If You Have Questions About Your Diagnosis
It’s usually difficult to take in everything the GP tells you during the appointment.
Talk to family and friends about what the GP told you, and write down any questions you have.
Then make another GP appointment and take your list of questions with you.
There’s also a lot of information on diabetes available.
Instructions For Checking Your Blood Sugar
Your healthcare provider will tell you how often to check your blood sugar. Theyll also tell you what your blood sugar level should be. This is called your blood sugar target range. Your blood sugar target range is based on your overall health and current treatment plan.
When youre ready to start, wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them very well. Touching a blood glucose test strip with damp hands can damage it or make your result less accurate.
Get Your Lancing Device Ready
Figure 4. Twist the white band to the right
Pull the endcap straight off .
Figure 5. Pull the endcap straight off
Figure 6. Push the lancet into your lancing device
Figure 7. Pull the tab off the lancet
Figure 8. Put the endcap back on your lancing device
Twist the white band to the left to lock the endcap on .
Figure 9. Twist the white band to the left
Figure 10. Set the puncture depth
Your lancing device is now ready. Set it down. Pick up your blood glucose meter and test strip.
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When To Measure Blood Glucose
- Blood glucose should be measured whenever your patient with diabetes is feeling unwell in any way.
- In the diabetic patient, it should be measured before surgery to ensure that the patient is not going be become unwell during surgery and/or after general anaesthetic. Measure regularly until the patient is eating and drinking normally and blood glucose is stable.
- In newly diagnosed diabetes patients, more frequent measurements are needed, until blood glucose is stable.
Choosing A Blood Glucose Monitor
A blood glucose monitor, testing strips, and a lancet to draw the blood are all necessary for testing. Some testing kits offer all three, while others require separate purchases for each piece.
People with diabetes use many testing strips, and so it may be wise to carefully consider the cost of the testing strips as well as the monitor.
Some other tips for buying a monitor include:
- Select one with automatic coding to avoid the need to code in results with every test.
- Check insurance plans to see if an insurer only covers certain monitors.
- Look at whether the unit stores previous data.
- Consider portability, since larger units can be difficult to carry around.
- Think about blood sample size, particularly for people who do not like pricking themselves.
Monitors that require a smaller blood sample may be more comfortable as the depth of the lancet can be less.
Many people with diabetes have no signs of the disease at all. However, the lack of symptoms does not necessarily mean the absence of diabetes.
When symptoms occur, many of the effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the same since both affect blood sugar regulation in the body. Symptoms include:
- increased hunger and thirst
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What Blood Sugar Levels Are Healthy
This is the big question.
Weve established what normal non-diabetic blood sugar looks like, more or less. And we know what blood sugar goals the medical authorities set for people with diabetes. The problem is that theres some distance between those two levels. Many in the Diabetes Daily community have reasoned that it is best to get their blood sugar as close to normal as is reasonably possible. Should your target be normal blood sugar, the ADA target, or something in between?
The truth is that this is something of a gray area both in the diabetes recommendations and in the medical research. Speaking very generally, the long-term studies that the ADA uses to set its glycemic targets tend to show that the risk of long-term complications such as kidney disease and retinopathy drops off significantly when a patients A1C is lower than 6.5-7 percent. There are plenty of individual studies suggesting that even lower blood sugar levels are as associated with even better health, but the diabetes establishment has not yet made it a priority to issue guidance on the matter.
That leaves us with a situation in which some doctors and endocrinologists tell their patients that an A1C of 7 percent is good enough, while others encourage their patients to try and get as close to normal as possible provided that it doesnt involve an undue risk of hypoglycemia. Some, like the popular Dr. Richard Bernstein, have made the latter approach the guiding philosophy of their practices.
What Is Being Tested
This test measures the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucose is a simple sugar that provides energy for the body.
People with diabetes often monitor their own blood glucose at home. This is done using a finger-prick test and a special machine, rather than a blood sample taken from a vein.
You might have blood taken for a blood sugar level. You might or might not be asked to fast beforehand.
There is also a test called an oral glucose tolerance test, abbreviated as OGTT or GTT. For this test you fast, then have a blood sample taken, then drink glucose, then have a number of samples taken over a few hours.
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What Abnormal Results Mean
If you had a fasting blood glucose test:
- A level of 100 to 125 mg/dL means you have impaired fasting glucose, a type of prediabetes. This increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and you should consult with your provider.
- A level of 126 mg/dL or higher usually means you have diabetes.
If you had a random blood glucose test:
- A level of 200 mg/dL or higher often means you have diabetes.
- Your provider will order a fasting blood glucose, A1C test, or glucose tolerance test, depending on your random blood glucose test result.
- In someone who has diabetes, an abnormal result on the random blood glucose test may mean that the diabetes is not well controlled. Talk with your provider about your blood glucose goals if you have diabetes.
Other medical problems can also cause a higher-than-normal blood glucose level, including:
- Weight loss after weight loss surgery
- Vigorous exercise
Some medicines can raise or lower your blood glucose level. Before having the test, tell your provider about all the medicines you are taking.
For some thin young women, a fasting blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL may be normal.
Normal Blood Sugar Ranges
Its recommended that fasting blood sugar levels be between 80 mg/dL to 130 mg/dL as often as possible for people with diabetes. Postprandial blood sugar, which is taken two hours after a meal, should be less than 180 mg/dL. Understanding these levels can be important when interpreting your own readings. However, its very important to note that you shouldnt compare your levels to others and every single person has a different diabetes journey.
