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Why Is It Important To Test Your Blood Sugar?

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 >>

When To Test Your Blood Sugar

When To Test Your Blood Sugar

Checking your blood glucose as recommended can help you see how your meals, medications and activities affect your blood sugar. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that you routinely test blood sugar levels to aid in managing your diabetes.1 Routine or daily testing For people using an insulin pump or insulin injections throughout the day, the ADA recommends testing multiple times daily.1 If you take another kind of medication, test your blood sugar level as often as your healthcare team recommends. You and your healthcare team will determine when you should check your blood sugar based on your current health, age and level of activity, as well as the time of day and other factors. They may suggest that you test your blood sugar at any of the following times:1,2,3 Before each meal 1 or 2 hours after a meal Before a bedtime snack In the middle of the night Before physical activity, to see if you need a snack During and after physical activity If you think your blood sugar might be too high, too low or falling When you're sick or under stress Structured testing 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: Adjust your insulin or oral medication 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 adjust Continue reading >>

How Often To Test Your Blood Glucose

How Often To Test Your Blood Glucose

Checking your blood sugar, keeping a record of your results, and using your results to improve your management is an important part of having diabetes. But before you grab your meter and check your blood glucose level, ask: Why am I checking now? How will I use the information to make decisions in how I manage my diabetes? If you don't know, find out before you do a check. Our blood sugar guide answers your questions about when and how often to check. Checking your blood sugar, keeping a record of your results, and using your results to improve your management is an important part of having diabetes. But before you grab your meter and check your blood glucose level, ask: Why am I checking now? How will I use the information to make decisions in how I manage my diabetes? If you don't know, find out before you do a check. Our blood sugar guide answers your questions about when and how often to check. Checking your blood sugar, keeping a record of your results, and using your results to improve your management is an important part of having diabetes. But before you grab your meter and check your blood glucose level, ask: Why am I checking now? How will I use the information to make decisions in how I manage my diabetes? If you don't know, find out before you do a check. Our blood sugar guide answers your questions about when and how often to check. Checking your blood sugar, keeping a record of your results, and using your results to improve your management is an important part of having diabetes. But before you grab your meter and check your blood glucose level, ask: Why am I checking now? How will I use the information to make decisions in how I manage my diabetes? If you don't know, find out before you do a check. Our blood sugar guide answers your questions about when Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Testing Your Blood Glucose

Diabetes: Testing Your Blood Glucose

Blood Glucose Meters To help control your diabetes, you need to check your blood glucose level. The best way is with a blood glucose meter. These devices are small machines that work like a computer. Your blood glucose level shows as a number on a screen, like on a pocket calculator. Many types of meters are available on the market. Your diabetes educator can help you choose the best meter for you. Check with your insurance company to learn which models your plan covers. When to Test Your Blood Glucose You need to test your blood glucose at different times of the day. It’s helpful to check your blood glucose level each morning as soon as you wake up, before you eat or take your medicine. It is also helpful to check your blood glucose before each meal and at bedtime. Once in a while, you should check your blood glucose 1 to 2 hours after a meal. Many people with diabetes test their blood glucose 2 to 4 times a day before meals. When you start or change an exercise program, you should test your blood glucose levels. Exercise can help to lower your blood glucose. Check your blood glucose before you exercise and about 1 hour after. You should also test when you feel the symptoms of low blood glucose. Test more often when you are sick. See the UPMC Patient Education page Diabetes: Short-Term Problems. Ask your doctor or diabetes educator to help you decide on the test schedule that’s best for you. Keeping a Record A record of blood glucose levels is very important. Write down your blood glucose level each time you test. Write down the date, time, and what you do before or after the test. Be sure to note changes in your routine. This record will show you and your doctor how food, medicines, and exercise affect your blood glucose levels. Recommended Goals It has been shown Continue reading >>

