How To Use Blood Glucose Testing Results
Its 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 youre making changes to your lifestyle, or if you cant figure out why youve been out of range, talk to your doctor, nurse or diabetes educator.
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1American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes2016 Abridged for primary care providers . Diabetes Care. 2016 34: 3-21. Available at: . Accessed April 26, 2019.
2Polonsky WH, et al. Structured self-monitoring of blood glucose significantly reduces A1C levels in poorly controlled, noninsulin-treated type 2 diabetes: results from the Structured Testing Program study. Diabetes Care. 2011 34:262-267. Accessed April 26, 2019.
4Talk with your healthcare professional before deciding if alternate site testing is right for you.
What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too Low
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia . 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.
How To Prevent Post
Taking fast-acting prandial, or mealtime, insulin 2030 minutes before eating a meal can reduce blood sugar spikes because the insulin will begin to work when glucose from food starts to enter the bloodstream. Additionally, a portioned diet rich in foods like vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and fruit can cause a slower rise in blood sugar and help prevent post-meal spikes. Your healthcare provider can help you determine what strategy is best for you.
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What Are The Recommended Targets For Blood Glucose Levels
Many people with diabetes aim to keep their blood glucose at these normal levels:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL
- About 2 hours after a meal starts: less than 180 mg/dL
Talk with your health care team about the best target range for you. Be sure to tell your health care professional if your glucose levels often go above or below your target range.
Random Glucose Testing And Exercise
Exercise can play a role in your random glucose test results. Generally, exercise will lower glucose levels. It may even require you to adjust your insulin regimen if youre on intensive insulin therapy.
This shouldnt discourage you from exercising. Exercise is one of the best ways you can help control diabetes. Most people with diabetes gain benefits from even moderate exercise.
Exercise increases your bodys ability to use insulin. It also burns extra glucose in your bloodstream. In the long term, exercise will lead to more stable random glucose test results.
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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 youre 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 dont feel as well as youd 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.
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What Should Your Blood Sugar Be When You Wake Up
Whenever possible, aim to keep your glucose levels in range between 70 and 130 mg/dL in the morning before you eat breakfast, and between 70 and 180 mg/dL at other times. For some people, including older adults or pregnant women, a slightly looser or tighter glucose range might be best, and you should discuss with your healthcare provider what your goals may be.
Managing your glucose levels is key to preventing short and long-term complications. Though the occasional high blood glucose wont put you in immediate danger consistently high glucose levels over a long period of time are associated with complications of diabetes such as heart disease and stroke, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, eye disease and more.
Additionally, high glucose levels especially in people with type 1 diabetes can put you in immediate danger. These high levels, if combined with high blood ketone levels, can cause diabetic ketoacidosis , a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a person has high blood ketones and not enough insulin. Symptoms of DKA include shortness of breath, fruity-smelling breath, nausea and vomiting, confusion, or loss of consciousness.
Check Your Blood Sugar If:
- You have symptoms of low blood sugar . This includes dizziness, shaking, sweating, chills, and confusion.
- You have symptoms of high blood sugar , 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 its 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.
What If I Cant 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.
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Establish A Routine For How Often And When You Should Test Your Blood Sugar
Work with your doctor to plan your routine. They may suggest checking it while youre fasting, before and after meals, or before bedtime. Each persons situation is different, so its important to decide on an arrangement that will work for you.
When youve set that schedule, make checking your blood part of your daily routine. Build it into your day. Many meters have alarms you can set to help you to remember to test. When testing becomes a part of your day, youll be less likely to forget.
Best Times To Check Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes
Daily blood sugar checks for type 2 diabetes are individualized and depend on whether you take insulin. If you do, you may need to test before and after meals and before bed, but the frequency could be less often if you take long-acting insulin, the Mayo Clinic notes. If you dont take insulin, you may not need to test your blood sugar, Palinski-Wade says.
It’s typical for your readings to be lower in the morning before you’ve eaten and higher within two hours of having a meal. But in some cases hormone shifts overnight can elevate blood sugar levels in the morning. If you notice your blood sugar is higher upon waking than after eating, your doctor may recommend making changes to your blood sugar medication.
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The Importance Of Checking Your Blood Sugar For Type 2 Diabetes
Hypoglycemia is when you have abnormally low blood glucose, and its one of the most common diabetes complications. To receive a hypoglycemia diagnosis, you will need a plasma glucose concentration of less than 70 mg/dL.
According to one study,² 46.5% of people with type 2 diabetes and 83% with type 1 diabetes get hypoglycemia. Type 2 diabetes can lead to severe hypoglycemia complications when its uncontrolled. Another study³ said it can increase your chances of death by six times.
What Is The Best Time To Test For Blood Sugar
Doctors usually do a fasting blood sugar test in the morning, after fasting for 8 hours . People can do a random test or an OGTT at any time, without fasting, but the OGTT takes 2 to 3 hours to complete.
