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How To Check Your Glucose Levels

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Normal Fasting Blood Sugar Level And After Meal Blood Sugar For Average Person

How to test your blood glucose (sugar) levels

The standard blood sugar range for people without diabetes is the same regardless of age or health condition. A doctor, on the other hand, may set different goals based on your specific circumstances.

For example, if you have several diabetes risk factors, your doctor may want your blood sugar to be within a narrower range.

The chart below depicts the normal blood glucose range for people who do not have diabetes.

Recommended blood sugar range chart for non-diabetics

99 mg/dL or less during fasting

1-2 hours after eating: 140 mg/dL or less

Test Your Blood Sugar After Eating

Finally, you should test your blood sugar after a meal. This will allow you to make sure that the food youâre eating is safe and healthy for you. If your blood sugar is high, it means that more insulin was required to bring it down to a safe level. If itâs low, it means that the meal was not a good choice for you because more carbohydrates were required than usual.

How To Do A Finger

Your healthcare team will show you how to do it the first time, but these are the key steps:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dont use wet wipes as the glycerine in them can affect the test result. Make sure your hands are warm so its easier to get blood and wont hurt as much.
  • Take a test strip and slot it into the meter to turn it on. Some meters will have tests strips built in.
  • Remove the cap from your finger prick device and put in a new lancet. Then put the cap back on and set the device by pulling or clicking the plunger.
  • Choose which finger to prick but avoid your thumb or index finger . And dont prick the middle, or too close to a nail. Place the device against the side of your finger and press the plunger. Use a different finger each time and a different area.
  • Take your meter with the test strip and hold it against the drop of blood. Itll tell you if the test strip is filled, usually by beeping.
  • Before you look at your reading, check your finger. Use a tissue to stop bleeding, then use it to take out the lancet and throw it away in your sharps bin.
  • You can use the same tissue to take out the test strip and throw that away too. Taking out the strip will usually turn the meter off.

Recommended Reading: Most Accurate Blood Glucose Meter 2021

What Is Diabetes Why Do I Need A Blood Sugar Test

Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders marked by elevated blood-sugar levels that extend for long periods of time. It usually results from insufficient quantities of insulin or from insulins resistance to properly regulating blood-sugar levels. Diabetes is typically a chronic condition, meaning that it can be controlled but not cured by medical intervention and personal behaviors. There are type 1, type 2, and gestational forms of this disease.

Blood-sugar testing plays a critical role in both diagnosing and managing diabetes. It is particularly important in gauging the effectiveness of diet, exercise, and medications in regulating glucose levels in the bloodstream. At Baptist Health, we care for persons with diabetes every day, helping them manage their condition, and enabling them to lead the lives they want to lead.

Recommended Blood Sugar Targets

A1C blood sugar test with glucose level measurement list outline ...

Blood glucose numbers are measured in milligrams per deciliter .

The American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists have different recommendations for blood glucose targets for most people with type 2 diabetes:

Timing
2 hours after eating a meal < 180 mg/dL for nonpregnant adults < 140 mg/dL

Talk to your doctor to learn more about your blood glucose targets. Your doctor can help you determine which guidelines to target. Or they can work with you to set your own glucose targets.

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Take Your Blood Sugar Reading

If youâre like most people, you probably use a blood sugar meter to track blood sugar levels. But there are other ways to check blood sugar levels without a meter. In this guide, youâll learn how to read blood sugar levels in the comfort of your own home. Youâll also find out how to test your blood sugar levels in a variety of scenarios, including when youâre fasting, during exercise, or after eating a low-carbohydrate meal.

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When Should I Check My Blood Glucose Level

When you should check your blood glucose levels and how often you should check varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being used. Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator will help you decide how many checks are needed and the levels to aim for. Possible times to check are:

  • Before breakfast
  • Before rigorous exercise
  • When you are feeling unwell

Even though your meter may have a memory, it is important to keep a record of your readings in a diary and to take this with you to all appointments with your diabetes health team. This will provide both you and your diabetes health team with important information in deciding if and how your treatment may need to be adjusted.

Most meters on the market have software which allows you to download your records in different formats such as graphs and charts. Even if you can do this, it is still helpful to keep a diary, not only for your checks but also details of your daily activities, the food you eat and other relevant information. There are some apps that record all of this information in one place. Ask your doctor or diabetes educator how you can use a diary to help you to better manage your diabetes.

Checking four times a day is usually recommended for people with type 1 diabetes. However many people check more often, such as those using an insulin pump .

How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar

Diabetes: How to check your blood glucose level | NHS

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.

Recommended Reading: Diabetic Diet To Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

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.

Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is associated with diabetes and prediabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

Your body usually manages your blood sugar levels by producing insulin, a hormone that allows your cells to use the circulating sugar in your blood. As such, insulin is the most important regulator of blood sugar levels .

However, multiple factors can impair blood sugar management and lead to hyperglycemia.

Internal causes for high blood sugar include when your liver produces too much glucose, your body makes too little insulin, or your body cant effectively use insulin. The latter is known as insulin resistance (

2 ).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 13% of U.S. adults live with diabetes and that another 34.5% have prediabetes. This means that close to 50% of all U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes .

Blood sugar management is especially important for people with diabetes, as chronically high blood sugar levels can lead to limb and life threatening complications (

Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells can more effectively use the available sugar in your bloodstream.

Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction .

Whats more, researchers recommend doing so-called exercise snacks to lower blood sugar and prevent the damage that sitting all day can do .

Read Also: Diabetic Fasting Blood Sugar Goal

Test Your Blood Sugar Level

If youâre like most people, you probably use a blood sugar meter to track blood sugar levels. But there are other ways to check blood sugar levels without a meter. In this guide, youâll learn how to read blood sugar levels in the comfort of your own home. Youâll also find out how to test your blood sugar levels in a variety of scenarios, including when youâre fasting, during exercise, or after eating a low-carbohydrate meal.

Noninvasive Methods Of Blood Glucose Monitoring

Measuring Glucose Level Blood Test Stock Image

With biotechnology advancements, companies are developing noninvasive blood sugar monitoring methods. Recent technologies, still under investigation, include:

  • D-Base, with a tabletop sensor that you place your finger on
  • GlucoTrack, with a sensor that you clip onto your finger or earlobe
  • , with a sensor that you place in the inner eyelid
  • SugarBEAT, with a sensor in the form of a patch that you wear on the skin
  • GlucoWise, with a sensor that you hold between your thumb and index finger

Recommended Reading: How To Control Type Two Diabetes With Diet

Problems Caused By High Blood Sugar

Itâs not usually a serious problem if your blood sugar is sometimes slightly high for a short time.

But high blood sugar can cause serious problems if it stays high for a long time or gets to a very high level.

It can lead to:

If you have high blood sugar, your doctor or care team may ask you to test your blood or pee to check for ketones. A high level of ketones is a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis.

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar

Most people have symptoms of low blood sugar when their blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dL. When your blood sugar is low, your body gives out signs that you need food. Common early symptoms of low blood sugar include the following:

Late symptoms of low blood sugar include:

  • Feeling confused
  • Being unable keep your mind on one subject
  • Numbness in your mouth and tongue

Recommended Reading: Compare Type 1 And 2 Diabetes

Types Of Replacement Insulin

Supplemental insulin comes in different types, and some are designed to replace bolus insulin, while others replace basal insulin.

The different types of insulin are differentiated based on three characteristics:

  • Onset: The time between the insulin injection and when it starts to affect blood sugar levels.
  • Duration: How long insulin continues to work after taking effect.
  • Peak: The point at which insulin is working at maximum capacity.

The ADA lists five types of supplemental insulin: rapid-acting, short-acting , intermediate-acting, long-acting, and ultra long-acting.

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Hba1c Test For Diabetes Diagnosis

How to test your blood glucose levels | Diabetes UK

An HbA1c test does not directly measure the level of blood glucose, however, the result of the test is influenced by how high or low your blood glucose levels have tended to be over a period of 2 to 3 months.

Indications of diabetes or prediabetes are given under the following conditions:

  • Normal: Below 42 mmol/mol
  • Prediabetes: 42 to 47 mmol/mol
  • Diabetes: 48 mmol/mol

Read Also: Cost Of Insulin With Insurance

Is There Anything Else I Should Know About A Blood Glucose Test

If you have diabetes, you may need to do blood sugar testing at home every day to help manage your blood glucose levels. There are two ways to do this:

  • Blood glucose meters require you to prick your finger with a small device called a lancet. You apply a drop of blood to a test strip and insert it into a small, electronic glucose meter, which measures the glucose is in your blood.
  • Continuous glucose monitors use a tiny sensor that you insert under your skin. Every few minutes, the sensor measures glucose levels in fluids between your cells. If your glucose is too high or too low, you use a blood glucose meter to check your blood levels before making changes to raise or lower your glucose level.

Read Also: What Is The Best High Fiber Low Sugar Cereal

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What To Know About High Blood Sugar When Living With Diabetes:

What is hyperglycemia?

After eating a meal, the body signals the release of insulin. Insulin is like a key that unlocks the cells in order to store glucose for later use. This process reduces the amount of glucose in your blood stream. In people with diabetes, this process does not work as well because either there isnt enough insulin being produced, or because the body is resistant to the effects of the insulin. As a result, levels of glucose in the blood stream can reach high levels, causing hyperglycemia or high blood sugar.

Scale of normal blood sugar range

  • Hyperglycemia occurs when the blood sugar is above 130 mg/dL while fasting, or greater than 180 mg/dL after eating a meal.
  • American Diabetes Association Glucose Goals for people with Diabetes:
  • Before meals or fasting: 70 to 130 mg/dL
  • 1-2 hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL

Hb A1CIf blood glucose is regularly higher than the normal ranges, then this will reflect in the Hemoglobin A1C test that your doctor will run. The Hemoglobin A1C gives your care team an idea of what your blood sugar typically is at.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia

How to treat hyperglycemia

When to call your doctor or seek emergency treatment:

REMEMBER: DO NOT DRIVE yourself if you think you may have very high blood Sugars or Diabetic Ketoacidosis

How Can I Pay For Tests And Diabetes Supplies

How Do I Measure My Blood Sugar?

Medicareexternal icon, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and fasting blood sugar test as well as some diabetes supplies. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low-cost or free supplies, and see How to Save Money on Diabetes Care for more resources.

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