How often to test blood sugar: Blood sugar testing: Why, when and how
When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar? – Type 2 Diabetes Center
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 busy lives.
You should talk with your doctor about these factors to devise the right blood glucose monitoring schedule for you.
Creating a Blood Sugar Testing Schedule
In general, type 2 diabetes patients should schedule blood sugar testing to coincide with specific daily events. That makes it easier to remember when to test. Regular testing times include:
- Before all three meals
- Following a workout
- At bedtime
Testing prior to meals is important because fasting blood glucose levels give you a better picture of the treatment you need. If you choose to test after a meal, you should wait one to two hours to make sure you get an accurate blood sugar reading.
Changing Your Testing Schedule
Many reasons might cause you to alter your schedule temporarily or permanently:
- Your overall health. If you are feeling sick, you should increase the frequency of your blood sugar testing until you’re feeling better.
- You start having high or low blood sugar levels more frequently. Your doctor may want you to increase your testing to pinpoint the problem.
- You’re going to be more active than you normally are. You should check your blood sugar level before heading off on a hike or hitting the ski slopes.
- You’ve successfully treated your diabetes for an extended period. Your doctor may let you cut back on testing if you appear to have your diabetes well in hand.
As with most things in life, your blood glucose monitoring schedule should not be set in stone, but should be defined by your individual needs and circumstances and always under your doctor’s supervision.
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 health care team.
What are target blood sugar levels for people with diabetes?
A target is something that you aim for or try to reach. Your health care team may also use the term goal. People with diabetes have blood sugar targets that they try to reach at different times of the day. These targets are:
- Right before your meal: 80 to 130
- Two hours after the start of the meal: Below 180
Talk with your health care team about what blood sugar numbers are right for you.
How often should I check my blood sugar?
The number of times that you check your blood sugar will depend on the type of diabetes that you have and the type of medicine you take to treat your diabetes. For example, people who take insulin may need to check more often than people who do not take insulin. Talk with your health care team about how often to check your blood sugar.
The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up (fasting), before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime. Talk with your health care team about what times are best for you to check your blood sugar.
What should I do if my blood sugar gets too high?
High blood sugar is also called hyperglycemia (pronounced hye-per-gly-see-mee-uh). It means that your blood sugar level is higher than your target level or over 180. Having high blood sugar levels over time can lead to long-term, serious health problems.
If you feel very tired, thirsty, have blurry vision, or need to pee more often, your blood sugar may be high.
Check your blood sugar and see if it is above your target level or over 180. If it is too high, one way to lower it is to drink a large glass of water and exercise by taking a brisk walk. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is high more than 3 times in 2 weeks and you don’t know why.
What should I do if my blood sugar gets too low?
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia (pronounced hye-poh-gly-see-mee-uh). It means your blood sugar level drops below 70. Having low blood sugar is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. Anyone with diabetes can have low blood sugar. You have a greater chance of having low blood sugar if you take insulin or certain pills for diabetes.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry, check your blood sugar. Even if you feel none of these things, but think you may have low blood sugar, check it.
If your meter shows that your blood sugar is lower than 70, do one of the following things right away:
- chew 4 glucose tablets
- drink 4 ounces of fruit juice
- drink 4 ounces of regular soda, not diet soda or
- chew 4 pieces of hard candy
After taking one of these treatments, wait for 15 minutes, then check your blood sugar again. Repeat these steps until your blood sugar is 70 or above. After your blood sugar gets back up to 70 or more, eat a snack if your next meal is 1 hour or more away.
If you often have low blood sugar, check your blood sugar before driving and treat it if it is low.
What do I need to know about the A1C test?
The A1C test tells you and your health care team your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. It also helps you and your team decide the type and amount of diabetes medicine you need.
What is a good A1C goal for me?
For many people with diabetes, the A1C goal is below 7. This number is different from the blood sugar numbers that you check each day. You and your health care team will decide on an A1C goal that is right for you.
How often do I need an A1C test?
You need to get an A1C test at least 2 times a year. You need it more often if:
- your number is higher than your goal number
- your diabetes treatment changes
How do I pay for these tests and supplies?
Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and some of the cost of supplies for checking your blood sugar. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low cost or free supplies. Ask your health care team what to do if you run out of test strips. For more information about Medicare and diabetes, go to https://www.medicare.gov/.
What if I have trouble getting to my blood sugar goals?
There may be times when you have trouble reaching your blood sugar goals. This does not mean that you have failed. It means that you and your health care team should see if changes are needed. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is often too high or too low. Taking action will help you be healthy today and in the future.
At each visit, John and his health care team look at his A1C test results, his blood glucose meter and his blood sugar record to see if his treatment is working. At today’s visit, John’s A1C and blood sugar numbers are too high. John and his health care team talk about what he can do to get closer to his A1C and blood sugar goals. John decides he will be more active. He will:
- increase his walking time to 30 minutes every day after dinner.
- check his fasting blood sugar in the morning to see if being more active improves his blood sugar.
- call his doctor in 1 month for a change in medicine if his blood sugar levels are still too high.
- have his A1C tested again in 3 months to see if his new plan is working.
Things to remember
- Check your blood sugar as many times a day as your health care team suggests.
- Have your A1C checked at least 2 times a year.
- Keep a record of your blood sugar and A1C numbers.
- Take your blood glucose meter and blood sugar record to your visit and show them to your health care team. Tell your health care team how you think you are doing.
- Call your health care team if your blood sugar is often too high or too low.
Work with your health care team and decide what changes you need to make to reach your blood sugar goals.
Download a copy of the NDEP’s Managing and Monitoring Diabetes to learn more about managing diabetes.
How Often Do I Need to Test My Blood Glucose
How often to test blood sugar levels is a common question particularly amongst people that are newly diagnosed with diabetes or that have moved onto a new treatment regimen.
The frequency at which you should test your blood will be dependent upon the treatment regimen you are on as well as individual circumstances.
Blood glucose testing can help you to identify any hypos and hypers and provide information on how to keep your diabetes under control
It is sadly quite common for some people’s healthcare team to suggest people with diabetes to test less often or not test at all even when their patients are keen.
Should I test my blood glucose levels?
If you are on medication that puts you at risk of hypos, you should test your blood glucose levels.
Medications that can cause hypos include:
This means that all people with type 1 diabetes need to regularly test their blood glucose levels.
If you have another type of diabetes and are not on any of the medication above, there is less necessity to test your blood sugar but there is still plenty of benefit to be had in testing your blood sugar.
It has previously been reported by research that some people may find blood glucose testing distressing
This is more likely to be the case when people have not received education about how to interpret and act upon the results. When people know how to interpret the results, blood glucose testing is usually regarded as a substantial benefit.
Blood glucose testing for type 1 diabetes
The 2015 NICE guidelines recommend that people with type 1 diabetes test their blood glucose at least 4 times per day, including before each meal and before bed.
Your doctor should also support you to test more regularly to ensure you test at the following times: 
- Before driving and at least once every 2 hours on longer journeys
- Before, during and after exercise
- Testing more regularly during periods of illness
- During pregnancy or breastfeeding or when planning pregnancy
- If you are having regular hypos
- If you have an impaired ability to spot hypo symptoms
- If you are not achieving the target HbA1c of 48 mmol/mol (6. 5%)
- If taking part in high-risk activities
Blood glucose testing for other types of diabetes
How often people with other types of diabetes should test their blood sugar will vary depending on what medication is taken and personal circumstances.
People on multiple insulin injections per day or on an insulin pump should test as often as people with type 1 diabetes.
If you are on medication that can cause hypos, you should, at the least, be able to test your blood glucose whenever you notice any possible signs of hypoglycemia.
Blood glucose testing is useful for testing how much different meals and activities affect your blood glucose levels. This tends to be of particular use for people with type 2 diabetes.
Can I test my blood too few times?
Depending on how your diabetes is treated, it is possible to test too little. For example, people with type 1 diabetes that are testing less than 4 times per day are likely to find it more difficult to understand their sugar levels and are likely to experience poorer control than someone testing at least 4 times per day.
