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How To Test For Diabetes Without Taking Blood

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What Are Blood Sugar Levels

Your blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, are a measurement that show how much glucose you have in your blood. Glucose is a sugar that you get from food and drink. Your blood sugar levels go up and down throughout the day and for people living with diabetes these changes are larger and happen more often than in people who don’t have diabetes.

Checking Your Blood Sugar

  • 1Purchase a glucose testing kit. You can find these at pharmacies or most big box stores. You will also need matching testing strips to go with your monitor, so make sure your kit has some or purchase some separately.
  • You may also need to purchase needle tips for your lancing device if the kit doesn’t have them.
  • Check to see if the kit needs batteries or has them already.
  • Keep in mind that some kits may require a prescription, and they may be expensive without one. However, they’re available over-the-counter in some areas for as low as $10.
  • 2Wash your hands with warm soap and water. You need to prick your skin, and you don’t want to introduce bacteria. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before rinsing off the soap completely.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Diabetes AssociationHealth-based nonprofit focused on preventing and researching diabetesGo to source
  • Dry your hands well on a clean towel.
  • If you’re not near a place where you can wash your hands, use hand sanitizer or rub your finger with a rubbing alcohol wipe.
  • 3Insert a testing strip into the glucose monitor. The strip should indicate which way it goes in the monitor. If you’re not sure how to do it, read the instructions that came with your monitor.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Some older glucose monitors may require that you place a drop of blood on the strip before pushing it into the machine.
  • Recommended Reading: How Do Diabetics Check Their Blood Sugar

    Random Blood Sugar Test

    This measures your blood sugar at the time youre tested. You can take this test at any time and dont need to fast first. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes.

    Random Blood Sugar Test

    140 mg/dL or below N/A

    *Results for gestational diabetes can differ. Ask your health care provider what your results mean if youre being tested for gestational diabetes.Source: American Diabetes Association

    If your doctor thinks you have type 1 diabetes, your blood may also tested for autoantibodies that are often present in type 1 diabetes but not in type 2 diabetes. You may have your urine tested for ketones , which also indicate type 1 diabetes instead of type 2 diabetes.

    How To Check Blood Sugar Without A Meter

    Diabetes

    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:

    • heart disease
    • nerve damage

    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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    Testing For Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

    If diabetes is confirmed by the results of a blood test the type of diabetes you have is usually determined by factors like weight , age at diagnosis, family history and how quickly any symptoms came on.

    The test results can also indicate if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes even if you dont have it now.

    If youre being tested for type 1 diabetes then further blood tests can check your blood ketone levels. Following this you may be sent to hospital for further assessment.

    Whats My Target Range

    You might be asking, what’s the normal range for blood sugar levels? The answer is, there is a healthy range that you should ideally be aiming for. The infographics above show the general guidelines, but your individual target range for your blood sugar levels may be different. Youll healthcare team will agree with you what it is.

    Youll get different readings at different times of the day, depending on things like what youve eaten and how much you are moving around. Heres a guide to help you get started on finding your target range:

    If youre a child with Type 1 diabetes

    • when you wake up and before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
    • after meals: 5 to 9mmol/l

    If youre an adult with Type 1 diabetes

    • when you wake up and before meals: 5 to 7mmol/l
    • before meals at other times of the day: 4 to 7mmol/l

    If you have Type 2 diabetes

    • before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
    • two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l

    Read Also: Why Do Diabetics Legs Swell

    Eat More Protein And Fat

    Lean sources of protein like eggs, egg whites, chicken breast, turkey breast, extra-lean ground beef, bison, etc. are all filling food options that have no sugar. These lean options will not cause a spike in blood sugar, and they provide high satiety so you wont snack on sugary options later in the day.

    If you elect to have these high-protein options in a sandwich form, pick a whole-grain bun, because it wont elicit the same metabolic response that white bread will, keeping blood sugar levels from spiking too high. Including some dietary fat with your meal or as a snack can also improve insulin response. Instead of reaching for a sugary snack or plate of fries as a side, opt for nuts and fruit or a salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

    Why Its Important To Keep Monitoring Blood Sugar

    How to Test Your Blood Sugar

    To be on the safe side, my doctor asked me to continue testing my blood sugar every few weeks until the baby was born. I love that this alternative test allowed for me to continue monitoring my blood sugar levels throughout the rest of my pregnancy, since gestational diabetes can develop late in the game. Luckily, that wasnt the case for me and I went on to have a healthy, unmedicated childbirth.

    Recommended Reading: What Problems Can Diabetes Cause

    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.

    How Much Damage Have Your Beta Cells Accumulated Over Time

    Knowing how much damage has been done to your beta cells over time is an important determinant of whether your body requires exogenous insulin or not.

    If your beta cells are still functioning properly, a low fat, plant-based, whole-food diet combined with frequent exercise and adequate sleep can help you achieve non-diabetic blood glucosewithout the need for medications or insulin injections.

    If your C-peptide test reveals significant destruction of your pancreatic beta cells, it is unlikely that you will be able to achieve non-diabetic blood glucose values without the use of exogenous insulin, regardless of how strict you are with your diet and exercise regimen.

    If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes on the assumption that you are insulin resistant, even though your C-peptide value was never measured, then taking a C-peptide test can help you avoid unnecessary oral diabetes medications and years of unnecessary side effects.

