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How Does Blood Sugar Testing Work

Blood Sugar Test

Blood Sugar Test

A blood glucose test measures the amount of a sugar called glucose in a sample of your blood. Glucose is a major source of energy for most cells of the body, including brain cells. Carbohydrates are found in fruit, cereal, bread, pasta, and rice. They are quickly turned into glucose in your body. This raises your blood glucose level. Hormones made in the body help control blood glucose level. Continue reading >>

Why Meters Can't Tell Us Our Blood Sugar Levels

Why Meters Can't Tell Us Our Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes advocate and author Riva Greenberg has been on a "meter accuracy kick" lately — researching the heck out of this controversial topic. Very timely considering I've been seeing loads of expensive TV ads for Accu-Chek's new Nano meter, claiming that it's "23% more accurate" (!) Riva recently published a piece at the Huffington Post on why meter accuracy is both less, and more, critical than you might think. Truth is, she tells us, meter accuracy is only one part of a much larger story. A Guest Post by Riva Greenberg After being lucky enough to receive an iBGStar meter from Sanofi the day before its launch, I ran a few comparison tests between it and the Bayer Contour USB, which I'd been using the past two years, and discovered that the iBGStar consistently gave me a reading 20-25 points higher. So I took out all my meters. There were several, (Sanofi studies show most people use 4 meters on average) and I even ordered two new free meters from FreeStyle. I checked my blood sugar several times on my collection of 7 meters (some think I was a little obsessed) and saw it was rare when two meters gave me the same number! Given that I feel like my meter is my lifeline, I wanted to find out how meters work and why different meters give different results. I talked with a number of Chief Medical Officers, MDs and Medical Safety Officers at several meter manufacturers and I'm going to tell you what I learned in layman's terms. To better understand the science behind meter and strip technology, you can google "meter accuracy" for white papers and posts that would delight even the geekiest engineer. To better know how accurate your own meter is (in percentage terms), you can "check the package insert that comes with the strips and look online at prescribing information," sa Continue reading >>

How Do Glucometers Work?

How Do Glucometers Work?

Through a pinprick several times a day — but what if diabetics could tell their blood-sugar levels anytime, by glancing at a tattoo?… Monitoring blood sugar levels is a pain for the diabetic — both figuratively and literally. Several times a day, they prick a finger to obtain a blood droplet and apply it to a plastic strip that’s inserted in a glucometer — a hand-held device that tells them if their glucose level is high, low, or right on target. It’s usually the job of the pancreas to keep track of sugar levels and to secrete glucagon and insulin to keep them at 100 or so milligrams per deciliter of blood. But for diabetics — either because their pancreas doesn’t function properly or because their body can’t process the hormones it secretes — glucose testing is a do-it-yourself proposition. And a crucial one. Blood-sugar checks show if it’s time to inject a few units of insulin — or grab a lifesaving snack. That’s where the glucometer comes in. “Current glucometers use test strips containing glucose oxidase, an enzyme that reacts to glucose in the blood droplet, and an interface to an electrode inside the meter,” explains Michael Strano, the Charles and Hilda Roddey Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. “When the strip is inserted into the meter, the flux of the glucose reaction generates an electrical signal,” he says. “The glucometer is calibrated so the number appearing in its digital readout corresponds to the strength of the electrical current: The more glucose in the sample, the higher the number.” Periodic tests via glucometer play an important part in the diabetic’s treatment plan, but current models fall short in giving a true picture of glucose fluctuations in real time. “The complications of diabetes st Continue reading >>

What Was A Choice You Made That Completely Changed Your Life?

What Was A Choice You Made That Completely Changed Your Life?

I gave up pitching myself to everyone out there. When I graduated from the university, I had no clue what to do next. As well as thousands of young graduates who have to move to the next stage of their lives, I had to decide where to live, how to make money, and ultimately what direction to move in… I had no idea what decisions would let me not screw up my life. I was still looking for the passion and was still trying to understand what excites me the most. The only thing I felt passionate about was blogging. However, I realized that it wasn’t likely to let me make a living within the first year or two. Another thing I knew is that I have always wanted to be self-employed and run my own business. I had a decent amount of ideas that seemed great to me… however, I had no dedicated team and not enough savings to sustain a startup… Unfortunately, it didn’t seem feasible to launch a business. I had too many questions and no answers at all. I faced a few dilemmas and appeared to be not ready to solve them. Eventually, I kept blogging on a regular basis and as most people out there I decided to look for a job. The next month was all about pitching - every single day I sent resumes to dozens of different companies and tried to convince the editors of the authoritative outlets that my writing is worth sharing. No success. Neither companies were sending me job offers, nor anyone found my articles interesting enough. Over that month I received 37 job rejections and sent 78 unanswered emails asking to feature my articles on different publications and websites. At that point, I realized that my strong unwillingness to work in the corporate sector and my overall uncertainty about the field I want to work at were not likely to help me land a nice job. Moreover, frankly speak Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar (glucose) Test Strips