Struggling to test your blood glucose levels as often you should can often be linked with psychologiocal issues such as being in denial about your diabetes , experiencing diabetes burnout or suffering from depression
If you’re on medication that can cause hypos, you must by law test your blood sugar levels before each drive and at least as often as once every 2 hours of a journey. Failure to do this could lead to a hypo at the wheel and a number of road accidents happen every year in the UK as a result of hypoglycemia.
Diabetes.co.uk has been made aware that many people have experienced difficulty with being prescribed sufficient blood glucose testing supplies to adequately manage their diabetes.
Can I test my blood too many times?
A situation in which you could be testing more often than you need is if the testing you are doing is not providing any help in managing your diabetes.
Note that in type 1 diabetes, testing before each meal and before bed is a necessary part of diabetes control as it helps you to keep track of whether or when your blood sugar levels are going too high or too low.
People with other types of diabetes, such as type 2 diabetes, may be testing too often if it is not understood how to make sense of or respond to the results.
If you have type 2 diabetes and would like to have a better understanding of what your blood sugar levels mean, you can benefit from joining the Type 2 Testing Program
Home Blood Sugar & Glucose Testing Methods for Diabetes
Most people with diabetes should test their blood sugar (aka blood glucose) levels regularly. Knowing the results lets you adjust your strategy for keeping the disease in check.
Regular testing can also help you avoid getting long-term health problems that can stem from the condition, like:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney disease
- Skin problems
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.
Ways to Test Your Blood Sugar
Traditional home glucose monitoring
You prick your finger with a small, sharp needle called a lancet, put a drop of blood on a test strip, and then place the strip into a meter that displays your blood sugar levels. Record the test results so you can share them with your doctor. Based on your results, the two of you may adjust your diet, exercise, or medication.
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.
Meters that test other parts of your body
Some devices let you test your 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.
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 patterns and trends in your sugar levels. You may also hear doctors call these “interstitial glucose measuring devices.” If you choose this method, your doctor will place a tiny sensor under your skin to check blood sugar levels every 5 minutes. It sends data to a monitor that you wear like a pager for a few days.
You’ll still need to check your levels throughout the day; continuous glucose monitoring doesn’t replace that. It gives your doctor more information about trends that self-checking might not show.
When Should I Test My Blood Sugar?
Each person is different. Your doctor will tell you when and how often you should check your levels.
If you use insulin more than once a day or use an insulin pump, experts recommend checking your blood sugar at least three times daily.
What Can Affect My Results?
They may not be accurate if you have anemia or gout. If it’s hot, humid, or you’re at a high altitude, that can interfere with the results, too. So can vitamin C.
If you consistently see results that aren’t expected, recalibrate your meter and check the strips.
The chart below shows you the ideal blood sugar ranges for most adults except for pregnant women. Your ideal range may be different from another person’s and will change throughout the day, so check with your doctor for your targets.
Time of Test
Ideal for Adults With Diabetes
Before a meal
1 to 2 hours after beginning a meal
Less than 180 mg/dL
Home Blood Sugar Monitoring and HbA1c
Checking your HbA1c level is also important. Many home glucose monitors can display an average blood sugar reading, which correlates to the HbA1c test.
Average Blood Glucose Level (mg/dL)
When Should I Call My Doctor?
Ask your doctor about your target blood sugar range. Also, work together to plan for how to handle blood sugar readings that are either too high or too low and when to call your doctor. Learn about the warning signs of high or low blood sugar, and know what you can do if you begin to have symptoms.
Track It Over Time
Keep records of all your test results. Most glucose monitors also have memory for that. Your records can alert you to any problems or trends.
Also, these test records help your doctor make any needed changes in your meal plan, medicine, or exercise program. Bring these records with you to every checkup.
How to Test Your Blood Sugar at Home
Follow these steps:
- Wash and dry your hands well.
- Insert a test strip into your meter.
- Prick the side of your fingertip with the lancet provided with your test kit.
- Gently squeeze or massage your finger until a drop of blood forms.
- Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood.
- The meter will display your blood glucose level on a screen after a few seconds.
Why You Should Check Your Blood Sugar
Testing blood glucose can help you manage diabetes by showing you:
- How well your diabetes treatment plan is working
- How exercise and food affect your blood sugar levels
- How things like stress and illness affect your levels
- How well your diabetes medication is working
- When your blood sugar levels are too high or too low
Who Should Check Their Blood Sugar?
You’ll need to test your levels if you’re:
- Taking insulin
- Having a hard time controlling blood glucose levels
- Having low blood glucose levels, especially without warning signs
- Have ketones from high blood glucose levels
When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar?
It depends on which type of diabetes you have:
- Type 1 diabetes. It’s up to your doctor. They could suggest you test anywhere between four and 10 times a day. For example, you could test before meals and snacks, before and after exercise, before bed, and even during the night. You may also need to check more often if you’re sick, making changes to your daily routine, or starting a new medication.
- Type 2 diabetes. It depends on what you take to treat your diabetes:
- Insulin. The doctor may tell you to test a few times a day, depending on the type and amount of insulin you use. You’ll probably test before meals and at bedtime if you’re taking multiple daily injections. You may need to test only twice daily, before breakfast and dinner, if you only use a long-acting insulin.
- Medications. If you use drugs to manage diabetes, your doctor will tell you how often to check your blood sugar.
- Lifestyle changes. If you’re relying on diet and exercise, you may not need to test your blood sugar daily.
How to Test Blood Sugar
When it comes to managing diabetes, it is all about blood sugar. If your blood sugar (or “blood glucose”) levels get too high or too low, it can drastically alter your mood, your well-being, and even your long-term health. There are many ways to monitor blood sugar. Some people use glucose meters with test strips and blood drawn from their fingertips for instant measurements. Others use continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) that are either implanted in their bodies or attached to them. There are also hybrid monitors called “flash glucose meters” (FGMs) that can monitor blood glucose continuously and offer instant readings. Each person is different, so your doctor will review your unique case and recommend the right solution to help you monitor your blood sugar effectively.
When to test 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 blood glucose testing
For people using an insulin pump or insulin injections throughout the day, the ADA recommends testing multiple times daily. 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:
- 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
Gaining insights from routine blood glucose testing
Day-to-day blood sugar checks can give you a good idea of how you’re doing at this moment, and they can be reviewed overall to see trends. They can help answer questions such as:
- Are your medications working as they should?
- How does the type or amount of food you eat affect your blood sugar?
- How does activity or stress affect your blood sugar?
Structured blood glucose testing
Structured testing supports your routine or daily testing by giving you deeper, more targeted data to work from. It can help you determine if you’re in a safe range and problem-solve around how the things you do are connected to your blood sugar. You simply perform additional tests over a short period at specific times of day.
Structured blood glucose testing can help you:
- Discover how to best use your numbers
- See how certain activities can affect on your blood sugar levels
- Problem-solve around highs and lows
- Identify blood sugar patterns
- Work with your healthcare team decide if any adjustments are needed in your insulin therapy or other areas of your diabetes management
Pattern management: If you find that your A1C result is rising in spite of your best efforts, or if you don’t feel as well as you’d like, talk with your healthcare professional about the Accu-Chek 360° View tool. This simple paper tool 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. As a result, you may be able to feel better and lower your A1C.2
Before-and-after testing: You may also decide to try the Accu-Chek Testing in Pairs tool. This easy-to-use, printable tool helps you see changes in your blood glucose with before-and-after testing. In just 7 days, you can see the effect a specific meal, exercise or other event has on 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. See how to prepare the meter and test strip, lance your finger and get a reading using the Accu-Chek® Guide Me system by watching the video or following the steps here:
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.3
- 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.
- Prepare the lancing device according to the user guide provided, then lance your fingertip or other approved site to get a drop of blood.4
- 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.
How to choose a blood glucose meter
There are many blood sugar meters to choose from, so start by thinking about what’s most important to you. Ask yourself a few questions.
- Are you concerned about accuracy? Make sure you’re using a meter and test strips that provide accurate results. Roche quality control processes ensure consistent accuracy. Find out more about our accuracy commitment.