> Diabetes Control: Why It's Important

> Diabetes Control: Why It's Important

People who have diabetes may hear or read a lot about controlling, or managing, the condition. But what is diabetes control and why is it so important? When you hear your doctors or health care providers talk about "diabetes control," they're usually referring to how close your blood sugar, or glucose, is kept to the desired range. Having too much or too little sugar in your blood can lead you to feel sick now and can cause health problems later. Managing diabetes is like a three-way balancing act: The medications you take (insulin or pills), the food you eat, and the amount of exercise you get all need to be in sync. Diabetes can get out of control if someone: doesn't take diabetes medicines as directed doesn't follow the meal plan (like eating too much or not enough food without adjusting diabetes medicines) doesn't get regular exercise or exercises more or less than usual without making changes to his or her diabetes plan has an illness or too much stress doesn't check blood sugar levels enough Out-of-control blood sugar levels can lead to short-term problems like hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or diabetic ketoacidosis. In the long run, not controlling diabetes can also damage the vessels that supply blood to important organs, like the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. This means that heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems can happen to people with diabetes. These problems don't usually show up in kids or teens who have had the disease for only a few years, but they can happen to adults with diabetes. Kids and teens with diabetes who don't control their blood sugar levels can be late going into puberty and might not end up as tall as they would have otherwise. The good news is that keeping blood sugar levels under control can help 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 >>

The Importance Of Self Blood Glucose Testing

The Importance Of Self Blood Glucose Testing

Many caregivers have primary responsibility for the day-to-day diabetes care of a loved one. Self-monitoring of blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels through home testing is a fundamental tool of diabetes management that everyone with diabetes in their life should know about. Even if the person you care for is capable of checking their own blood sugar, it's important to know the basics of self-testing in order to provide them with the best possible care and support. Why self-test blood glucose levels? Testing enables people with diabetes to see how certain foods, activities, and situations may impact their blood glucose levels. And the data from testing can help the diabetes care team evaluate how effective, or ineffective, a new treatment routine or change in medication is for your loved one. For people who take insulin, self-testing allows for more accurate dosage adjustments. When should we test? The ADA suggests that people with type 1 diabetes and pregnant women taking insulin test their blood glucose levels at least three times a day. People with type 2 diabetes who take multiple injections of insulin daily should also test three or more times daily. There is no official recommendation for daily testing frequency for those with type 2 diabetes who are on less frequent insulin injections, oral medication, or who control their diabetes through diet and exercise only; however the ADA does state that testing should be frequent enough to achieve blood glucose goals, and both type 1 and type 2 patients should test more often when their treatment regimen is adjusted. What kind of blood glucose monitor? There are a wide variety of blood glucose monitors to choose from, from stripped down single-reading meters to models with computer compatibility, alarms, and backlights. Continue reading >>

The Importance Of Blood Sugar Test Logs

The Importance Of Blood Sugar Test Logs

After your diagnosis, one of the first things your doctor will recommend is a blood sugar log. If used correctly, this log will be one of the most important keys to your continued health. To make sure you’re using your log to its potential, first familiarize yourself with its uses and your particular needs. Why You Need a Blood Sugar Log Diabetes is a manageable disease — if managed well. A blood sugar log helps patients do just that. When used in conjunction with insulin, a blood sugar test log adds another dimension to your monitoring efforts. It’s a physical account that you can frequently go back to tweak and adjust your habits to suit your needs. Your blood sugar isn’t just affected by the food you eat. Exercise, medication and other activities also affect blood sugar levels. That’s a lot to keep track of. Putting it in a blood sugar test log makes all the different aspects of your lifestyle much more manageable. Diabetics who know exactly how their lifestyle and choices affect their blood sugar can make moment to moment decisions concerning their levels. This up to the minute monitoring is the key to diabetes management. By avoiding unnecessary swings in blood sugar levels, you can also avoid or delay diabetes related diseases like eye disease, kidney problems and neuropathy. Everyone’s diabetes is different. Patients should start their diabetes management program by asking their health care providers to recommend a blood sugar range that is suitable for them. Once you have an acceptable range in mind, it’s time to start testing. Blood sugar must be monitored frequently to prevent and predict highs and lows. Most diabetics must test two to four times daily or the number of times recommended by their doctors. Testing is done with a diabetic testing ki 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 >>

Blood Glucose Testing Times

Blood Glucose Testing Times

Tweet When first diagnosed with diabetes, many people hear the words blood glucose testing for the first time. This blood glucose guide discusses testing your blood glucose, when you should test your blood sugar, and how often you should to this. Once you have a blood glucose meter and test strips, and you know the blood glucose testing routine, when should you test? How often do you need to test? How important is testing for good diabetes care? When should I test my blood glucose? How often you test will depend partly on your experience, your diabetes type, and your diabetes treatment regime. How the body responds to meals is likely to be an issue for all people with diabetes. Where possible, it is well advised to test before and after certain meals to see how your sugar levels respond. Blood testing more often when ill is also recommended as illness can often cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate. If your medication may cause hypoglycemia, you should test before undertaking tasks for which hypos would pose a danger to you or others, such as: Before driving Strenuous activity or Using powered tools Treated by diet People with diabetes treated by diet, oral medication or by once or twice daily injections (such as Byetta, Victoza) may not need to test every day either but would be advised to test before and after certain meals and particularly if their levels are running outside of the recommended blood glucose level ranges. Long acting insulin People on long acting insulin alone may not need to test every day but would be advised to test on a fairly regular basis to ensure blood sugar is not creeping too high or low at different times of the day or after particular meals and activities. Shorter acting insulin People on shorter acting insulins should test their blood g Continue reading >>

