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Checking Blood Sugar At Home

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What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring

How to test blood sugar at home with a glucometer

Continuous glucose monitoring automatically tracks blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, throughout the day and night. You can see your glucose level anytime at a glance. You can also review how your glucose changes over a few hours or days to see trends. Seeing glucose levels in real time can help you make more informed decisions throughout the day about how to balance your food, physical activity, and medicines.

When Should You Test For Hypoglycemia At Home

Your doctor may tell you to test 3 to 5 times a day, over the course of several days, to get an idea of how your medication for diabetes is working. You should also test if you suspect your diabetes is not being well controlled, if you are unwell, or if you have recently changed medicines. Testing several times a day allows you to see any fluctuations in your blood sugar readings. Usual times to test include:

  • First thing in the morning, before you eat or drink anything. This provides a baseline number and can give clues about how you process glucose during the day and if your blood glucose readings drop too low at night
  • Before a meal: Blood glucose levels before a meal tend to be low, so a high blood glucose reading at this time suggests your blood sugar management is not that great or the dose of your medication is maybe too low
  • After a meal: Post-meal testing gives a good idea about how the body reacts to food, and if glucose can reach the cells efficiently. Most doctors recommend testing about 2 hours after a meal.

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How Do I Measure Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes, you probably already keep a watchful eye on your blood sugar through the use of a continuous glucose monitor or a blood sugar meter . Blood sugar measurement is also typically included in routine lab work for people without diabetes your physician will usually order a glycated hemoglobin test, which measures your average blood sugar over the past two to three months.

Say your A1C test comes back with no sign of diabetes constantly measuring your blood sugar can still be helpful. For instance, some people experiment with using a CGM to see how their body responds to different types of food. However, its good to note that this is a fairly cost-intensive way of figuring out your nutrition, and writing down a food diary that includes how you felt after each meal will also help you figure out what to eat.

Check out these blood sugar monitors if youre looking for recommendations on how to keep track of your levels at home.

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What Is Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterised by what is known as insulin resistance.

This is where the body does not effectively respond to the insulin produced, as a result blood sugar levels become too high. It can be managed by taking tablets such as Metformin and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Dont Drive When You Have Low Blood Sugar

Senior Man Checking Blood Sugar Level At Home Stock Photo

It’s dangerous. If you’re driving and you have hypoglycemia symptoms, pull off the road, check your blood sugar, and eat a sugary food. Wait at least 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and repeat these steps if needed. Eat a protein and carbohydrate source before you drive on. Be prepared. Keep a sugar source, such as glucose tablets, in your car at all times for emergencies.

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Understanding & Recording The Results

Once youve received results from your glucose testing method of choice, youll need to know what to do next. If your results are in range, of course, you dont need to worry. But youll need to talk to your healthcare provider to create a plan for readings outside of this range, whether theyre too high or too low.

Not all out-of-range readings are the result of problems with your blood glucose in some cases, the issue may lie in the meter itself. If youre seeing readings out of range more often than would be expected, check your test strips and recalibrate your meter. Also, make sure you always wash your hands before doing a finger stick.

Youll also want to track your glucose levels, since long-term test results can inform you of issues and help you make changes in your diabetes treatment regimen. Most blood glucose meters on the market today are capable of tracking test results. Be sure to bring these results with you whenever you meet with your healthcare provider!

Why It Is Done

A home blood glucose test is an accurate way to measure your blood sugar level at the time of testing. If you have diabetes, testing your blood glucose levels at home provides information about:

  • Your blood sugar level. 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 .

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What If The Blood Glucose Check Result Doesnt Sound Right

If youre not convinced that a result is correct, heres a suggested check list:

  • Have the strips expired?
  • Is the meter too hot or too cold?
  • Is the calibration code correct?
  • Is the battery low or flat?

All meters will give a different result with a different drop of blood. As long as there is not a big difference there is not usually cause for concern.

The accuracy of all meters can be checked with meter-specific liquid drops called control solutions. If you are concerned, you can arrange to have your meter checked with a control solution. Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator or pharmacist can help you with this.

Place A Treat On Your Ferrets Belly

How to check your blood sugar glucose at home. OneTouch Verio Flex kit.

We strongly recommend using salmon oil as a healthy treat to distract your ferret while you draw their blood. It is healthy and it will take your ferret a while to lick off, giving you plenty of time to get a good blood sample.

Also, this is a great time to push your test strip fully into the monitor to turn on your AlphaTRAK 2. You have two minutes from now to get your blood sample!

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How To Check Blood Sugar At Home Without A Meter

  • Get a glass of water.
  • Measure the water into a cup and bring it to a boil for about 2 minutes.
  • Strain the boiled water into a test tube and pour some of it on the testing strip, if your blood sugar is too high, you will see that the solution turns red or pinkish in color and sticks to the testing strip.
  • Test your blood sugar about 5-10 minutes after eating or drinking something that contains carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, or fruit juice.
  • When you are done with testing your blood sugar do not discard the used test strips immediately place them in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature for up to 4 weeks in case you need to use them again for testing your blood sugar level at home without meter.
  • You can use the strips for testing your blood sugar level at home without a meter for up to 4 weeks after opening the package, but still, keep a spare strip or two in case you need to test your blood sugar level at home without a meter.
  • Managing Blood Sugar When Youre Ill

    When you get sick, your blood sugar levels may fluctuate and become unpredictable.

    If you’re sick, it’s very important that you:

    • drink plenty of water or sugar-free fluids
    • check your blood sugar levels more often than usual
    • take 15 grams of carbohydrate every hour if you are not able to follow your usual meal plan
    • replace food with fluids that contain sugar if you can’t eat solid food
    • continue to take your insulin or other diabetes medication

    If you have a cold or flu and want to use a cold remedy or cough syrup, ask your pharmacist to help you make a good choice. Many cold remedies and cough syrups contain sugar, so try to pick sugar-free products.