- Do you use blood glucose results to dose insulin? The Accu-Chek Guide meter sends results directly to a smartphone app that includes an insulin calculator.5
- Do you feel like you’re always short on time? A system that syncs your data wirelessly, without manually entering results, can save time with every test. You may also want to consider a blood glucose meter that gives results quickly, makes it easier to handle test strips, doesn’t require coding, or simplifies lancing or dosing.
- Would you like to reduce the pain of testing? Choose a system with a lancing device specifically designed for comfort, such as the Accu-Chek FastClix lancing device. Precision-guided technology minimizes the lancet’s painful side to side motion and thin-gauge, bevel-cut lancets help ensure smoother entry. Plus, 11 customizable depth settings make it easier to get the right amount of blood the first time.
- Will you track results in the blood sugar meter, with an app or on a computer? Most blood sugar monitors have built-in memories, and many can beam or transfer data directly to your computer or an app on your smartphone, such as the mySugr app.
How to reduce the pain of blood sugar checks
Nobody gets excited about pricking their fingertip. In fact, studies have shown that it’s one of the main reasons people refrain from regularly checking their blood glucose.6,7 So how can you make this less of a hurdle in your self-care?
Select a less-painful lancing device
Naturally, one factor that can contribute to the pain is your lancing device. That’s why we’ve worked hard to ensure that Accu-Chek lancing devices keep discomfort to a minimum. For example, our lancing devices feature:
- Technology that minimizes side-to-side motion, so there’s less skin tearing
- 11 customizable depth settings to help match your skin type
- Precisely manufactured, beveled, thin-gauge lancets to ensure smoother entry
You can reduce pain by using a fresh lancet for every test. Today’s lancets are so tiny that just a single use can bend or dull the tips. This can make them hurt more as you reuse them.
5 tips for reducing fingertip pain
You can make testing more comfortable and help ensure that you get a good sample on the first try by following these 5 easy steps.
- Make sure that your hands are clean and dry. Washing your hands with warm water and hanging your hand at your side for a few minutes may increase blood flow.3
- Lance on the side of the fingertip rather than the pad. The pad of your fingertip—where your fingerprints are most visible—are some of the most sensitive parts of your body.8
- Keep the skin taut by pressing the lancing device firmly against the skin.
- Don’t go deeper than necessary. Select the shallowest penetration depth that allows you to get a large enough blood sample for your meter. Fortunately, most of today’s meters require just a tiny drop.
- Alternate fingers daily, so each one gets a chance to rest.
You may also want to consider testing beyond the fingertip. If you and your healthcare professional agree that it’s right for you, you may experience less pain if you use your palm, forearm or upper arm for routine testing.4
What is the normal range for blood sugar?
In general, the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) recommended blood sugar levels are9:
- Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
- Less than 180 mg/dL after meals
Your range is yours alone—based on your health, age, level of activity and other factors. And remember that your target is a range you’d like to stay within, not a single number.
How to use blood glucose testing results
It’s not unusual for your blood glucose results to be out of range now and then. But if you see a pattern of highs or lows outside your target range, you may want to ask yourself:
- Did I eat at an unusual time, have a larger or smaller portion, or try a new food?
- Did I have more or less physical activity than usual?
- Did I forget to take my medication, take it at the wrong time, take too little or too much?
- Am I taking a new medication?
- Am I stressed about something?
- Do I have an infection or an illness?
- Did I drink alcohol?
Any of these can have an impact on your blood glucose numbers. If you’re making changes to your lifestyle, or if you can’t figure out why you’ve been out of range, talk to your doctor, nurse or diabetes educator.
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How Often Should Diabetics Check Their Blood Sugar?
Blood Sugar Monitoring, Daily Routines, And Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition where the body cannot produce sufficient amounts of insulin. Insulin is necessary to balance blood sugar (glucose) levels. Elevated blood sugar levels can lead to serious medical complications. Low blood sugar levels can lead to hypoglycemia. Blood sugar levels need to be checked multiple times a day.
Why do diabetics need to check blood sugar levels?
Monitoring blood sugar levels is essential for diabetic management. Levels will be affected by exercise, diet, age, family history, and weight. People with diabetes either cannot produce insulin or do not produce sufficient amounts. Insulin regulates blood glucose levels. Glucose is energy for the cells and food for the brain. When blood sugar levels fall or go too high, the individual can become very sick.
Blood sugar levels can reveal the condition of the liver and pancreas. To keep organs functioning properly and to prevent further medical complications, diabetics need to check blood sugar levels. Monitoring blood sugar will help the diabetic understand which factors affect insulin levels. The monitoring will also reveal the effectiveness of diabetic treatment.
When to check blood sugar?
Testing frequency will depend largely on a person’s lifestyle, diet, and medications. Testing should be performed before meals and snacks, before/after exercise, and before bed. Medicines for other medical conditions can alter the effectiveness of diabetic treatment plans. When starting new medications or changing routines, extra blood glucose monitoring may be necessary. Depending on what type of insulin and medications, a person dramatically affects the frequency of checking sugars. Speaking to the physician who is monitoring the diabetic regimen about glucose checks is the best approach.
How to check blood sugar?
A glucometer is used to determine blood sugar levels. Only a drop of blood is needed. People with diabetes will use a specialized pen to prick a finger. The blood droplet will is placed on a disposable test strip and the glucometer relays the results on a computerized screen. Blood can be taken from any part of the body; however, the results are most accurate when taken from the fingers.
Continuous glucose monitors (CGM) are another option. A small sensor with a needle is attached to the skin. The sensor reads the blood glucose levels every few minutes. The information is relayed back to a data receiver. The data receiver can be carried in a pocket or purse. Alarms can be set to go off if glucose reaches certain levels. Many factors can affect insulin levels. CGMs relay more accurate results than finger pricks secondary to continuous glucose monitoring around the clock.
A single drop of blood can reveal the health of a diabetic. Many factors such as diet and exercise can affect blood sugar and insulin. Checking blood sugar levels daily will help people with diabetes stay healthy and determine the effectiveness of treatment plans.
Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Level
If you have diabetes, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar at different times of the day and throughout the year. There are 3 tools that can help you do this and, therefore, manage your diabetes: A blood test done every three months, blood tests taken every day, and a system that constantly monitors your blood glucose.
The 3-month blood test is called an A1C test. This test 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 doctor will likely be the one who orders an A1C test. However, you can also purchase over-the-counter A1C testing kits that you can use at home. Your A1C goal will be determined by your doctor. However, the goal is generally less than 7% or 8%, depending on your age.
The daily blood test is done with a blood glucose monitor (BGM). This is also called a home blood sugar meter, a glucometer, or a glucose meter. This type of testing is often referred to as self-monitoring of blood glucose. Your doctor may prescribe a BGM, especially if your blood sugar fluctuates. They will show you how to use it.
A BGM measures the amount of glucose in a drop of blood at that particular time. This tried-and-true test is performed by getting a sample of your blood, usually from your finger. This process is called a fingerstick. The blood from your finger is put onto a test strip and read by the monitor. Fingersticks need to be done several times a day, and sometimes at night, to get an accurate look at your glucose levels. Regular testing through the day can help you improve control of your blood sugar levels. The results you get from fingersticks show if your blood glucose is within the range set by your doctor. You can use these results to make appropriate adjustments to your diet, activity, insulin, or the dosages of other medicines. In many cases, the results from BGMs can be uploaded to a computer to generate reports.
The third type of monitoring is with a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM). This new product allows people with diabetes to measure their blood glucose around the clock. CGMs involve an easy-to-insert, small sensor you wear for 14 days. The sensor has an adhesive that helps it stick to your skin. The CGM also includes a transmitter. This can be a separate device or it may be built into the sensor. Some CGMs last longer than 14 days but they must be placed under your skin by your doctor.
A CGM also comes with a receiver or reader. This allows your computer or smartphone to receive the data from the transmitter. The data provides detailed insights and trends on your blood glucose throughout the day. Based on that, it can predict dangerous highs and lows before they happen. This can help you make quick, day-to-day adjustments to stay in your targeted area. Some adjustments include changes to your eating habits and exercise level. Additionally, this data can help you and your doctor make decisions about your diabetes management. If you choose, the data can be shared with someone you trust.
Path to improved health
What supplies do I need?
