How Do I Check
People with diabetes check their blood glucose levels by poking their fingertips and using a blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor to measure the blood glucose level at that moment. Read on to find out how to use a blood glucose meter. To find out more about CGMs, start by talking to your doctor.
How To Check Your Blood Sugar:
1. Wash your hands.2. Gather your equipment. You will need your meter, strips, lancing device and a new clean lancet .3. Insert the lancet into the chamber of the lancing device. Remove the protective cover to expose the needle. Replace the cap over the lancing device.4. Check the expiry date on your strips. Insert an unused strip into the meter until the meter beeps or the screen turns on.5. Place the loaded lancing device against the edge of your fingertip and push the button until the needle is released.6. Wait 3 seconds, squeeze down your finger until a drop of blood comes to the surface.7. Snow plow the end of the strip into the drop of blood until the meter either beeps or show the count down on the screen.8. Wait for the result and mark it down in your log book.9. Remove the cap from the lancing device and pull out the lancet . Discard the lancet in a sharps container.
When the sharps container is full, take it to your pharmacy to be replaced. Do not put your lancets into the garbage. Speak to your community pharmacist to obtain a sharps container for disposal.
When Would I Need A Blood Glucose Test
There are three main reasons why you may need a blood glucose test:
- Your healthcare provider may have ordered routine bloodwork called a basic metabolic panel or a comprehensive metabolic panel , which both include a glucose blood test.
- You may be having symptoms of high blood sugar or low blood sugar, which could indicate diabetes or another condition.
- If you take a long-term medication that affects your blood sugar levels, such as corticosteroids, you may need routine glucose blood tests to monitor your levels.
The most common use of a blood glucose test is to screen for Type 2 diabetes , which is a common condition. Certain people are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. If you have risk factors, your provider will likely recommend regular screening no matter your age. The American Diabetes Association recommends regular screening for anyone age 35 or older.
Your provider will also order a blood glucose test if you have symptoms of high blood sugar or low blood sugar .
Symptoms of diabetes and high blood sugar include:
- Feeling very thirsty .
- Intense hunger.
- Anxiousness or irritability.
You need to consume carbohydrates to treat hypoglycemia, such as a banana or apple juice. Severe hypoglycemia can be life-threatening.
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When To Seek Medical Care
When To Talk With A Pro
Testing your blood sugar is crucial to diabetes management. Using a meter or continuous glucose monitoring can provide accurate results. But you might seek a pain-free method to check blood sugar.
Talk with your doctor or a certified diabetes educator. You might be a candidate for a glucose monitoring device that involves fewer finger pricks or no finger pricks.
Additionally, making a few adjustments in the way you collect your blood sample might reduce the level of pain and discomfort.
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Why You Should Test Your Blood Sugar
Self-testing is called self-monitoring of blood glucose . It’s an important tool that can tell if your diabetes treatment plan is working. While your healthcare provider will still check your hemoglobin A1C levels when you come in for a checkup, many people need to augment this with blood glucose monitoring at home. The A1C test gives a good overall picture of how well your blood sugar has been managed over the past three months. But testing your blood sugar at home can provide a quick measurement of your blood sugar level at any given time. The results of home blood sugar testing can help you make appropriate adjustments to your diabetes medicine, diet and/or level of physical activity. Your diabetes healthcare team will give you specific advice on how to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
What Are Diabetes Home Tests
Testing blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is an essential part of your diabetes care plan.
Depending on your current condition, you may need to visit your doctor several times a year for formal testing, according to the American Diabetes Association. You may also need to reach out to your doctor for preventive testing, such as cholesterol checks and eye exams.
While staying in touch with your doctor is important for staying on top of your treatment plan, you can and should test your blood sugar on your own as long as your healthcare team advises you to.
Self-monitoring your blood glucose may be vital to your treatment. Testing your own levels allows you to learn how to manage your blood sugar regardless of the time of day or where you are.
Learn how these tests work and talk with your doctor about the benefits of self-monitoring.
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What The Results Mean
Your healthcare provider will give you individualized blood sugar goals. General blood sugar guidelines for people with diabetes are as follows:
- Before a meal: 80-130 mg/dL
- One to two hours after meals: less than 180 mg/dL
Remember that food, physical activity, stress and medications each affect your blood sugar levels. While blood sugar levels above or below goal can happen from time to time, a pattern of high and low readings may mean that your treatment plan needs to be adjusted. This is why it’s important to review not just the current reading on the meter, but to look at trends over time. Keep track of your blood sugar readings, whether it be in an app or notebook. Bring the log with you to appointments so your healthcare provider can review it. This information can help them make decisions about your care.
Blood Sugar Monitoring At Home: What Are Ideal Levels
If youve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, blood sugar monitoring at home is your primary tool for managing your blood sugar levels, because home blood testing tells you your sugar levels at any given time. Knowing what your blood sugar levels are at certain times each day can help you make adjustments in your diet and exercise routine to help lower your blood sugar.
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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 Can I Check My Blood Sugar
Use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose monitor to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM, youll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate.
