diabetestalk.net

When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels

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 >>

Blood Sugar Monitoring: When To Check And Why

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 diagnosed with diabetes, he is usually given a blood sugar meter (or told to go buy one) 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 provider’s 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. To help sort out the whys and when of monitoring, three diabetes experts weigh in with their opinions. While they don’t agree on all the details, they do agree on one thing: Regular monitoring is critical in diabetes care. Why monitor? Self-monitoring is an integral part of diabetes management because it puts you in charge. Regardless of how you manage your diab Continue reading >>

Ways To Test Your Blood Sugar

Ways To Test Your Blood Sugar

Everyone with diabetes should test their blood sugar (glucose) levels regularly. Knowing the results lets you tweak your strategy for keeping the disease in check, as needed. Regular testing can also help you avoid getting long-term health problems that can stem from the condition. Research shows that in people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, sticking to your target blood sugar and HbA1c levels makes complications less likely. 1. Traditional Home Glucose Monitoring You prick your finger with a lancet (a small, sharp needle), put a drop of blood on a test strip, and then place the strip into a meter that displays your blood sugar levels. Meters vary in features, portability, speed, size, cost, and readability (with larger displays or spoken instructions if you have vision problems). 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. 2. Meters That Test Other Parts of Your Body. Some devices let you test you 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, don’t rely on test results from other parts of your body. 3. Continuous Glucose Monitoring System Some of these devices are combined with insulin pumps. They're not as accurate as finger-stick glucose results. But they can help you find p Continue reading >>

The Best Time To Check Blood Glucose After A Meal

The Best Time To Check Blood Glucose After A Meal

Q: I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Should I check my blood glucose two hours from when I start eating or after I finish eating my meal? A: Most of the food you consume will be digested and raises blood glucose in one to two hours. To capture the peak level of your blood glucose, it is best to test one to two hours after you start eating. The American Diabetes Association recommends a target of below 180 mg/dl two hours after a meal. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a lower target: below 140 mg/dl two hours after a meal. Ask your doctor which target is right for you. Postmeal blood glucose monitoring (and record-keeping) is important because it helps you see how your body responds to carbohydrates in general and particular foods. Managing postmeal blood glucose can help reduce your risk of developing heart and circulation problems. Virginia Zamudio Lange, a member of Diabetic Living's editorial advisory board, is a founding partner of Alamo Diabetes Team, LLP in San Antonio. Continue reading >>

How Often Should You Get Your Blood Sugar Checked?

How Often Should You Get Your Blood Sugar Checked?

Image: Thinkstock Get your blood sugar checked annually if you have prediabetes—higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. Your risk factors determine whether you should be screened annually or every three years. Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School. 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 >>

When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar?

When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar testing is a fundamental part of treating type 2 diabetes. By obtaining regular blood sugar readings, people with diabetes can, among other things, help their doctor make more informed decisions regarding the type and dosage of medication they need. Blood sugar testing also can help you see what foods, events, and activities trigger highs and lows in your blood sugar levels. So how often should you test your blood sugar? The answer depends mostly on the status of your health and the demands of your daily life. People with type 2 diabetes should take a blood sugar reading at least once a day. Some may need to test as frequently as seven times a day. Whether you need to or are able to perform more frequent testing depends on a number of factors: Are you newly diagnosed? If so, you will need to take blood sugar tests more often to give your doctors the data they need to shape an appropriate treatment plan. Are you taking insulin? Doctors recommend that people who need insulin to treat their type 2 diabetes perform three or more blood sugar tests throughout the day, especially if they take multiple daily doses or are using an insulin pump. Are you leading an active lifestyle? People participating in sports or working out regularly need to test their blood glucose more often. Are there safety concerns? Patients who drive or operate heavy machinery should test their blood sugar beforehand, to protect both themselves and those around them. Are there factors in your life that limit your ability to test often? For example, people who type at their jobs may need to limit their testing if their fingertips become too painful to work a keyboard. Others may not be able to afford the cost of the test strips needed for frequent testing or can't fit frequent tests into their Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Monitoring