For a BGM, you’ll need a glucose meter, alcohol pads, sterile finger lancets (small needles), and sterile test strips. A CGM comes as a complete set, including a sensor, a transmitter, and a receiver or reader.
How do I pick a glucose meter?
Your doctor will make a recommendation. Check with your health insurance plan to see if it will pay for your BGM, its supplies, or a CGM. If so, your plan may only pay for a certain meter.
Shop around and compare costs. Consider what features are important to you. For example, some meters are made for people who have poor eyesight. If you want to pay a little more money, you can get a BGM that stores the results in its memory. This allows you to compare results from several days at one time.
How do I measure my blood sugar level?
Follow your doctor’s advice and the instructions that come with the BGM or CGM. Different meters work differently, so be sure to check with your doctor for advice specifically for you. With a BGM, you’ll usually follow the steps below:
- Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test.
- Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that you’re going to prick. For most glucose meters, you will prick your fingertip. However, with some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or the fleshy part of your hand. Ask your doctor what area you should use with your meter.
- Prick yourself with a sterile lancet to get a drop of blood. (If you prick your fingertip, it may be easier and less painful to prick it on one side, not on the pad.)
- Place the drop of blood on the test strip.
- Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into your glucose meter.
- The meter will give you a number for your blood sugar level.
If you have a CGM, you’ll follow the insertion directions that come with the monitor. Once it’s warmed up, the transmitter wirelessly sends the data to your computer or smartphone.
What if I can’t get a drop of blood for a fingerstick?
If you want to get blood from your fingertip, try washing your hands in hot water to get the blood flowing. Then dangle your hand below your heart for a minute. Prick your finger quickly and then put your hand back down below your heart. You might also try slowly squeezing the finger from the base to the tip.
How often should I test my blood sugar level?
Your family doctor will recommend how often you should test. Testing times are based on the kind of medicine you take and on how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. You’ll probably need to check your blood sugar more often at first. You’ll also check it more often when you feel sick or stressed, when you change your medicine, or if you’re pregnant.
What do I do with the results?
You need to keep track of your results. There are a few ways you can do this. You can write them down in a record book. Use a small notebook or ask your doctor for a blood testing record book. Depending on the type of monitor you have, you may be able to keep track of the results on your computer or smartphone. Whatever method you use, you may also want to keep track of what you have eaten, when you took medicine or insulin, and how active you’ve been during the day. This will help you see how these things affect your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor about what is a good range for your blood sugar level and what to do if your blood sugar is not within that range.
What time of day should I test?
Recommendations for the best time of day to test your blood sugar depend on your medicine, mealtimes, and blood sugar control. Your doctor may provide a chart that outlines when to check your blood sugar and what level you should target. Your doctor may also suggest different goals, depending on your situation.
The chart may look something like this:
|Time to Test||Fasting, Before Breakfast||1-2 Hours After Breakfast||Before Lunch||1-2 Hours After Lunch||Before Dinner||1-2 Hours After Dinner||Bedtime||3 a.m.|
|Target Goal Ranges*||80-120||< 180||80-120||< 180||80-120||< 180||100-140||70-110|
|* Blood glucose values are measured and taken from your glucose monitor. The target goals are based on recommendations from a panel of medical experts. Talk to your doctor about what changes to make if your blood sugar levels are not within the range.|
What do my blood sugar levels tell me?
|Time of Test||Can Be Used to …|
|Fasting blood sugar (FBG) nighttime (3-4 a.m.)||Adjust medicine or long-acting insulin|
|Before a meal||Modify meal or medicine|
|1-2 hours after a meal||Learn how food affects sugar values (often the highest blood sugars of the day*)|
|At bedtime||Adjust diet or medicine (last chance for the next 8 hours)|
*Depends on the size of the meal and the amount of insulin in your medicine
Check your blood sugar if:
- You have symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This includes dizziness, shaking, sweating, chills, and confusion.
- You have symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), which include sleepiness, blurry vision, frequent urination, and excessive thirst.
- You have a job in which poor blood sugar control could cause safety problems.
- You need help deciding if it’s safe to drive or perform other tasks that require concentration if you are taking insulin or have had hypoglycemia in the past.
You need to learn how meals, physical activity, and medicine affect your blood sugar level.
When should I check my blood sugar more frequently?
- If your diabetes medicine changes
- If you begin taking other kinds of medicines
- If you change your diet
- If your exercise routine or activity level changes
- If your stress level increases
- If you’re sick. When you are sick, even without eating, your sugar levels may run high, so testing is important.
Follow your doctor’s testing recommendations during this time. Continue testing more often until you have maintained your blood sugar goal values for at least 1 week. Or continue testing until your doctor advises you that more frequent testing is no longer necessary.
Tips on blood sugar testing
For BGMs, you should:
- Pay attention to expiration dates for test strips.
- Use a big enough drop of blood.
- Check the batteries of your meter.
- Be sure your meter is set correctly.
- Keep your meter clean.
For BGMs and CGMs:
- Follow the instructions for the test carefully.
- Write down the results and show them to your doctor.
Things to consider
Managing your blood sugar level is critical to your overall health. Often the focus is on keeping blood sugar levels low. But if they are too low, it can put you at risk, too.
Hypoglycemia is the name for a condition in which the level of sugar in your blood is too low. Your blood sugar level can get too low if you exercise more than usual or if you don’t eat enough. It also can get too low if you don’t eat on time or if you take too much insulin. Signs of hypoglycemia include:
- Feeling very tired
- Yawning frequently
- Being unable to speak or think clearly
- Losing muscle coordination
- Having a seizure
- Suddenly feeling like you’re going to pass out
- Becoming very pale
- Losing consciousness
How can I deal with an insulin reaction?
People who have diabetes should carry at least 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate with them at all times in case of hypoglycemia or an insulin reaction. The following are examples of quick sources of energy that can relieve the symptoms of an insulin reaction:
- Regular soda (not diet): ½ to ¾ cup
- Fruit juice: ½ cup
- Dried fruit: 2 tablespoons of raisins
- Milk: 1 cup
- Candy: 5 Lifesavers
- Glucose tablets: 3 tablets (5 grams each)
If you don’t feel better 15 minutes after having a fast-acting carbohydrate, or if monitoring shows that your blood sugar level is still too low, have another 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate.
Teach your friends, work colleagues, and family members how to treat hypoglycemia, because sometimes you may need their help. Also, keep a supply of glucagon on hand. Glucagon comes in a kit with a powder and a liquid that you must mix together and then inject. It will raise your blood sugar level. If you are unconscious, or you can’t eat or drink, another person can give you a shot of glucagon. Talk to your doctor to learn when and how to use glucagon.
If you use a CGM, remember it collects data across many days. Even during the day, the data you see is from a few minutes earlier. Because of that, it’s not the best choice for showing you what your blood sugar is at a particular time. Sometimes you should use a fingerstick for an accurate, timely reading. These instances include when you’re exercising and after you’ve taken insulin to correct a high glucose reading. Fingersticks also can be a good backup for your CGM. Use them when your CGM sensor is warming up and when the sensor shows readings that are high or low. Also use them if you have symptoms of high or low blood glucose or if you suspect your CGM isn’t working correctly.
Questions to ask your doctor
- How often should I monitor my blood sugar level?
- What type of device should I use to check my blood sugar level?
- Do I need to take medicine to lower my blood sugar?
- Can you show me how to use a glucose meter?
- Do I need to track my daily results?