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What Is The Difference Between Home Blood Glucose Testing And Hba1c Levels
Home blood glucose testing: This is done with a blood glucose test meter. It is a finger prick test where a sample of blood is placed on a test strip. This is inserted into the blood glucose meter, which gives you a reading of your blood glucose at a single moment in time. HbA1c test:The HbA1c test measures the amount of glucose that has built up in your blood over a 3-month period. HbA1c testing is different from the glucose test that is used to tell you what your level is right now, due to things like smoking, exercise, medicines and what you eat. An HbA1c test is done to assess your blood glucose control over a longer 3-month period and to check how well your lifestyle measures such as diet and exercise, together with your diabetes medicines, are working to control your diabetes. An HbA1c test can’t be done at home instead a blood sample is sent to the laboratory. Read more about the HbA1c test for type 2 diabetes.
Future Closed Loop Technology
Abbott has signed multiple development agreements with partners allowing its Libre monitor to work with future closed loop, or Automated Insulin Delivery systems.
In June 2020, the Food and Drug Administration granted the Libre 2 a special iCGM designation, meaning it has the potential to work with other pieces of diabetes technology, although unlike the similar designation granted to the Dexcom G6, Libre 2 is not supposed to be used with insulin delivery systems.
Most believe this is because the Libre 2 doesnt offer real-time continuous data as the G6 does, but requires follow-up scanning for Highs or Lows to get an actual reading for treatment. Most likely, the new Libre 3 will receive the full iCGM designation soon after its launch in the U.S.
Once that door opens, well likely see the Libre 3 paired with technology such as
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Who Should Use This Test
Why is HbA1c important to measure?
- HbA1c values show average blood glucose values over an extended period of time.
- A good HbA1c level protects your blood vessels and the nervous system.
- A good HbA1c level is a precondition for well-controlled diabetes.
Why is diabetes or an elevated HbA1c level harmful to health?
Most foods that we eat are broken down into sugar and released into our bloodstream. An increase in blood sugar signals for your pancreas to release insulin, which allows your body cells to use blood sugar for energy. People with diabetes either do not produce enough insulin, or cells become less responsive to insulin with time. This means that excess sugar remains in the blood and will be continuously pumped around your body. High blood sugar eventually causes major damage such as heart disease, nerve damage, and vision problems. This is why it is very important to monitor blood sugar levels and recognize diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Who is this test suitable for?
This test is suitable for anyone who may recognize the symptoms in the symptoms section and thinks they have diabetes or pre-diabetes. The test is also suitable if you have diabetes in your family and would like to monitor your blood sugar, or if you have previously been diagnosed with diabetes and would like to know how well you have your diabetes under control.
Tips For Checking Your Blood Sugar With Less Pain
Fingertips have more nerve endings, so this part of the finger tends to be the most sensitive.
If you use a finger prick to check your blood sugar level, a few techniques can make the process less painful whether youre using a glucometer or a continuous glucose monitor.
Blood sugar testing is crucial to diabetes management because high or low blood sugar can cause severe complications. If too much blood sugar accumulates in your bloodstream, you can experience major complications such as:
- difficulty speaking
Blood sugar can fluctuate throughout the day especially after meals, after exercising, and during stressful events. So its important to carefully monitor your blood sugar and keep it within a healthy range.
A blood sugar level less than 140 milligrams per deciliter , but greater than 70 mg/dL is typically considered in the target range.
You should check your blood sugar regularly, even if you arent experiencing symptoms of a high or low glucose level. Some people with high and low blood sugar dont have any symptoms.
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Why It Is Done
If you have diabetes, testing your blood glucose levels at home provides information about:
- Your blood sugar level at the time of testing. It is important to know when your blood sugar is high or low, to prevent emergency situations from developing. It is also important to treat consistently high blood sugar levels so you can decrease your chances of developing heart, blood vessel, and nerve complications from diabetes.
- How much insulin to take before each meal. If you take rapid-acting or short-acting insulin before meals, the blood sugar test results can help you determine how much insulin to take before each meal. If your blood sugar level is high, you may need extra insulin. If your blood sugar level is low, you may need to eat before you take any insulin.
- How exercise, diet, stress, and being ill affect your blood sugar levels. Testing your blood sugar can help you learn how your body responds to these things. Where possible, you can adjust your lifestyle to improve your blood sugar level.
Home blood sugar testing also may be used to:
- Test blood sugar levels in people who have symptoms of high blood sugar or low blood sugar .
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 youÃ¢and your healthcare providerÃ¢assess the effectiveness of your current treatment plan. Regular HbA1c testing can also help you see how choices you makeÃ¢like dietÃ¢affect 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 thatÃ¢s right for you. If youÃ¢re interested in monitoring your HbA1c levels on a regular basis, consider the Everlywell subscription option for the HbA1c test. YouÃ¢ll automatically receive an HbA1c test kit on a schedule you choose .
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Libre : No More Scanning
The biggest change in the Libre 3 version that obtained CE Mark approval in late September is doing away with the need to scan the sensor.
The round, fully-disposable sensor is now much thinner and smaller in size, too: the thickness of two pennies . Per Abbott, that is a more than 70% size reduction that uses 41% less plastic.
It generates a new real-time glucose reading every minute, displaying that result on the compatible mobile app on iPhone or Android. This continuous stream of data allows optional real-time alerts for high and low blood sugars, along with real-time glucose results. This is a big leap forward compared to the Libre 2 that required a confirmation scan before getting the numeric reading.
As with the earlier models, the Libre 3 still has a one-hour warmup period before it starts offering data.
Abbott also points out that pricing doesnt change with the latest model, and will remain consistent with the earlier versions.
The evolving pipeline of Libre technology, with most models having the same name, can be a bit confusing.
Weighing Your Risk Factors
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