Who Should Use Diabetes Home Tests
Your doctor will help you decide if you need to test your blood sugar at home. If you do, theyll work out how often you should test and at what times of the day. Theyll also tell you what your blood sugar targets are.
You may consider diabetes home tests if you have:
- cords to download data, if needed
Please note that continuous glucose monitors are an alternative way to monitor blood glucose.
According to the , home testing follows these general steps:
Results should generally show up within seconds.
With some meters, you need to be sure the code on the strip matches the code on the meter. You should also occasionally check the date on the strips to make sure they arent out of date.
Most meters now have a way to use an alternative site for testing, like your forearm. Talk with your doctor to decide what is best for you.
Is Kidney Disease The Same As A Kidney Infection
Kidney disease is not the same as a kidney infection. Kidney disease happens when you have a genetic or congenital issueone you were born withthat causes damage to your kidneys, or when you acquire a disease or your lifestyle choices limit your kidney function. Diabetes, heart disease, alcohol, and drug use, and other conditions can all impact your kidneyseven the medications you take. Chronic kidney disease is the result of long-term problems that lower the ability of your kidneys to process and excrete waste fluids and solutes, regulate blood pressure, and maintain the bodys fluid balance.
A kidney infection occurs when bacteria, most commonly Escherichia coli, travels from the urethra up through the bladder and ureter into one or both of your kidneys. You can also have a kidney injuryoften caused by sudden illness or certain medicationsthat can resolve in time with little permanent damage.
How To Check Blood Sugar Without A Meter
Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body either doesnt make enough insulin or doesnt use insulin properly or both. This can lead to a higher than normal blood sugar level.
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to complications, such as:
For these reasons, its important to monitor your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
Prior to using meters, people with diabetes would monitor their blood sugar by testing their urine. This method, however, wasnt as accurate, nor did it provide real-time results.
If you self-test your blood sugar several times a day using a glucometer, or meter, it requires that you prick your finger to draw blood to test. Due to the discomfort of this method, you might look for a way to monitor your level without this tool.
If finger pricks are very bothersome for you, dont worry theres hope. Advances in blood sugar monitoring technology could mean no more finger pricks in the future.
If you have diabetes, there are several portable devices you can use to check your blood sugar level and not all of them require a finger prick.
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What Should I Avoid Eating If I Have High Blood Pressure Or Kidney Disease
If you have kidney disease, avoid foods and beverages that are high in sodium.
Additional steps you can take to meet your blood pressure goals may include eating heart-healthy and low-sodium meals, quitting smoking, being active, getting enough sleep, and taking your medicines as prescribed. You should also limit alcoholic drinksno more than two per day for men and one per day for womenbecause consuming too many alcoholic beverages raises blood pressure.
In addition, a health care professional may recommend that you eat moderate or reduced amounts of protein.
Proteins break down into waste products that the kidneys filter from the blood. Eating more protein than your body needs may burden your kidneys and cause kidney function to decline faster. However, eating too little protein may lead to malnutrition, a condition that occurs when the body does not get enough nutrients.
If you have kidney disease and are on a restricted protein diet, a health care professional will use blood tests to monitor your nutrient levels.
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Air Pollution: How To Check Oxygen Levels At Home Without An Oximeter
After the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of oximeters have been hugely generalized. All the doctors and healthcare workers might agree that the one and only one thing that low oxygen levels was a commonly observed symptom of Coronavirus. With the fear of Covid-19 still hanging over our heads and the increased air pollution in Indias capital city New Delhi these days, it wouldnt hurt to be on the safe side. For this, learn how to check oxygen levels at home even without an oximeter. Lets take a look at how to do that!
Oxygen levels basically are the measure of how much oxygen your red blood cells are carrying and having less of that can be a symptom of many problems like asthma, Covid-19, heart disease, etc.
According to various government health sites, the normal oxygen levels are considered to be between 80 and 100 millimeters of mercury or 95-100 percent. This range will change only for lung diseases patients and their doctor determines what is a safe range for them.
When it comes to measuring oxygen levels at home, one can easily use the over-the-counter oximeters. But if you cant acquire one or doubt its efficiency as claimed by a 2022 study published in the National Library of Medicine, then you can try out the Respiratory Rate method at home. Oximeters are subjective to errors due to fake nails, excessive lighting, pigmented skin, etc. but the Respiratory Rate method has its limitations too, but both the methods will give you an idea.
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How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry or have other symptoms, check your blood sugar. Even if you dont have symptoms but think you may have low blood sugar, check it. If your blood sugar is lower than 70 mg/dL, do one of the following immediately:
- Take four glucose tablets.
- Drink four ounces of fruit juice.
- Drink four ounces of regular soda, not diet soda.
- Eat four pieces of hard candy.
Wait for 15 minutes and then check your blood sugar again. Do one of the above treatments again until your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above and eat a snack if your next meal is an hour or more away. If you have problems with low blood sugar, ask your doctor if your treatment plan needs to be changed.
How To Do A Blood Sugar Test At Home
Most people with diabetes need to regularly test their blood sugar. This can be done at home by pricking your fingertip and getting a drop of blood on a test strip that gets read by the meter. The process is fairly quick and easy. Ask your doctor how often you should check your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
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What Can Affect Home Blood Sugar Tests
There are many glucometers on the market to choose from. Whichever one you pick, make sure you read the instructions that come with it. Knowing how to use it properly is the first step to getting an accurate reading. Other factors that can affect the results include:
Using outdated or improperly stored test strips. When test strips are stored at high temperatures or in areas of high moisture, the lifespan of the test strips decreases. Closing the vial of test strips after each use can help prevent this.
Not washing your hands before testing. Washing your hands with warm, soapy water prevents food contaminants like cookies or candy from giving a false high reading.