Endocrine Society and Hormone Health Network Publication: Continuous Glucose Monitoring
National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus: Monitoring Blood Glucose
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Managing Diabetes
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To whom, how often and why should the blood glucose level be measured in type 2 diabetes, why a self-monitoring diary is needed and how to avoid complications.And not at all in order to once again see a good figure and think, it means that you do not need to measure more / drink pills or see a bad one and get upset, give up. No! Competent control of sugar can tell you a lot about your body – about how this or that food that you have taken affects the level of glucose in the blood; physical activity – whether it is cleaning the apartment or working in the garden, or playing sports in the gym; tell you how your medications work, maybe it is worth changing them or changing the regimen / dosage.Measurement frequency. It is recommended to measure the concentration of sugar: in the morning after waking up, without getting out of bed; before eating. In type 1 diabetes, it is necessary to take measurements several times every day, and in type 2 diabetes, it is enough to measure the glucose level 4-7 times a week and daily monitoring once every 7-10 days. All readings obtained must be recorded in the Self-Control Diary and taken with you before visiting your doctor. Why measure your blood sugar? Self-monitoring of glucose will allow you to: determine the effectiveness of drugs at night, after meals and between meals Does frequent blood sugar measurements make sense? Many diabetes specialists ask this question and do not find a definite answer.Nevertheless. According to Om Ganda, senior physician at the Jocelyn Diabetes Center in Boston, Om Ganda, in an ideal world, diabetics measure their blood sugar levels at least 6-7 times a day, but this is not possible due to limited time and resources. For people with type 2 diabetes mellitus well compensated, Dr. Ganda recommends monitoring blood glucose levels 2 times a day. For those with a limited number of test strips, it is recommended that glucose monitoring be done on different days at different times.An increase in blood sugar in diabetes mellitus over time inevitably leads to serious complications: damage to the eyes, kidneys, nervous system, feet, joints. A sharp jump in glucose levels threatens a coma. Therefore, it is extremely important to constantly monitor this indicator and try to keep it at values close to normal. For people with type II diabetes, it is usually sufficient to measure the value once a day. Better to do this at different times. If you are applying for a new job, where you will have to physically work a lot, decide to lead a more active lifestyle, go on a trip, if you are sick, control should be carried out more often.In diabetes mellitus, regular and correct self-control of blood sugar is very important. For this, a glucometer is used – a small device with which you can measure your glucose level in less than 1 minute at home and even on the road, in other words, anywhere and at any time. What do you need to know how to do the analysis correctly ?. With diabetes of the second type, if you strictly adhere to all the instructions of the endocrinologist, it is enough to do the analysis once a day – in the morning on an empty stomach. If sugar is constantly jumping or you can’t adhere to the daily routine, we do up to 3 tests a day: in the morning and 2 hours after eating.After all, diabetes is practically not cured. And the sugar level needs to be constantly monitored. It is necessary to check sugar: when you wake up, you immediately need to measure sugar; the second time – after breakfast; before you eat anything, you need to take a measurement; after each meal, after a time interval of 2 hours; necessarily after 5 hours, if insulin was injected; going into the arms of Morpheus, you also need to determine glucose; if you operate a machine, perform work related to risks, check the sugar every hour; various stresses, mild hunger, work in production also indicate that one should monitor their state for glucose. Many patients rarely measure their blood glucose levels.Blood glucose measurements are often limited by the cost of the test strips. Nevertheless, it is necessary to imagine that with rare measurements of glycemia, the real picture may remain behind the scenes. The blood glucose level can change after a few minutes and the measured glucose level is the level at that moment, while the rest of the time it can be completely different. The continuous glucose monitoring system allows you to measure your glucose every few minutes. For this, a sensor is placed subcutaneously, which measures glucose in the interstitial fluid continuously at a frequency of once every 5-15 minutes.For self-measurement of blood sugar, you need to buy a glucometer. This can be done in the catalog of our online store. How often blood sugar should be measured. Patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, especially at a young age, are advised to carry out self-monitoring of blood sugar several times a day (at least before main meals and before bedtime, and also periodically after meals). For elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, who receive a diet and antihyperglycemic drugs, several determinations per week may be sufficient, but always at different times of the day.The main goal of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Only regular and frequent self-monitoring of blood sugar will allow you and your doctor to judge the correct treatment of a disease. In addition, at home, you can fairly accurately determine the level of ketone bodies, sugar and protein in the urine. With type 1 diabetes mellitus, such tests are done once every six months, with type 2 diabetes mellitus – once a year. Regular blood pressure (BP) measurements will also help you control your condition and prevent the development of nephropathy.Talk to your doctor about how much blood pressure you should maintain. When to measure? You can periodically donate blood for sugar in the clinic. However, current research has shown that a single measurement of fasting sugar is not a reliable indicator of risk. To do this, we will measure the blood sugar level several times: on an empty stomach, immediately after a meal (it should contain carbohydrates) and 3 hours after a meal – this is the time during which the sugar level of a healthy person returns to the initial measurement on an empty stomach.Here are the indicators that are considered optimal for health: the risks of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease are minimal. – On an empty stomach: 3.9 – 4.77. – One hour after eating below: 7.77.
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Measurement of blood sugar
1 March 2020
It is important for diabetics to know the blood glucose level in order to correct the condition in a timely manner and avoid the development of complications.Therefore, the patient’s constant “companion” should be a glucometer.
This device will allow you to monitor the fluctuations in glucose levels under the influence of diet, physical activity and other factors.
Types of glucometers
There are 3 types of glucose meters:
- photometric – the indicator is determined by the tone and color intensity of the test strips;
- electrochemical – the result is detected by the strength of the current;
- non-invasive (spectral, thermal, tonometric, ultrasonic) – do not require punctures.
How do I measure my glucose level?
To determine the concentration of sugar in the blood, you need:
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water and wipe dry;
- Insert the test strip into the meter and turn it on;
- Pierce the pad of the middle, index or ring fingers, having previously stirred it to speed up blood circulation;
- wipe off the first drop with a cotton swab, and apply the second to the test strip;
- remove and discard the test strip;
- turn off the device.
The result will be known in 5-60 seconds (depending on the model).
To obtain accurate results, strictly follow the rules for using the meter:
- calibrate the device before taking measurements;
- after the puncture, lightly massage the finger without squeezing out blood;
- store test strips correctly, observing the expiration date;
- check that the numbers on the test strip packaging match the code on the screen;
- timely clean the device;
- Change lancets after each blood draw.
Every diabetic should have an individual glucometer. Do not use someone else’s device.
It is recommended to measure the sugar concentration:
- in the morning after waking up, without getting out of bed;
- before meals;
- 1-2 hours after eating;
- before, during and after physical activity;
- 5 hours after the administration of insulin;
- before driving a car;
- before bedtime.
With a high probability of hypoglycemic risk, it is advisable to additionally make a control measurement at 3-4 o’clock in the morning.
In some cases, more frequent monitoring may be required:
- for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia;
- when changing the dosage of the drug;
- at the beginning of a new drug intake;
- when introducing new products into the diet;
- if you feel unwell.
In type 1 diabetes, it is necessary to take measurements several times daily, and in type 2 diabetes, it is enough to measure the glucose level 4-7 times a week and daily monitoring once every 7-10 days.
All the readings obtained must be recorded in the Self-Control Diary and taken with you before visiting your doctor.
Why measure blood sugar?
Self-monitoring glucose will allow:
- to determine the effectiveness of drugs at night, after meals and between meals;
- calculate the optimal dose of insulin and dosage of medicines;
- adjust nutrition and physical activity;
- to evaluate the dynamics of the disease;
- ensure driving safety;
- to prevent the development of a diabetic crisis, hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
It should be noted that self-monitoring cannot replace laboratory diagnostics. Therefore, you should visit the clinic every month for a blood test.
Glucometer. Rules for measuring blood sugar.
How to measure blood sugar correctly?
Correct blood sampling is one of the most important conditions for obtaining an accurate result when determining blood sugar levels.
Observe the following basic rules:
- It is best to use finger blood for measurements, as the blood circulation there is higher than at alternative measurement points such as the shoulder, forearm, thigh or calf.
- If you have circulation problems in your hands, massage your fingers before washing them. The same applies to measurements at alternative body locations.
- Before measuring, make sure the code on the test strip vial matches the code on the meter display.If this is not the case, then recode the device.
- Before collecting blood, if possible, wash your hands with warm water. This not only serves hygiene, but also increases blood circulation. With insufficient blood circulation, taking blood is difficult, since the puncture must be deeper to obtain a drop of blood.
- Dry your hands thoroughly. The piercing site should not be wet, as the liquid dilutes the blood sample, which also leads to incorrect measurement results.
- Change blood sampling sites regularly.If you prick the same area frequently, it will irritate and thicken the skin and make it more painful to get blood. It is recommended to use 3 fingers on each hand (usually do not pierce the thumb and forefinger).