    As an extra precaution, you should always check with your health-care team about guidelines for insulin adjustment or medication changes during an illness.

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    Checking Blood Sugar In 7 Simple Steps

    When its time to test your blood sugar, it can be done in a few easy steps.

    1. Wash and dry your hands.

    This step is important in avoiding infection and ensuring accuracy. Remember that all biological factors, including blood, should be handled with care and disposed of properly. Its important to maintain proper hygiene when testing your blood sugar levels so that those around you arent put at risk and any blood borne pathogens are kept at bay. Additionally, washing your hands before drawing blood reduces the chance of contamination that can result in less-accurate blood sugar results. That includes water, so be sure to dry your hands completely.

    2. Prepare the lancet.

    When taking the lancet out of its packaging, make sure that the metal is not bent. Using a lancet that is bent will be very painful and damage your skin. Only ever use a lancet youre sure is sanitary and safe. Lancets are single-use. Do not reuse a lancet. If you are a Diathrive customer, we will provide you with all the lancets you need at no additional cost.

    3. Insert a test strip into your meter.

    Insert a test strip into the designated port, ensuring its inserted as directed. Diathrive glucose meters will then display a blood drop and test strip icon signaling it is ready for the next step. Make sure to wait for this signal to appear, as applying blood too soon will result on a wasted test strip.

    4. Use the lancing device to puncture your skin.

    6. Wait for a reading.

    Drink Water And Stay Hydrated

    Medicine, age, diabetes, health care and people concept

    Drinking enough water could help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy ranges.

    In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out any excess sugar through urine.

    One review of observational studies showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels (

    34 ).

    You can do so at home using a portable blood glucose meter, which is known as a glucometer. You can discuss this option with your doctor.

    Keeping track allows you to determine whether you need to adjust your meals or medications. It also helps you learn how your body reacts to certain foods .

    Try measuring your levels regularly every day and keeping track of the numbers in a log. Also, it may be more helpful to track your blood sugar in pairs for example, before and after exercise or before and 2 hours after a meal.

    This can show you whether you need to make small changes to a meal if it spikes your blood sugar, rather than avoiding your favorite meals altogether. Some adjustments include swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting them to a handful.


    Checking your blood glucose and maintaining a daily log enables you to adjust foods and medications when necessary to better manage your blood sugar levels.

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    How Often Should You Have A Type 2 Diabetes Test

    In general, people with type 2 diabetes test their blood sugar twice a day: After waking up in the morning and two hours after eating your largest meal of the day. In some cases, your doctor may ask you to test more oftenespecially if youre experiencing symptoms of high or low blood sugar or if you need to adjust your medications based on your blood sugar levels.

    How To Use A Blood Sugar Meter

    There are different kinds of meters, but most of them work the same way. Ask your health care team to show you the benefits of each. In addition to you, have someone else learn how to use your meter in case youre sick and cant check your blood sugar yourself.

    Below are tips for how to use a blood sugar meter.

  • Make sure the meter is clean and ready to use.
  • After removing a test strip, immediately close the test strip container tightly. Test strips can be damaged if they are exposed to moisture.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dry well. Massage your hand to get blood into your finger. Dont use alcohol because it dries the skin too much.
  • Use a lancet to prick your finger. Squeezing from the base of the finger, gently place a small amount of blood onto the test strip. Place the strip in the meter.
  • After a few seconds, the reading will appear. Track and record your results. Add notes about anything that might have made the reading out of your target range, such as food, activity, etc.
  • Properly dispose the lancet and strip in a trash container.
  • Do not share blood sugar monitoring equipment, such as lancets, with anyone, even other family members. For more safety information, please see Infection Prevention during Blood Glucose Monitoring and Insulin Administration.
  • Store test strips in the container provided. Do not expose them to moisture, extreme heat, or cold temperatures.
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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.

    What Is The Difference Between Home Blood Glucose Testing And Hba1c Levels

    How to check your blood sugar

    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.

    Read Also: How Do You Know If You Have Gestational Diabetes

    How To Control Bleeding

    After inserting the blood sample into the meter, please leave it to function while attending to the pets ear . For approximately 30 seconds, secure a gauze squeeze firmly to the prick site. This should be more than sufficient to bring the bleeding to a halt. Continue applying mild pressure for another minute if the location continues to bleed. Do not peek to determine whether the bleeding has ceased. Secure the area and maintain your pets calm. If the bleeding does not stop or if a considerable bruise develops, seek guidance from your veterinarian.

    Understanding Results Of Blood Sugar Testing

    Your healthcare provider will determine your specific blood glucose target levels. However, in general, blood sugar should be between 80 and 130 mg/dL before a meal and less than 180 mg/dL two hours after you eat.

    Low blood sugar occurs when blood sugar levels are below 70 mg/dL. Severe hypoglycemiabelow 54 mg/dLcan lead to a life-threatening emergency.

    Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include:

    • Racing heartbeat

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    What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar

    Blood sugar levels can fluctuate somewhat, but there are specific ranges that indicate healthy or non-healthy levels.

    • Blood sugar less than 100 mg/dl after fasting for at least eight hours is a normal range. Your levels should be less than 140 mg/dl two hours after eating.
    • Your blood sugar is often lowest during the day just before meals. If you dont have diabetes, your blood sugar level will likely be around 70 to 80 mg/dl. Some people may find that 60 is normal, while others are normal at 90.
    • Use a blood glucose monitor to check your levels and if they appear to be abnormal or extremely high or low, contact your doctor right away.

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