Blood Sugar (glucose) Test Strips

How often is it covered? Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers some diabetic test supplies, including blood sugar test strips as durable medical equipment (DME). Who's eligible? All people with Part B who have diabetes are covered. Your costs in Original Medicare If your supplier accepts assignment, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies. Medicare pays for different kinds of DME in different ways. Depending on the type of equipment: You may need to rent the equipment. You may need to buy the equipment. You may be able to choose whether to rent or buy the equipment. Medicare will only cover your DME if your doctors and DME suppliers are enrolled in Medicare. Doctors and suppliers have to meet strict standards to enroll and stay enrolled in Medicare. If your doctors or suppliers aren’t enrolled, Medicare won’t pay the claims submitted by them. It’s also important to ask your suppliers if they participate in Medicare before you get DME. If suppliers are participating suppliers, they must accept assignment. If suppliers are enrolled in Medicare but aren’t “participating,” they may choose not to accept assignment. If suppliers don't accept assignment, there’s no limit on the amount they can charge you. Competitive Bidding Program If you live in or visit certain areas, you may be affected by Medicare's Competitive Bidding Program. In most cases, Medicare will only help pay for these equipment and supplies if they're provided by contract suppliers when both of these apply: Contract suppliers can't charge you more than the 20% coinsurance and any unmet yearly deductible for any equipment or supplies included in the Competitive Bidding Program. You may need to use specific suppliers for some types of diabetes testing sup Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Testing: Why, When And How

Blood Sugar Testing: Why, When And How

Blood sugar testing is an important part of diabetes care. Find out when to test your blood sugar level, how to use a testing meter, and more. If you have diabetes, self-testing your blood sugar (blood glucose) can be an important tool in managing your treatment plan and preventing long-term complications of diabetes. You can test your blood sugar at home with a portable electronic device (glucose meter) that measures sugar level in a small drop of your blood. Why test your blood sugar Blood sugar testing — or self-monitoring blood glucose — provides useful information for diabetes management. It can help you: Judge how well you're reaching overall treatment goals Understand how diet and exercise affect blood sugar levels Understand how other factors, such as illness or stress, affect blood sugar levels Monitor the effect of diabetes medications on blood sugar levels Identify blood sugar levels that are high or low When to test your blood sugar Your doctor will advise you on how often you should check your blood sugar level. In general, the frequency of testing depends on the type of diabetes you have and your treatment plan. Type 1 diabetes. Your doctor may recommend blood sugar testing four to eight times a day if you have type 1 diabetes. You may need to test before meals and snacks, before and after exercise, before bed, and occasionally during the night. You may also need to check your blood sugar level more often if you are ill, change your daily routine or begin a new medication. Type 2 diabetes. If you take insulin to manage type 2 diabetes, your doctor may recommend blood sugar testing two or more times a day, depending on the type and amount of insulin you need. Testing is usually recommended before meals, and sometimes before bedtime. If you manage type 2 Continue reading >>

How Reliable Is The Hb1ac Test For Blood Sugar Testing?

How Reliable Is The Hb1ac Test For Blood Sugar Testing?

The hemoglobin A1c test for diabetes can be affected by a number of things. Even the methods used to test can vary considerably from each other. Something as simple as 1000mg of vitamin C/day (a very common amount to take as a daily supplement) can give an erroneously low number in the HbA1c test. Here is a link to a very good article that looks at these issues. [What can erroneously lower or raise the number, testing methods and alternate testing methods if normal methods are not working properly (giving incorrect high or low numbers).] Continue reading >>

What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Glucose Testing.

What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Glucose Testing.