- A piercing is least painful if you draw blood not directly from the center of your fingertip, but slightly from the side. Do not pierce your finger deeply. The deeper the puncture, the more tissue damage, select the optimal puncture depth on the lancing device. For an adult, this is level 2-3
- Never use a lancet that someone else has used! Because one small drop of blood left on this device, if infected, can cause infection.
- Squeeze out the first drop of blood and remove it with a dry cotton swab. Make sure that the blood stays in droplets and does not smear. The smeared drop cannot be absorbed by the test strip.
- Do not squeeze your finger to get a large drop of blood. When compressed, blood mixes with tissue fluid, which can lead to incorrect measurement results.
- Please note that the blood draw holes are at the edge of the test strip, not flat. Therefore, move your finger to the edge of the test strip on the left or right, they are marked in black.Under the action of capillary forces, the required amount of blood is drawn in automatically.
- Remove the test strip from the packaging immediately before measuring. The test strips are moisture sensitive.
- Test strips can be picked up anywhere with clean, dry fingers.
- Keep the test strip container tightly closed at all times. It is coated to keep the test strips dry. Therefore, never transfer test strips to another container.
- Store test strips at normal room temperature.The storage temperature is +4 – +30 ° C.
Do not use test strips beyond the expiration date printed on the packaging.
Glucose concentration (WHO norm)
Capillary blood (mmol / l)
Venous blood (mmol / l)
3.3 – 5.5
4.0 – 6.1
2 hours after eating
How often blood sugar should be measured
Patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, especially at a young age, are recommended to carry out self-monitoring of blood sugar daily several times a day (at least before main meals and before bedtime, and also periodically after meals).
Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus of the elderly, who receive a diet and antihyperglycemic drugs, may be sufficient several determinations per week, but always at different times of the day. Additional measurements will be required when changing the usual lifestyle (sports, travel, concomitant diseases). Be sure to talk to your doctor about how often you need to measure your blood sugar.
To prevent diabetes mellitus, it is sufficient to control the sugar level once a month, preferably at different times of the day.
How to prepare for a measurement to get an accurate result?
To obtain a correct fasting blood sugar result, you need the following:
1. The last meal must be no later than 18 hours the day before;
2. In the morning, before eating food, water (or any other liquid) and brushing your teeth, you must carry out the procedure for measuring blood sugar, observing the measurement rules.
Why can the blood glucose results differ between the HCI and the home blood glucose meter?
The amount of sugar in the blood is constantly variable.This is because, under the influence of many factors, the body converts split food into sugar at different rates and assimilates it at different rates.
REMEMBER: Acute and chronic illnesses or changes in medication taken can affect your blood sugar. When you are sick, you should check your blood sugar more often
Factors affecting the accuracy of blood sugar measurement
- The code entered into the meter does not match the code of the test strip
- Unwashed, dirty hands
- If you squeeze your finger hard to squeeze out a large drop of blood
- Wet puncture site
90,000 Why is it important to measure blood sugar
- When to check your glucose level
- What methods are used to measure glucose levels
- How to use the meter
- In what cases the test cannot be performed
Glucose is a type of sugar, it is necessary for the body to function normally.It can be compared to the fuel that saturates the cells of the human body. Glucose enters the body in the form of complex carbohydrates, which are then broken down and absorbed.
A certain hormone, insulin, is responsible for the permissible blood sugar level. If there is not enough insulin, then the cells stop absorbing glucose and sugar is not absorbed. As a result, diabetes develops due to the excess amount of sugar.
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When to check your glucose level
To avoid the development of diabetes, sugar levels should be monitored. To determine how high the risks of developing diabetes are, you can use special medical equipment.
In a healthy person, the sugar level ranges from 3.33 to 5.55 mmol / l. An amount exceeding 7 mmol / L is a sign of diabetes mellitus. Also, experts identify a pre-diabetes condition in which the sugar level is in the range from 5.56 to 6.5 mmol / l.In the stage of prediabetes, a person can prevent the development of the disease by adhering to a special diet and proper lifestyle. It should be borne in mind that diabetes mellitus is not a completely curable disease, so the process cannot be started.
Certain groups of people are at increased risk of developing diabetes. Risk factors include:
- Increased blood pressure.
- Abuse of sweets and fatty foods.
- Genetic predisposition.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
An annual blood sugar test helps eliminate the likelihood of encountering diabetes. Today, healthcare facilities use glucose analyzers that provide fast, accurate results.
What methods are used to measure glucose levels
Not only patients with diagnosed diabetes need to have their blood sugar measured – healthy people should also be checked periodically.This conclusion can be made, given the disappointing statistics of morbidity.
There are two main ways:
- Laboratory analysis without using a glucometer . You can take the analysis both in a public medical institution and in a private clinic. Laboratory data has high accuracy, but this method is not suitable for those who need to check several times a day.
- Measuring blood glucose with a blood glucose meter is a universal test method.In this case, it is important to select a high-quality meter – the right size, with additional features that are required by a particular patient.
Manufacturers today offer a variety of blood glucose meters with different interfaces and analysis features. It is impossible to argue that some model is considered the best: each case is individual, the main thing is that the glucometer performs the tasks required of it.
Note that patients with type 2 diabetes are eligible for a free glucometer at the clinic.
How to use the meter
Correct use of the meter is required to obtain correct results. Follow a simple algorithm:
- Wash your hands thoroughly. Warm water should be used for washing, as cold water slows down the blood flow, causing capillary spasm.
- Prepare the needle. Remove the pruning cap and insert the lancet inside, setting the degree of puncture depth. Sufficient depth allows you to get the right amount of blood for the analysis.If there is not enough biomaterial, then the counter simply will not perform the analysis.
- Make a puncture in the ball of the toe. Do not use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or antiseptic on your finger, as this may distort the test data.
- Apply a drop of blood to the test strip. Depending on the type of meter, blood is applied either to a strip previously inserted into the analyzer, or to a strip that is removed from the meter prior to testing.
- Analyze the received data.The test result appears on the device display after about 10 seconds.
No special preparation is required for the home test – only capillary blood from a finger is needed. It should be noted that outpatient blood glucose meters are not precision devices. The measurement error of home analyzers ranges from 10 to 15%. For accurate data, contact your healthcare provider where venous plasma analysis can be performed. An explanation of the venous blood test results is shown in the table below.
|Obtained values ||Interpretation of results|
|61-99 mg / 100 ml (3.3-5.5 mmol / L)||Normal venous blood sugar in a healthy person|
|101-125 mg / 100 ml (5.6 to 6.9 mmol / L)||Abnormal fasting glucose (prediabetes)|
|126 mg / 100 ml (7.0 mmol / L) or higher||Diabetes mellitus (when registering such a result on an empty stomach after two measurements)|
In what cases the test cannot be performed
In some cases, you should refuse to check in order not to receive deliberately incorrect data:
- Do not use the meter if your hands are wet or dirty.
- Do not use test strips that are not compatible with your model.
- Do not use the device if the meter displays a malfunction or error message on initial boot.
- Avoid using expired test strips and an expiring meter.
We remind you that used materials (needles, strips, etc.) should be disposed of in a plastic bag.
People with diabetes can live full lives today.The main thing is adherence to a diet and regular measurement of blood sugar levels using personal blood glucose meters. The nuances of material analysis, features of use and additional functions depend on the specific model. Before buying, you should carefully study the range of glucometers offered by manufacturers.
New technology for controlling glucose levels will make life easier for patients – Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Daughter, let’s see what sugar is now? – Nadezhda, the mother of 6-year-old Alina, affectionately hugs the girl and brings a scanner the size of an ordinary smartphone to her shoulder.On his screen, the numbers immediately appear – 4.5. – It’s okay, go play! – Nadezhda smiles.
Alina was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was only three years old.