Blood Glucose Monitoring

One of the main aims of diabetes treatment is to keep blood glucose levels within a specified target range. The key is balancing your food with your activity, lifestyle and diabetes medicines. Blood glucose monitoring can help you understand the link between blood glucose, food, exercise and insulin. Over time your readings will provide you and your health professionals with the information required to determine the best management strategy for your diabetes. Maintaining good blood glucose control is your best defence to reduce the chances of developing complications from diabetes. Self-blood glucose monitoring allows you to check your blood glucose levels as often as you need to or as recommended by your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. To test blood glucose levels, you need: A blood glucose meter A lancet device with lancets Test strips. Blood glucose meters are usually sold as kits giving you all the equipment you need to start. There are many different types, offering different features and at different prices to meet individual needs. Most of these are available from Diabetes Australia in your state or territory, pharmacies and some diabetes centres. Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you choose the meter that’s best for you, and your Credentialled Diabetes Educator or pharmacist can show you how to use your meter to get accurate results. To test your blood glucose levels, you prick your finger with the lancet and add a small drop of blood onto a testing strip. This strip is then inserted into the meter, which reads the strip and displays a number – your blood glucose level. When and how often you should test your blood glucose levels varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being us Continue reading >>

When To Test Blood Sugar | Accu-chek

When To Test Blood Sugar | Accu-chek

Before physical activity, to see if you need a snack If you think your blood sugar might be too high, too low or falling Short-term, structured testing means checking your blood sugar at specific times over a few days. It can help you recognize patterns and problem-solve around how the things you do are connected to your blood sugar. You may want to consider structured testing, in addition to your routine or daily testing, if you: Begin a new medication unrelated to diabetes Change your activity level, meal plan or schedule There are different ways to perform structured testing, depending on your goals. The Accu-Chek 360 View tool is a simple paper tool that helps you track your blood sugar over 3 days, so you and your doctor can quickly identify patterns that can guide adjustments to your treatment plan. The Accu-Chek Testing in Pairs tool is an easy-to-use, printable tool that helps you see changes in your blood glucose with before-and-after testing. In just 7 days, you can see the effect of a specific meal, exercise or other event has on your blood sugar. Take your completed tool to your next appointment so your healthcare professional can help you fine-tune your diabetes management. Combining routine blood sugar testing and structured testing can give you a better view and a clearer picture of how your self-care program is working. You can then take one step at a time toward meeting your goals. 1American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes2016; Abridged for primary care providers [position statement]. Diabetes Care. 2016;34(1): 3-21. Available at: . Accessed March 11, 2016. 2Joslin Diabetes Center. Monitoring your blood glucose. Available at: . Accessed March 11, 2016. 3Mayo Clinic. Exercise is an important part of any diabetes treatment pla Continue reading >>

Why Tracking Matters

Why Tracking Matters

Checking your blood sugar and tracking your numbers is an important part of your diabetes care plan. Can help you make good day-to-day choices about what to eat, how much physical activity to engage in, and over time, can help you better understand how well your diabetes medicine is working Helps you avoid low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) Helps you see the changes in your blood sugar and can help you better understand how physical activity, what you eat, and stress affect your blood sugar levels Can help you and your diabetes care team make your care plan How often should you check your blood sugar? You and your health care provider will decide when and how often you should check your blood sugar. How diabetes affects the body is different for each person and changes over time. So, depending on what medicines you’re taking and your health care provider's direction, your blood sugar testing schedule may change. If you are taking non-insulin injections, you may not need to test your blood sugar every day. If you are taking insulin injections or using an insulin pump, you may need to check your blood sugar more often than if you were taking pills. Speak with your health care provider to find out when to check your blood sugar. You might be asked to check your blood sugar: Before and after you eat Before and after you are physically active Before bed If you think you have low blood sugar After you treat your low blood sugar Before you drive a car If you take insulin, your health care provider may ask you to check your blood sugar: Before you go to bed, in the middle of the night (2 or 3 AM), or when you wake up Before or after you eat meals or large snacks to see how the food you eat changes your blood sugar Even if you don’t take insu Continue reading >>

Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them To Manage Your Diabetes

Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them To Manage Your Diabetes

Checking your blood sugar, also called blood glucose, is an important part of diabetes care. This tip sheet tells you: why it helps you to know your blood sugar numbers how to check your blood sugar levels what are target blood sugar levels what to do if your levels are too low or too high how to pay for these tests Why do I need to know my blood sugar numbers? Your blood sugar numbers show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss. As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your numbers go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your numbers go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your numbers go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change. How is blood sugar measured? There are two ways to measure blood sugar. Blood sugar checks that you do yourself. These tell you what your blood sugar level is at the time you test. The A1C (A-one-C) is a test done in a lab or at your provider’s office. This test tells you your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. How do I check my blood sugar? You use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This device uses a small drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar level. You can get the meter and supplies in a drug store or by mail. Read the directions that come with your meter to learn how to check your blood sugar. Your health care team also can show you how to use your meter. Write the date, time, and result of the test in your blood sugar record. Take your blood sugar record and meter to each visit and talk about your results with your h 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 >>

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 >>

5 Factors That Affect How Often You Need To Test Your Blood Sugar

5 Factors That Affect How Often You Need To Test Your Blood Sugar

How often you test depends on several different factors.(FOTOLIA)You should test your blood sugar at home, but how often is enough? Well, it dependsmostly on your medication, you, and your doctor. The American Diabetes Association recommends testing your blood sugar at least three times a day if you need multiple daily insulin injections. But for the rest of those with type 2 diabetes, testing frequency should be "dictated by the particular needs and goals of the patients," the ADA says. That means that frequent testing is clearly necessarily for some people with type 2 diabetes, but there is a little wiggle room for others. (All type 1 diabetics take multiple daily insulin injections and need to monitor blood sugar frequently.) Some studies suggest that frequent monitoring is not always helpful for people with type 2 diabetes. But that research is still being debated. Your doctor or diabetes educator can help you determine how often and when you should be testing. Testing Each DayI test morning, evening, and before meals Watch videoMore about blood sugar monitoring How often you test depends on the following factors. Medication: Some classes of oral drugs can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, so you may need to test more often. "Generally, anyone who takes insulin should test several times a day as well as individuals who take sulfonylureas or meglitinides," says Nadine Uplinger, a spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators and director of the Gutman Diabetes Institute at the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia. Changes: If you've just been diagnosed with diabetes, started on a new medication, added a new type of food, or recently changed some other factor (for example, you have gained or lost weight, or are exercising more or l Continue reading >>

Monitoring Blood Sugar

Monitoring Blood Sugar

The Importance of Checking Blood Sugar Levels Besides helping to keep blood sugar levels (also known as blood glucose levels ) under control, checking them according to the diabetes management plan will help you and your child: feel more aware and in control of what is happening with your child's diabetes prevent short-term diabetes symptoms and future health problems troubleshoot problems and make changes to the diabetes management plan promptly and effectively better understand of the impact of food, exercise, and medicines on blood sugar levels How often you should test your child's blood sugar levels each day and when depends on a number of things and can even change from day to day. In general, most kids with diabetes test their blood sugar levels before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and at bedtime. They may need to check more often when they're sick or if there are changes in their diabetes treatment or daily habits. They may also need to check more often if they use an insulin pump or have a management plan that aims for very close control of blood sugar levels. The diabetes health care team can advise you on how often and when to check. Sometimes parents need to check their child's blood sugar levels in the middle of the night. For example, kids having problems with hypoglycemia episodes may need middle-of-the-night tests. And those who've just been diagnosed with diabetes may need more frequent tests while they and their families are learning how insulin or other diabetes medicines affect blood sugar levels. Blood glucose testing is easier, less painful, and more accurate than ever. Blood sugar levels can be tested with a blood glucose meter, a computerized device that measures and displays the amount of glucose in a blood sample. To get a blood sample, a smal Continue reading >>

More in blood sugar