Blood sugar management is important for preventing everything from hypoglycemia to full blown diabetes. However, monitoring blood glucose is rarely as straightforward as it seems. In this article we’ll discuss the current gold standard for measuring a person’s blood sugar. We’ll share some problems with the most popular tests. And we’ll review the best ways to interpret your results. (Even if your doctor doesn’t know how). [Note: We’ve also prepared an audio recording of this article for you to listen to. So, if you’d rather listen to the piece, click here.] ++ Homeostasis is a fancy scientific word for “body balance”. Essentially, our bodies must keep internal levels of thousands of chemicals in check. Or else health can go awry. One of the most important homeostatic systems in our body is our blood sugar management system. When blood sugar is kept at a healthy range, we feel healthy, strong, energetic. On the other hand, unbalanced blood sugars put us at risk for problems ranging from reactive hypoglycemia to insulin resistance to full blown diabetes. But estimating blood sugar levels can be tricky. First, these levels change throughout the day, and with meals and exercise. So, unless you’re monitoring blood sugar levels continuously, every second of every day, it’s hard to get a complete picture of your glucose health. Second, the convenient glucose meters that many Type 1 diabetics use only give us a snapshot instead of a movie. They don’t show us how patients regulate blood sugars over time. And that may be the most important information of all when it comes to disease prevention. That’s why doctors and scientists have become obsessed with finding a test that measures blood glucose balance across days, weeks, or months. In other words, a t Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Monitoring

Blood Glucose Monitoring

Testing your blood sugar level is one of the best ways to understand your diabetes and how different foods, medications, and activities affect your diabetes. Keeping track of your blood glucose can help you and your doctor make a plan to manage this condition. People use portable blood glucose meters, called glucometers, to check their blood sugar levels. These work by analyzing a small amount of blood, usually from a fingertip. The glucometer lightly pricks your skin to obtain the blood. Meters tell you your current blood sugar, but since blood sugar levels change, you need to test levels often and record them. You can get blood glucose monitoring kits and supplies from: your doctor’s office a diabetes educator’s office a pharmacy online stores You can discuss the price with your doctor or pharmacist. Glucose meters come with testing strips, small needles, or lancets, to prick your finger, and a device to hold the needle. The kit may include a logbook or you might be able to download the readings onto your computer. Meters vary in cost and size. Some have added features to suit different needs and preferences. These may include: audio capabilities for people with vision impairment backlit screens to help you see them in low light additional memory or data storage preloaded test strips for people who have difficulty using their hands USB ports to load information directly to a computer Regular glucose monitoring is one of the ways people with diabetes can learn more about their condition. When it’s time to make important decisions about medication dosage, exercise, and diet, knowing your blood glucose levels will be a major help for you, your doctor, and the rest of your healthcare team. By checking your blood glucose levels routinely, you’ll also know when your Continue reading >>

Why Is Blood Sugar Testing Important?

Why Is Blood Sugar Testing Important?

Measuring blood sugar (glucose) levels at home has become a cornerstone of diabetes care. Measuring blood sugar regularly can: Help you know if your blood sugar is within your target range. Staying in a healthy range can help prevent or delay the long-term complications of high blood sugar, such as heart, kidney, eye, nerve, and circulation problems Help you know if your blood sugar is too low or too high and treatment is needed Help you know how much and which type of medicine to use Prevent low blood sugar at night Help you manage illness at home Let you know if you need to do a ketone test (if you have type 1 diabetes) Help you understand the effects of certain foods, exercise, and stress on your blood sugar Help your healthcare provider know if changes in your treatment are needed What supplies are needed? Doing a blood test requires: Finger-pricking (lancing) device: A finger-pricking device (called a lancet) is used to get a drop of blood for the test. The lancet can often be set at different depths for different people. Adjustable lancets are good for young children and tender skin and for when you do not need the lancet to go deep. Remember to change the lancet every day. A sharp and clean lancet helps prevent injury and infection. Blood glucose meter (glucometer): Most people use blood glucose meters to test blood sugar. Not all meters measure in the same way, so the results from different meters are not always the same. It doesn't matter which type of meter you choose as long as you always use the same meter. Bring the meter to each clinic visit. Your healthcare provider can get a record of the test results from the meter. Some features to look for in a meter include: Accuracy: Make sure the meter is accurate in the environment where you live, for example, in Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Monitoring Devices