– I began to notice that my daughter is losing weight, gets very tired, often asks to go to the toilet, – Nadezhda recalls. – We went to the doctor, and we were quickly diagnosed with this. I was sent to the School of Diabetes, where I was taught everything: how to feed a child, how to monitor sugar levels and inject insulin on time, which her body does not produce.At first it was very scary: I was afraid that I would not be able to react to the situation in time, that the child was threatened with serious complications. And these constant injections were very strained – not only did she have to inject insulin several times a day. But even more often – to pierce your fingers in order to check the blood sugar level with a glucometer before meals and after, at night, in the morning on an empty stomach. It was so sorry for her, tears welling up at the very edge, but it was impossible to show your feelings to Alina, so as not to frighten her. Then she got used to it and resignedly put her finger up.And now we breathed a sigh of relief – the flash glucose monitoring technology appeared. For families with a child with diabetes, it is a must.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most widespread diseases in the world. Moreover, its scale is growing every year, which forced the World Health Organization to declare a global epidemic. In our country, 4.5 million people are registered as endocrinologists with type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus. These two types of illness are different in nature.In the first type, the body does not produce the hormone insulin, without which cells cannot assimilate the glucose necessary for life. In the second type of disease, there is enough insulin in the body, but it does not enter the cells, so all glucose accumulates in the human blood.
In both forms of the disease, small blood vessels, capillaries, are primarily affected. As a result, the tissues of all organs and systems do not receive nutrition, and complications develop in them. These can be both cardiovascular accidents (heart attack and stroke), and renal failure, and visual disturbances or blood circulation in the vessels of the legs.They lead to disability or premature death of thousands of people and place a heavy burden on the health care system. According to experts’ estimates obtained in the framework of clinical examination of the population and model studies, the true number of cases in Russia is at least twice as high. This means that about 8.5-9 million Russians have diabetes, but half of them do not know about it. It is not difficult to identify the disease – it is enough to take a blood glucose test. However, then it requires not only adequate treatment, but also constant medical supervision and self-control on the part of patients.Monitoring blood glucose levels using glucometer machines is necessary so that the doctor can choose an adequate therapy, and the patient always knows which drug and in what dose he should take so that blood sugar does not exceed the norm. Self-control for most patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus is sufficient to carry out 2-3 times a day, but patients with the first type of the disease have to do it up to 8-10 times a day. With this control and adequate treatment, complications do not develop for decades.
Regular self-monitoring is especially important for children with type 1 diabetes mellitus, as they need to inject a certain dose of insulin before each meal. And in order to correctly calculate it, you need to know the level of glucose in the blood. The same analysis must be done at night – if the sugar level is too low, hypoglycemia may occur at night, that is, a sharp drop in the sugar level – this condition is life-threatening. For control, glucometer devices were created, which, by a drop of blood, can determine what the patient’s sugar level is at a given time.This allows millions of people to successfully compensate for its fluctuations for many years. One problem is that you have to pierce your finger every time for analysis.
Glucose monitoring is essential for patients with diabetes mellitus to make daily decisions
But recently, a fundamentally new system for monitoring blood sugar levels has appeared. A small sensor is glued to the shoulder; a tiny flexible hair is mounted in it, which is practically painlessly inserted under the skin and measures glucose in the intercellular fluid.And that’s all – now the electronic chip of the sensor will record information about the sugar level on the sensor around the clock. If you bring the scanner to the sensor, the system will show not only a momentary result, but also a trend, that is, what happens to sugar – it grows, decreases or remains at a constant level. This allows the patient to assess their condition and decide whether to take the medication, in what dose, or to wait with it for now. Moreover, the scanner for 90 days saves all the data that it receives from the sensor in the form of reports – they can be shown to the doctor at the next visit, and he, if necessary, will adjust the therapy.
With a sensor on the shoulder, a person can lead the most ordinary way of life – work, play sports, take a shower, swim, run, etc. It works for two weeks, then it needs to be peeled off and replaced with a new one. FreeStyle Libre is currently only available in Moscow and the Moscow region, but every effort is being made to make this vital technology available to people with diabetes across Russia. It is estimated to make sugar control much easier. Doctors believe that this improves the prospects for treating types 1 and 2 diabetes.
Alexander Dreval, Chief Freelance Endocrinologist of the Moscow Region, Head of the Department of Clinical Endocrinology of the Faculty of Advanced Training of Doctors of the MONIKI, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor:
– Means of self-monitoring of blood glucose levels at home for patients with diabetes are improving rapidly. Devices of a new type provide information continuously – the sensor is inserted subcutaneously once every two weeks, and a special device can read the glucose level from it without taking blood at any time convenient for the patient.After two weeks, the patient removes the sensor on his own and replaces it with a new one. This is a very simple and almost painless procedure that takes a few seconds.
Among continuous glucose monitoring devices, the latest development with Flash Glucose Monitoring (FGM) technology stands out for its convenience. In addition to ease of use, clarity of results, as well as the absence of the need to calibrate the device using a glucometer, it provides a fundamentally new function – glycemic trend.This is an arrow on the meter that can point up, down, or horizontally, depending on the direction of glucose dynamics at a given time. If the arrow is directed upwards, then glucose rises quickly and insulin needs to be added, if downwards, then glucose quickly decreases and you need to eat, and if horizontally, then the situation is stable and nothing needs to be done. In cases of rapid glucose measurement, as indicated by the arrow, it is advisable to recheck the glucose value shown by the scanner with a glucometer.Such a rechecking is necessary only in case of abrupt changes, when blood glucose is ahead of glucose in the intercellular fluid, usually once a day or less often.
The system is intended primarily for use on an outpatient basis. But it turned out to be very useful for the doctors in the hospital. We began to use it in our endocrinology clinic for the correction of insulin therapy in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, usually receiving insulin pump therapy. With the help of such a modern combination, it is possible to achieve the target glucose level for the prescribed time of a patient with diabetes in the hospital – 5-6 days.Ego is almost impossible to do without monitoring technology.
Irina Matyazh, chief pediatric endocrinologist of the Central Administrative District of Moscow:
– More than 70 percent of children with type 1 diabetes in our district already use flash glucose monitoring technology. I can say that as a doctor, it is important for me at any time to know what is happening with blood sugar in my patients. You can always respond in time to both an increase in the level of glycemia and a fall, which is fraught with a dangerous acute condition – hypoglycemia.With the help of the device, the doctor can get the data of his patient in a day, and in a month, and in three months – as a result, he does not act blindly, it is easier for him to navigate and control the course of diabetes. Making the technology available to all patients will make a difference in diabetes care and management. As doctors, we are always worried about possible complications of diabetes, which are difficult and expensive to treat. And constant monitoring ensures the prevention of complications and the prospects for a good future for children.
Elina Koroleva, Head of the Department of Pediatrics at the Children’s City Polyclinic in Moscow:
– Children with diabetes are monitored by endocrinologists in close contact with pediatricians. Controlling sugar levels is important both when prescribing treatment and when assessing the condition of children after each illness they have suffered – respiratory and any other infection, stress, etc. Given that the blood sugar level in children is unstable and, unlike adults, young children are not able to recognize the symptoms of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia in time, constant glucose monitoring will undoubtedly help pediatricians and parents of young patients identify dangerous conditions and contact an endocrinologist in a timely manner for correction. treatment.
“Checking the blood sugar level in children” – Yandex.Q
Knowing your child’s blood sugar can help eliminate complications from too high or too low blood sugar before the child needs to be resuscitated. You will also know how exercise and food affect your child’s blood sugar and how much insulin to give (if the child is taking insulin).
Five key points to help you monitor your child’s blood sugar:
- A blood glucose meter and all necessary medications should always be with the child.
- Checking blood sugar should become a habit and part of the child’s responsibilities.
- Pierce your child’s finger not at the tip, but on the side – the tips are more sensitive than the sides of the finger.
- Check the meter’s accuracy every time you visit your doctor by checking the meter against your doctor’s.
- Watch your meter and make sure it calibrates to match the test strips.
What is home blood sugar monitoring?
Monitoring baby’s blood sugar at home – checking blood sugar using a glucometer.This is often referred to as a self-test. When a child is newly diagnosed with diabetes, it is necessary to check the blood sugar level more often than usual. If the sugar level remains within the normal range, then the sugar level should be checked only before breakfast and from time to time once more during the day. It may be necessary to check your blood sugar several times a day if your child is taking insulin.
To check your blood sugar, pierce the side of your finger with a small needle (lancet) to draw a drop of blood.Place a drop of blood on the test strip inserted into the meter. In some glucometers, blood is first dripped onto the strips, and then inserted into the device. After a minute or less, the meter shows the test results.