A post-prandial test is specifically for use after eating or drinking. An A1C test shows how glucose levels have fluctuated over the last 3 months.
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Best Time To Check Blood Sugar For Type 2 Diabetes
Sugar has gotten a bad rap on the diet side of things. Refined white sugar is terrible for your health, although it has only been villainized in the last half century. Alternately doctors have known too much glucose in the blood is problematic for much longer than that. Some glucose in the blood is needed, but you dont want it to build up too much. For a Type 2 diabetic that is already their reality, and they will need to be keeping tabs on their blood sugar. So what is the best time to check blood sugar? Thats what we will look at here today along with how Rybelsus is a medication for lowering blood sugar levels.
Its a reality for many Type 2 diabetics that the sweet stuff is at the root of the problem with them having dangerously high blood sugar levels. Its possible to have a greater chance of becoming diabetic based on your genetics but more often the cause is diet and lifestyle choices, and commonly ingesting way too much processed food and refined sugar. Part of the problem there is the way North Americans struggle to find affordable healthy food choices at the supermarket or grocery store, but thats another discussion entirely.
What Should My Blood Sugar Goals Be
Blood sugar goals may be different for each person, and can change throughout the day. The American Diabetes Association recommends these blood sugar goals:
- Before meals: 80 to 130 mg/dL
- Two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL
- Before bedtime: 100-150 mg/dL. If the level is less than 100 mg/dL, have a snack.
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What Affects Your Results
If you keep seeing unusual results, recalibrate your meter and check the test strips.
The chart below gives you an idea of where your blood sugar level should be throughout the day. Your ideal blood sugar range may be different from another person’s and will change throughout the day.
|Time of Test|
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. Youll probably need to check your blood sugar more often at first. Youll also check it more often when you feel sick or stressed, when you change your medicine, or if youre pregnant.
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When To Check Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar may depend on several factors, including:
Those who have well-controlled diabetes and are not taking insulin may not need to check their blood sugar as often. However, it is crucial to work with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate frequency.
When To Take Diabetes Medicines
If you have diabetes, theres a good chance that you take medication to help you manage the condition. And while there are many issues and concerns around taking medication, including cost and side effects, the reality is nonadherence or poor adherence meaning, not taking the medicine as prescribed is a real concern. In fact, about half of people who have diabetes dont take their medication as directed. Not taking medication at all or as directed can lead to a host of serious problems, including increased health-care costs, more hospitalizations, and more deaths. Not good all around.
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How Are Blood Glucose Levels Determined In Dogs
Ideally, this involves serial blood or serum glucose determinations in the form of a glucose curve. Because of the nature of most dogs, hospitalization and serial blood sampling, no matter how gentle, may result in stress-related increases in blood glucose that will confound the results of a glucose curve.
Dont Forget These Important Times To Test
You should also test your blood sugar if you:
Are sick or have an infection. Illness can send blood sugar levels up. Do a check every two to four hours. If its:
Over 250 mg/dl, check your urine for ketones if ketones are present in more than trace amounts, call your doctor.
* Over 250 mg/dl for more than six hours, call your doctor.
* Over 350 mg/dl even once, call your doctor.
Start a new blood glucose-lowering medication or change the dose of one. A prescription or over-the-counter medicine for a condition other than diabetes may affect blood sugar levels. Steroids are one example.
Are under a lot of stress. Emotional stress may lead to higher blood sugar numbers. Exercise even just a walk around the block can help reduce stress and glucose levels.
Feel as though your blood sugar level is too low. If your meter confirms it with a number of 70 mg/dl or less, eat 15-20 grams of pure glucose or drink 1/2 cup fruit juice or regular soda. Wait 15 minutes and check again to make sure it has come back into the normal range.
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How To Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Overnight
The most important thing you can do to stabilize your blood sugar is monitor your glucose levels at bedtime, during the night, and when you wake up to look for patterns. This will help you determine whats going on in your body and how you can fix it. While there are many strategies people use to stabilize blood sugar at night, every person is different youll have to look for trends in your body, experiment with ways to lower glucose levels over a period of time, and learn what works best for your body.
Check your blood sugar before bed. If its already high, your blood sugar levels may remain high throughout the night. To address this, youll want to start by adjusting when you eat your evening meal and what it consists of, and how much mealtime insulin you take to cover it.
Avoid eating lots of food close to bedtime. For diaTribe writer Adam Brown, the key to staying in range overnight is low-carb, early dinners, with no snacking after dinner.
Consider eating less food at night and taking more basal insulin to cover your evening meal.
Check your blood sugar during the night, between midnight and 3am. If you were in range before bed but have high glucose levels between midnight and 3am, you may need to adjust your basal insulin dosage and timing. If you are low during that time, you may experience a rebound high blood sugar later on this is usually associated with overcorrecting the low.