Importance Of Blood Sugar Tests

Importance Of Blood Sugar Tests

Diabetes is a chronic disease that causes high levels of sugar in the blood. In 2011, about 62.4 million people in India were type 2 diabetic (up from 50.8 million from previous year) and this number is expected to touch around 100 million by 2030, according to the International diabetes Federation and the Madras diabetes research foundation. Diabetes can go undetected without the individual experiencing any symptoms until a complication has already developed. There are two main classifications of diabetes, namely Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes usually begins during childhood while Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults. There is also another type called gestational diabetes which occurs in pregnant women. Diabetes can be managed through medication, proper diet, and blood sugar level monitoring. A hormone called insulin is produced in the pancreas and is necessary for blood sugar control. Diabetes can occur as a result of insufficient insulin production or insulin resistance. When food is digested by the body, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, a simple form of sugar. Glucose serves as the body’s fuel and enters the bloodstream upon digestion. Insulin is needed to move glucose into the cells of the body where it can be utilized for energy. When the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, glucose cannot get into the cells and stay in the bloodstream. The same thing happens when the cells fail to respond to insulin properly. One of the important aspects of diabetes management is blood sugar level monitoring. Keeping one’s blood sugar within normal range is important to avoid diabetes symptoms and complications such as nerve damage, eye problems, kidney failure, and heart disease. There are several tests that measure the amount of glucose in 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 >>

Diabetes And Testing

Diabetes And Testing

Diabetes 101 THE MORE YOU KNOW Whether you’re newly diagnosed or you’ve been living with diabetes for years, you know there’s a lot to know. But when you take charge and take full advantage of all the latest tools, resources, and strategies to monitor your condition you’ll be better able to manage your diabetes on a daily basis and potentially live an active, healthy life. Checking your blood glucose levels at home can give you invaluable insights about how your treatment plan is working. When you know what’s making your blood glucose levels rise and fall you can take steps to help keep yourself on target based on your health care provider’s recommendations. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of blood glucose meters – also called blood glucose monitors – that enable you to easily and accurately check your blood glucose with just a tiny drop of blood. You’ve probably already talked with your health care provider about blood glucose testing but here’s a quick summary of what you’ll want to know about why, how and when to test. Why to test Self-monitoring helps you understand how you eat, portion sizes, weight loss, exercise, stress, illness, and medications affect your blood glucose levels. While seeing a health care provider for testing is very important, self-testing is likely going to be an essential part of staying on top of your treatment plan. Testing itself has no direct impact on your blood glucose but it enables you and your health care team to continually assess your condition and determine if changes are necessary. When you test regularly – and log faithfully – you’ll not only know if your blood glucose level is out of range on a particular day, you’ll see important trends that will help you and your healthcare practitioner set an Continue reading >>

> Diabetes Control: Why It's Important

> Diabetes Control: Why It's Important

You've probably heard your child's doctor talk a lot about "diabetes control," which usually refers to how close the blood sugar, or glucose, is kept to the desired range. What does this mean and why is it important? Too much or not enough sugar in the bloodstream can lead to short-term problems that must be treated right away, like hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or diabetic ketoacidosis. Too much sugar in the bloodstream also can cause long-term damage to body tissues. For example, it can harm blood vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems. These problems don't usually affect kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. But they can happen in adults with diabetes, particularly if they haven't managed or controlled their diabetes properly. Kids with diabetes who don't control their blood sugar levels may also have problems with growth and development. They might even have a delay in when puberty starts. Puberty is when the body changes as kids start growing into adults. Also important is avoiding frequent and/or severe episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can interfere with participation in school and other activities, making it hard for kids to cope with their diabetes and achieve a healthy, happy childhood and adulthood. Controlling diabetes means keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. It's a three-way balancing act: Your child's diabetes medicines (such as insulin), food, and activity level all need to be balanced to keep blood sugar levels under control. If any one of these is off, blood sugar levels will be, too. In general, poorly controlled blood sugar levels can be due to any of the following: 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 >>

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