A If you were recently diagnosed with diabetes or have another blood glucose control issue, you will likely have to test your blood sugar on a routine basis. This may seem difficult to do at first. However, regularly checking your blood sugar can help you monitor how well your medications or treatments are working, and is an important part of a diabetic care routine.[1] Testing your blood sugar is an easy procedure at your doctor’s office, and can be done simply at home once you purchase a glucose meter and become comfortable with how to use it. Continue reading >>

How To Test Your Blood Sugar

How To Test Your Blood Sugar

To check your blood sugar level, gather your blood glucose meter, a test strip and your lancing device. Watch the video below or follow the steps outlined here. See how to prepare the meter and test strip, lance your finger and get a reading using the Accu-Chek® Aviva Plus system. The steps are similar for many meters, and generally look like this: Wash and dry your hands—using warm water may help the blood flow.1 Turn on the meter and prepare a test strip as outlined in your owner's booklet. Many Accu-Chek meters turn on automatically when a strip is inserted. Choose your spot—don't check from the same finger all the time. Using the side of the fingertip may be less painful than the pads.1 Prepare the lancing device according to the user guide provided, then lance your fingertip or other approved site to get a drop of blood.2 Touch and hold the test strip opening to the drop until it has absorbed enough blood to begin the test. View your test result and take the proper steps if your blood sugar is high or low, based on your healthcare professionals' recommendations. Discard the used lancet properly. Record the results in a logbook, hold them in the meter's memory or download to an app or computer so you can review and analyze them later. For meter-specific instructions on how to test your blood sugar levels, visit the Accu-Chek Support page for your meter. Continue reading >>

How To Check Your Blood Sugar

How To Check Your Blood Sugar

Keeping track of how much sugar (glucose) is in your blood is an important part of self-care when you have diabetes. This is also called self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). To make sure your glucose and insulin are in balance, check your blood sugar as instructed by your healthcare provider. You may need to check your blood glucose levels at certain times every day. Or you may need to check them only a few times a week. What you need To check your blood sugar, make sure you have the following: A small pricking needle (lancing device) Test strips A glucose meter A notebook, chart, or log book and pen or pencil Using a blood glucose meter You can check your blood sugar at home, at work, and anywhere else. Your diabetes team will help you choose a blood glucose meter. A meter measures the amount of glucose in a tiny drop of blood. You’ll use a device called a lancet to draw a drop of blood. Put the strip in the meter first. Then touch the test strip to the drop of blood. The meter then gives you a number (reading) that tells you the level of your blood sugar. Aim for your target range Your blood sugar should be in your target range—not too high and not too low. A target range is where your blood sugar level is healthiest. Staying in this range as much as possible will help lower your risk for health problems (complications). Your diabetes team will help you figure out the best target range for you. That range depends on many things. They include your age, other health problems, how well your diabetes is controlled, and how long you have had diabetes. In general, target ranges are: Control of blood glucose (hemoglobin A1c or A1c): generally, 7.0% or less. You will usually have this test at the lab. Before a meal (preprandial glucose): Between 80 and 130 mg/dL. One Continue reading >>

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