Temperature. Being cold can decrease circulation to your skin. While most people use their fingers to collect blood, some may use another site such as their forearm. If youre using an alternative test site, your results might not be as accurate if your body is cold.
Problems with the meter. You may receive error messages on your meter. If you get an error message and need help troubleshooting it, reach out to the manufacturer.
Apply The Blood To The Test Strip
After pricking your finger, you need to apply the blood to the test strip.
To do this, follow these steps:
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How To Read Your Blood Glucose Test Results
Blood glucose monitors express your blood sugar levels as eAG, or estimated average glucose. Your eAG is measured in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of bloodor mg/dL. Although the American Diabetes Association has issued general blood sugar targets, always default to what your doctor recommendsyour ideal targets may be different, based on factors like:
- How long youve had type 2 diabetes
- Other health conditions you may have, such as hypertension or hyperlipidemia
For most non-pregnant adults with type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends the following targets:
- When you wake up : 70 to 130 mg/dL
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL
- Two hours after a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL
- Before bed: 90 to 150 mg/dL
How To Check Blood Sugar In 7 Simple Steps
Checking your blood sugar is a crucial part of diabetes care. Learning how to understand your bodys messages and why your blood sugar behaves the way it does will be valuable knowledge when adjusting your management. By checking your blood sugar regularly, you can gain an accurate picture of how your levels react to certain things and learn how to better regulate your sugar.
Checking your blood sugar shouldnt be overwhelming. In fact, many should incorporate checking levels into their daily routine. Levels should be checked regularly and at specific times, in order to understand what affects your blood sugar and provide the information needed. Diabetes can seem unpredictable, but through careful tracking you might start to notice patterns.
If youre looking for more information about testing, or are new to diabetes care, check out Diathrives learning center for helpful tips! The first step in diabetes care is learning how to check blood sugar, so heres how.
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How Do They Work
You can buy over-the-counter UTI dipstick tests at your local drugstore or online. They work much like a pregnancy test: Each kit comes with a testing strip . You wet a test strip by holding it in your urine stream for a few seconds. Or, you can collect urine in a clean cup and dip the strip into the sample. Wait 1 to 2 minutes for the color of the test strip to change. This will vary depending on the brand you use. Check the chart on the home test kit to find out if youâve tested positive for a UTI.
Home test kits might be useful if you have UTIs that keep coming back. They check for white blood cells and bacteria in the urine. But the results can be affected by a number of things, like medications youâre taking. And studies show that urine cultures are far more reliable for showing whether you have a UTI.
The bottom line: See your doctor to be sure, no matter what your UTI home test reveals.
What Happens With The Test Results
Your childs health care team can look at the data online when you need them to or at clinic visits. They will review your childs glucose levels to look for patterns, like high or low sugars at certain times of the day. Patterns can help the doctor adjust medicines and the dietitian make diet changes.
If your childs glucose level is higher or lower than you expect from time to time, try not to get discouraged. Ask your childs care team if there are some changes you should try. Together youll figure out the best way to keep your childs sugar in the healthy range as much as possible.
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Coffee And Cholesterol Testing
Another common reason your doctor may order a blood test is to examine your cholesterol levels. Generally speaking, they are looking at your total cholesterol number and the balance of your LDL and HDL cholesterol.
LDL is typically considered the bad cholesterol, and HDL is considered the good cholesterol. So the more HDL and the less LDL you have, the better.
One study found that a cup of coffee with or without non-dairy creamer did not acutely impact LDL levels in a blood test.
There was a statistically significant difference in the amount of LDL between the non-dairy creamer and black coffee groups. However, this difference was not found to be clinically significant.
To be on the safe side, its probably best to only drink your coffee black if youre going to get your cholesterol levels tested.
How Often Should I Check My Hba1c Levels If I Have Diabetes Or Prediabetes
If you have diabetes or prediabetes, tracking your A1c level may help youâand your healthcare providerâassess the effectiveness of your current treatment plan. Regular HbA1c testing can also help you see how choices you makeâlike dietâaffect your blood sugar levels. However, an HbA1c test is not the same as the glucose result you get from a blood glucometer . This kind of glucose test determines your at-the-moment blood glucose concentration, which often swings up and down throughout the day as you eat and exercise.
How often you should test your HbA1c depends on many factors, so talk with your healthcare provider about the testing frequency thatâs right for you. If youâre interested in monitoring your HbA1c levels on a regular basis, consider the Everlywell subscription option for the HbA1c test. Youâll automatically receive an HbA1c test kit on a schedule you choose .
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Tips For Getting Accurate Results
Many factors can affect the accuracy of your blood sugar test results, such as:
- Following test instructions properly
- Environmental factors
- How you store testing supplies
- Certain substances in your system, such as Tylenol , vitamin C, or uric acid
- How hydrated you are
Be sure to follow your testing instructions closely and dispose of testing products that are expired or not working properly.
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 . 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, donât rely on test results from other parts of your body.
Continuous glucose monitoring system
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.
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What Are The Treatments For Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious disease that you cannot treat on your own. Your doctor will help you make a diabetes treatment plan that is right for you — and that you can understand. You may also need other health care professionals on your diabetes treatment team, including a foot doctor, nutritionist, eye doctor, and a diabetes specialist .
Treatment for diabetes requires keeping close watch over your blood sugar levels with a combination of medications, exercise, and diet. By paying close attention to what and when you eat, you can minimize or avoid the “seesaw effect” of rapidly changing blood sugar levels, which can require quick changes in medication dosages, especially insulin. Find out how to choose the right diabetes treatment for you.
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|
*Depends on the size of the meal and the amount of insulin in your medicine
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