Blood Glucose Monitoring Devices

What does this test do? This is a test system for use at home to measure the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood. What is glucose? Glucose is a sugar that your body uses as a source of energy. Unless you have diabetes, your body regulates the amount of glucose in your blood. People with diabetes may need special diets and medications to control blood glucose. What type of test is this? This is a quantitative test, which means that you will find out the amount of glucose present in your blood sample. Why should you take this test? You should take this test if you have diabetes and you need to monitor your blood sugar (glucose) levels. You and your doctor can use the results to: determine your daily adjustments in treatment know if you have dangerously high or low levels of glucose understand how your diet and exercise change your glucose levels The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (1993) showed that good glucose control using home monitors led to fewer disease complications. How often should you test your glucose? Follow your doctor's recommendations about how often you test your glucose. You may need to test yourself several times each day to determine adjustments in your diet or treatment. What should your glucose levels be? According to the American Diabetes Association (Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2011, Diabetes Care, January 2011, vol.34, Supplement 1, S11-S61) the blood glucose levels for an adult without diabetes are below 100 mg/dL before meals and fasting and are less than 140 mg/dL two hours after meals. People with diabetes should consult their doctor or health care provider to set appropriate blood glucose goals. You should treat your low or high blood glucose as recommended by your health care provider. How accurate is this test? The ac Continue reading >>

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Monitoring Of Diabetes

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Monitoring Of Diabetes

According to the latest American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, about 8 million people 18 years and older in the United States have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Often type 1 diabetes remains undiagnosed until symptoms become severe and hospitalization is required. Left untreated, diabetes can cause a number of health complications. That's why it's so important to both know what warning signs to look for and to see a health care provider regularly for routine wellness screenings. Symptoms In incidences of prediabetes, there are no symptoms. People may not be aware that they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes because they have no symptoms or because the symptoms are so mild that they go unnoticed for quite some time. However, some individuals do experience warning signs, so it's important to be familiar with them. Prediabetes Type 1 Diabetes Type 2 Diabetes No symptoms Increased or extreme thirst Increased thirst Increased appetite Increased appetite Increased fatigue Fatigue Increased or frequent urination Increased urination, especially at night Unusual weight loss Weight loss Blurred vision Blurred vision Fruity odor or breath Sores that do not heal In some cases, no symptoms In some cases, no symptoms If you have any of these symptoms, see your health care provider right away. Diabetes can only be diagnosed by your healthcare provider. Who should be tested for prediabetes and diabetes? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you should be tested if you are: If your blood glucose levels are in normal range, testing should be done about every three years. If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for diabetes every one to two years after diagnosis. Tests for Diagnosing Prediabetes and Diabetes There are three ty 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 Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

How To Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

Life with type 2 diabetes can sometimes seem like an hourly or even minute-by-minute effort to stabilize your blood sugar. All of the recommendations and drugs you’ve been given as part of your type 2 diabetes treatment plan are intended to help you reach — and keep — healthy blood sugar levels most of the time. But doctors are learning that to control type 2 diabetes well, better information about why blood sugar matters and how to manage it is essential. The Facts About Diabetes and Blood Sugar As the American Diabetes Association (ADA) explains, your body needs sugar (glucose) for fuel, and there’s a fairly complicated process that makes it possible for your body to use that sugar. Insulin, which is made by the pancreas, is the hormone that enables the cells in your body to take advantage of sugar. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body isn’t able to remove sugar from your blood. This can happen if your body stops being sensitive to insulin or if it starts to respond in a delayed or exaggerated way to changes in your blood sugar. Diabetes is signaled by an elevated blood sugar level of more than 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for a fasting blood test, or more than 200 mg/dL at any time during the day. It can also be indicated by a hemoglobin A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher, a measure of the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin in the blood during the past two to three months. (Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body. So an A1C of 6.5 means that 6.5 percent of your red blood cells have sugar attached to them.) Unchecked high blood sugar gradually damages the blood vessels in your body. Over the long term, this slow, progressive harm can lead to a dangerous loss of sensation in your legs and fe Continue reading >>

7 Blood Sugar Testing Mistakes To Avoid

7 Blood Sugar Testing Mistakes To Avoid

1 / 8 Understand Diabetes Testing If you have diabetes, it's imperative that you learn to effectively self-test your blood sugar to keep your glucose levels in check. For example, results from a study of more than 5,000 people living with diabetes showed that even those people who don't take medication for diabetes have better blood sugar control if they test regularly. The study participants' risk of early kidney damage, strokes, and death from diabetes-related causes was also reduced by one-third. Of course, the accuracy of your results is tied to the accuracy of your checking — and to your understanding of what all the numbers mean. "The most important point to me is that people are learning something from checking their blood sugar," says Sacha Uelmen, RDN, CDE, director of nutrition for the American Diabetes Association. "Don't just look at those numbers, write them down, and move on. If you have diabetes, take an active role in your health." To get the most useful readings, learn these common blood sugar testing mistakes and how to avoid them. Continue reading >>

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