One of the best methods to understand your diabetes and how different foods, medicines, and activities impact it is to test your blood sugar levels. Keeping track of your blood glucose levels can assist you, and your doctor make a treatment plan for this condition.
Portable blood glucose meters, sometimes known as glucometers, are used to check blood sugar levels. These devices work by analyzing a tiny amount of blood, usually from the fingertips. A lancet pricking your skin lightly collects a tiny quantity of blood. Your meter displays your present blood sugar level. However, because blood sugar levels vary, you must test them regularly and keep track of them.
The Negative Effects of High and Low Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar levels can lead to long-term problems, such as:
- Heart disease
- Vision problems
- Nerve damage
- Kidney disease
- Poor blood flow
Symptoms of low blood sugar levels include:
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can also cause serious problems such as convulsions and falling into a coma.
What are the Dangers of Blood Glucose Monitoring?
The risks of the blood glucose test are extremely low and considerably lower than the dangers of ignoring your blood sugar levels. You’re at an increased risk of spreading infections if you share insulin needles and testing materials with someone. Some of the infections include:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
Never give or lend needles or finger-stick devices for any reason.
What are the Advantages of Blood Glucose Testing?
One of the most effective methods for people with diabetes to learn more about their disease is through continuous glucose monitoring. Knowing your blood glucose levels can assist you, your doctor, and the rest of your healthcare team with essential decisions such as medication dosage, exercise, and diet.
Checking your blood glucose levels regularly will also tell you when your blood sugar is too high or too low, which can cause symptoms and significant health issues. Your doctor will determine your blood glucose goal range based on your age, kind of diabetes, overall health, and other factors. It’s critical to keep your blood sugar levels in the desirable zone as much as possible.
How to Prepare for Blood Glucose Testing
Before checking your blood glucose levels, be sure that you have the following items on hand:
- A lancet (a finger-stick instrument that pricks your finger to draw blood).
- A rubbing alcohol swab to clean the puncture site.
- A blood glucose monitoring device.
- A bandage if bleeding is more than a few drops.
Also, depending on the test you’re doing, you may need to alter your diet or schedule it around your meal as directed by your doctor.
The Blood Glucose Monitoring Process
Before you begin, wash your hands thoroughly to avoid infection at the finger-prick site. If you use alcohol wipes rather than washing, wait 24 hours before testing.
Next, insert a testing strip into the meter. Prick your finger with the lancet to obtain a small amount of blood. To minimize finger pain, use the sides of the fingertips rather than the tip.
You then insert the test strip into the meter, and the blood comes in contact with it. The monitor will examine the blood and give you a glucose level on its digital display, often within a minute.
Pricking your fingers rarely calls for a bandage, but if bleeding continues beyond a few drops, you might want to apply one. To get accurate readings, you must follow the directions with your glucometer.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you may need to check your blood sugar four or more times each day. This includes before and after meals, exercise, and when you are unwell.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor will advise you when and how often to test your blood glucose levels.
Understanding the Results of Blood Glucose Monitoring
According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology, you should maintain fasting and premeal glucose levels of 80-130 and post-prandial glucose levels of 180 or less. Keep your two-hour post-meal blood sugar levels below 140 mg/dL.
However, these are only general guidelines and should not be followed without consulting your doctor. Determine your optimal targets with the help of your physician.
A regular blood glucose test is essential for people with diabetes to help them manage their condition. You’ll know more about how food, activity, stress, and other factors impact your diabetes by detecting and recording changes in your blood sugar levels.
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