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About Your Contour Next One Blood Glucose Meter
A blood glucose meter measures the amount of sugar in your blood. It has 3 main parts .
Figure 2. Contour Next One blood glucose meter
- The test strip port is where youll put the blood glucose test strip into the meter. Your Contour Next One glucose meter will only work with Contour Next test strips.
- The screen shows information such as the meters status, your blood sugar level, and the date and time.
- The buttons are how you control the meter.
- To scroll up, press the up button. Hold it to keep scrolling.
- To scroll down, press the down button. Hold it to keep scrolling.
- To accept a selection, press the OK button.
- To turn your meter on or off, press and hold the OK button.
You need to set up your meter before using it for the first time. You do this by accepting the blood glucose target range of 70-180 mg/dL and setting the time and date. Your meter will not work until you set it up.
Do not put your glucose meter under water. If you notice its dirty, wipe it with a damp cloth or alcohol pad.
What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels
- Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
- Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
- Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
- Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
- Drink water instead of juice or soda.
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
- For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
- Control your food portions .
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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 Do I Prepare For A Blood Glucose Test
If your healthcare provider has ordered a fasting blood glucose test, youll need to not eat or drink anything except water for eight to 10 hours before the test.
If your blood glucose test is part of a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel, you may also need to fast for several hours before your blood draw. In any case, your healthcare provider will let you know if you need to follow any special instructions.
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Testing Times For Type 2 Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes taking supplementary insulin often test several times day, including:
- Before all meals
- Before going to bed.
You may be able to test less frequently if you are only taking intermediate- or long-acting forms of insulin. Individuals managing their diabetes with oral medications and lifestyle changes rather than insulin are not required to test daily.
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
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How To Check Blood Sugar Levels
A health care professional will teach you and your child how to properly use a blood glucose meter.
- Clean hands with soap and water. Make sure the finger is dry before obtaining the blood sample wet fingers can alter the value.
- Prick the side of the fingertip. The forearm also can be pricked with certain meters using a lancet device. Do not use the forearm if you suspect a low blood sugar or when the blood sugar is rapidly changing, such as after meals or exercise.
- Insert strip into meter.
- Obtain a drop of blood.
- Apply the drop of blood to a test strip.
- Read the result and enter it in a logbook.
Bring the meter and logbook to all doctor visits.
Testing Times For Type 1 Diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes generally test their blood-sugar levels between four and ten times daily, including:
- Before all meals
- Before or during exercise or periods of physical exertion
- Before going to bed
- Sometimes at night.
You may need to test more often when youre ill, starting a new medication, or undergoing a major change in routine.
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Throw Away The Test Strip And Used Lancet
Figure 16. Pull the test strip out of your blood glucose meter
Figure 17. Push the end of the lancet into the plastic tab
Figure 18. Eject the lancet into the sharps container
About The Microlet Next Lancing Device
Your lancing device holds the lancet youll use to prick your finger. It has 6 main parts .
Figure 1. Microlet Next lancing device
- The endcap covers the lancet until youre ready to use it.
- The endcap dial controls how deeply the lancet will prick your finger.
- The white band connects the endcap to the rest of the lancing device. The endcap is locked onto the lancing device when the black drop is in line with the release button.
- The release button makes the tip of the lancet spring out to prick your finger.
- The reset handle resets the lancet if you need to prick your finger again.
- The lancet ejector pushes the lancet out of the lancing device once youre done using it.
Your Microlet Next lancing device works with Microlet lancets. Microlet Next lancets come in different colors, but theres no difference between them.
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How To Use A Blood Glucose Meter:
- After washing your hands, insert a test strip into your meter.
- Use your lancing device on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood.
- Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood and wait for the result.
- Your blood glucose level will appear on the meter’s display.
Note: All meters are slightly different, so always refer to your user’s manual for specific instructions.
The Contour Diabetes App
The Contour Diabetes app works with your Contour Next One blood glucose meter. It lets you make notes, set reminders, see your results in a graph, and share your reports. If you want to use the app, you can download it from the Apple App Store® or Google Play store.
You do not need to download the Contour Diabetes app if you do not want to. The Contour Next One blood glucose meter works without the app.
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Other Tips For Checking:
- With some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or fleshy part of your hand.
- There are spring-loaded lancing devices that make sticking yourself less painful.
- If you use your fingertip, stick the side of your fingertip by your fingernail to avoid having sore spots on the frequently used part of your finger.
Defining Normal Blood Sugar
You will find normal blood sugar that is, the blood sugar levels that metabolically healthy tend to exhibit defined differently in different places. The United States and Europe, notably, have different standards for pre-diabetes. But most American authorities show something like the following:
- Fasting blood sugar: 70-100 mg/dL
- Post-prandial blood sugar : 100-140 mg/dL
- A1C: < 5.7 percent
Studies show that many people without diabetes do experience blood sugar levels above 140 mg/dL after meals, but such peaks are usually fairly brief. A 2010 analysis showed that 93 percent of healthy study participants reached or exceeded 140 mg/dL, but they spent a median of just 26 minutes per day at that level.
Most people without diabetes will likely be very close to 100 percent time-in-range.
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