Why is it necessary to monitor blood sugar levels?
Checking your child’s blood sugar at home will help you find out:
- When a child’s blood sugar drops. If the sugar level falls within the acceptable range and the child quickly eats something sweet, then you can avoid hospitalization.
- When a child’s blood sugar rises. Over time, high blood sugar can damage the eyes, kidneys, blood vessels, and nerves. If diabetes develops at an early age, the risk of such complications increases, especially at an older age. Maintaining blood sugar levels within acceptable limits reduces the risk of these complications.
- What was the sugar level before meals. If your child uses insulin, these tests can help you determine how much insulin should be given.
- How exercise affects blood sugar. Typically, when you exercise, your blood sugar levels drop.
- What is the child’s blood sugar level when he is sick. Serious illness or stress usually causes blood sugar to rise.
- How to adjust the dosage of your medications. If the child has a high blood sugar level for a long time or goes down too often, then the child needs to adjust the dose of medication taken.Consult your doctor.
How do I monitor my blood sugar?
Here’s an easy way to start monitoring your child’s blood sugar. Use the same algorithm to teach your child to do this task on their own.
Before you start checking your child’s blood sugar:
- Talk to your doctor about how often and when to check your child’s blood sugar. Use a special form to record the test results.
- Link your blood test to other daily chores, such as making breakfast. This will help the child develop the habit of self-testing.
- Make a list of the things you need to get your child’s blood sugar tested. Keep everything close at hand so that analysis can be done quickly if needed.
- Check equipment before each analysis.
- Check the expiration date of the test strips.If you use strips after the expiration date, the results may be inaccurate.
- Verify the codes on the test strip packaging and the meter match. If the numbers do not match, follow the instructions that came with your meter to change the codes.
- The first time you use the meter and each time you turn it on, check the accuracy of the results. Use the sugar solution provided by the meter manufacturer. Follow the instructions for using the sugar solution.
- Check equipment at regular intervals. Place in your child’s bag a list of equipment to check for blood sugar.
Some children with type 2 diabetes only need to have their blood sugar checked once or twice a day. Other children, especially those with type 2 diabetes, need to have their blood tested several times a day. The more often you do a blood test, the more you will learn about the results of treatment and about the level at which blood sugar levels are kept.
When checking your blood sugar, follow these guidelines:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water and dry with a clean towel. The child should also wash and dry his hands.
- Insert a clean needle (lancet) into a pen-shaped device. This device holds the lancet and controls how deep it enters the skin.
- Remove the dough strip from the bottle. Close the bottle immediately to avoid moisture spoiling the strips.
- Prepare the meter. For each model, follow the instructions in the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Pierce the side of the child’s finger with a needle.
- Place a drop of blood on the indicated area of the strip, cover the strip well with blood.
- To stop the baby’s bleeding, use a cotton swab and pinch the area where the blood was drawn.
- Wait for the results. On some meters it takes a few minutes, but on most models it takes less than a minute.
It is very important to record your blood test results. The doctor will use these records to see how many times the blood sugar has been within acceptable limits and to determine if the dose of insulin or oral medications is being adjusted correctly. Make sure to take these notes with you at every visit to your doctor.
To record test results, you can:
- Get ready-made printed forms from companies that manufacture and supply medicines for the fight against diabetes mellitus.
- Make a special table for records in your notebook. You can also record other information here, such as insulin doses, exercise schedule, and foods your child ate.
- Use a meter that stores your results. Many models store 10 to more than 100 of the most recent blood sugar measurements. Some manufacturers of blood glucose meters create special computer programs that you can use to save the test results.
Preventing wounds on fingers
The more often you check your blood sugar, the more likely it is that your child will develop sores on his fingers. Below are some tips to help you reduce your pain.
- Do not pierce the tip of a child’s finger. If you do this, the puncture will be more painful, and you may not have enough blood to do the test. Always pierce the side of your finger.
- Do not squeeze the tip of the child’s finger.If you find it difficult to reach a drop of blood large enough to cover the desired area, lower your hand down to your waist and count to 5. Then pinch your finger at the base and slowly work your way towards the end of the finger.
- Use a different finger each time. Set the time when and from which finger you draw blood, so as not to pierce one finger more often than others. If a wound appears on a finger, do not take blood from that finger for a while.
- Use a variety of tools.Some meters use lancets, which allow blood to be drawn from other areas, such as the forearm rather than the finger.
- Do not use lancets more than once. They become dull and the analysis becomes more painful.
What to do after that?
After you have read this article, you are ready to check your blood sugar at home.
- Talk to the child’s doctor
If you have any questions about the article you have read, take it with you to the medical examination to the doctor.You can mark with a marker or make marginal notes to those parts of the text for which you have questions.
If you have not talked to your doctor about how often your child needs to have a blood test, talk to him about it at your next visit. Use a special form to record your blood sugar test results daily or when your child is sick.
- Computerization of results
In most cases, the meter manufacturer offers special computer programs that collect and analyze information about the blood sugar test results.All information is stored on your computer. When visiting a doctor, you can print the results and take them with you. Some programs allow you to send information to the doctor electronically.
90,000 why it is necessary to regularly be tested for diabetes / City news / Moscow website
More than 9.5 thousand people were screened for diabetes mellitus. Free comprehensive examinations for susceptibility to this disease of the second type (the most common stage at which the symptoms of the disease are not obvious) were carried out from 12 to 16 November at 43 health centers for adults and children’s polyclinics of the Moscow Department of Health.This could be done without a referral from a therapist.
The action was timed to coincide with the World Diabetes Day. It was attended by 90,035 18 thousand 90,041 citizens, more than 8.5 thousand attended schools and thematic lectures on the prevention of diabetes mellitus and a healthy lifestyle.
“During the campaign, from November 12 to 16, more than 9.5 thousand Muscovites were screened for risk factors for the development of diabetes mellitus, which is 30 percent more than last year.Anyone who wished could undergo an examination, which included calculating body mass index, measuring blood pressure, examining the fundus, expressing a test to determine blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin levels, ”said the Moscow Government Minister, Head of the City Health Department Alexei Khripun …
Approximately 90,035 40 percent of 90,041 residents were overweight or obese, 33 percent had high blood pressure, 26 percent had abnormal blood glucose levels, and 10 percent were hyperglycemic.
In addition, health centers found that 90,035 37 90,041 percent of the protesters did not exercise enough physical activity, and more than 90,035 40 90,041 percent were malnourished. Based on the survey results, Muscovites received a conclusion on their health status, personalized recommendations for eliminating risk factors and a health improvement plan. Those who needed it were referred to 90,035 narrow-profile 90,041 specialists.
Similar examinations free of charge and on a regular basis can also be taken in the city’s polyclinics.Only for this you need to visit a therapist and get a referral from him. On days of the diabetes campaign, a referral is not required to get tested.
The danger of type 2 diabetes mellitus lies in the fact that at first it does not manifest itself in any way. At risk are people over 40 years old, overweight or obese, as well as those whose parents have had this disease. Such patients need times a year to take a fasting blood sugar test.
Over the past 10 years, the number of patients with diabetes mellitus in the world has more than doubled. In Russia, according to the federal diabetes registry, about 4.5 million patients are registered. According to a NATION study, 24 percent of the country’s adult population has prediabetes, and 90,035 5.4 percent of 90,041 have type 2 diabetes, and half of them (54 percent) are unaware of their disease. Thus, the real number of patients with diabetes in Russia may be about 90,035 eight to nine 90,041 million people.
The Moscow Department of Health recalled that the indicators of diabetes mellitus diagnostics in Moscow approached the level of 90,035 European countries : for one undiagnosed patient, there are two with an established diagnosis.
World Diabetes Day is held annually November 14 . It was established 27 years ago by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization as a reminder of the rising incidence of diabetes in all countries.
Check your lungs: where to get tested for free
Health Centers are special departments of city polyclinics where Muscovites can undergo medical examinations. Doctors take a blood test for cholesterol and glucose, check the work of the heart, the main indicators of the respiratory system, visual acuity, and measure the level of accumulated stress.