    Recommended Reading: Can Type 2 Diabetes Make You Tired

    Eat Less Sugar/refined Carbohydrates

    The best way to keep blood sugar levels down without medication is to eat less sugar. The less sugar you consume, the smaller the metabolic response will bekeeping your pancreas and insulin levels healthy. You can cut back on sugars by limiting your intake of processed foods, sauces, fruit juices, candy, and soda, and paying attention to nutrition labels.

    In turn, boosting your intake of fruits and veggies can have major benefits. Instead of sauces, opt for sugar-free seasonings and rubs, and try to drink water in place of other beverages. All of this can have immediate benefits for lower blood sugar.

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    Diabetes Machine Without Pricking Finger

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    Also Check: Medical Management Of Diabetes Mellitus

    What Is The Difference Between A Fasting And Stimulated C

    There are two types of C-peptide tests:

    • Fasting C-peptide test, performed after an overnight fast of at least 8 hours, and before any food or non-water beverages are consumed
    • Stimulated C-peptide test, used to measure the amount of insulin your pancreas is capable of manufacturing in response to a high-carbohydrate meal

    The fasting C-peptide test is self explanatory. A stimulated C-peptide test can be performed in one of 3 ways:

    • Method #1: Drink a mixed meal shake, which is a standardized liquid meal
    • Method #2: The patient receives an injection of glucagon
    • Method #3: Eat a high-carbohydrate meal or drink containing at least 75 grams of carbohydrate energy

    The purpose of the stimulated C-peptide test is to measure how much insulin your pancreas produced in the hour after a carbohydrate challenge. The amount of C-peptide in your blood reveals how effective your pancreas is at secreting insulin and C-peptide in response to rising blood glucose.

    The Immunology of Diabetes Society currently recommends using both the fasting and stimulated c-peptide tests at diagnosis and annually .

    Reference ranges for the stimulated C-peptide test are shown below .

    What Exactly Is C

    When the beta cells in your pancreas secrete insulin, they secrete it as a molecule known as proinsulin. Proinsulin is an immature version of insulin comprised of an alpha-chain, a beta-chain, and a C-peptide connector.

    C-peptide is a polypeptide composed of 31 amino acids that connects the alpha-chain and beta-chain together, as you can see in the following diagram:

    Proinsulin is manufactured in the endoplasmic reticulum then passed to the golgi apparatus for processing where the C-peptide connector is removed.

    When C-peptide is removed from the proinsulin molecule, the alpha and beta chains become linked, and proinsulin turns into insulin, which has specific and powerful biological activity in your blood.

    The C-peptide polypeptide was discovered in 1967, and the first C-peptide test was developed in 1972 . At the time, this discovery was a landmark insight into the physiology of diabetes, because they discovered that insulin and C-peptide are made in equal amounts, and that C-peptide remained in the blood for substantially longer periods of time than insulin.

    What this means is simple: C-peptide and insulin are present in pancreatic beta cells in equal amounts, however C-peptide has a substantially longer half-life than insulin .

    What this means is very important C-peptide remains in your blood for approximately 5 times as long as insulin, and is therefore present in your blood at approximately 5 times the concentration .

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    Can I Check My Own Blood Sugar

    You can do blood sugar level check by doing a finger-prick test, by using a blood sugar monitor called a flash glucose monitor or with a continuous glucose monitor . You can do this several times a day helping you keep an eye on your levels as you go about your life and help you work out what to eat and how much medication to take. Find out your ideal target range.

    Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their levels like this. Youll need to if you take certain diabetes medication. Always talk to your healthcare team if youre not sure whether thats you theyll give you advice on whether to check them yourself and how often.

    And theres also something called an HbA1c, which is a blood test to measure your average blood sugar level over the last three months. Everyone with diabetes is entitled to this check.

    High blood sugar levels increase your risk of developing serious complications. However you manage your diabetes, stay in the know about your blood sugar levels

    How Different Foods Affect My Blood Glucose Levels

    The Dexcom G6 Can Read Your Blood Sugar Without Any Blood | CNBC

    As it turns out, my glucose numbers are perfect, so Ive started having a little bit of fun while I have this glucose monitor and must poke my finger anyway. By fun, I mean Ive been trying out different food combinations to see how they affect my glucose levels.

    For example, yesterday I had an all-fruit meal for breakfast to see if it would spike my blood sugar the way everyone always assumes it will, and in contrast, I had a low-carb breakfast another morning to see how my blood sugar responded to that. Below are my results!

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    What Is High Blood Sugar

    Your blood sugar level can be determined by taking a blood sample, either in a fasted state, or two hours after eating.

    • If your blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL after an eight-hour fast or less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating, youre in the normal range.
    • If you conduct a test in the morning, after sleeping for eight hours, and your blood sugar is at 126 mg/dL or higher, youve got high blood sugar.

    An estimated 29 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes, which is the result of blood sugar levels being consistently high. Another 86 million have prediabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Prediabetes, however, can be reversed by finding ways to naturally lower blood sugar.

    Tips To Make Glucose Monitoring Easier

    Whether youre using a traditional finger prick monitor or a CGM for your diabetes management, here are some tips to make checking your glucose easier:

    • Always wash your hands with soap and water before checking your glucose for a more accurate result. Dont use hand sanitizer before using finger sticks.
    • If inserting a sensor into your skin for a CGM, be sure to wash the area of skin with soap and water and allow it to dry first.
    • Change any sensors by the recommended manufacturer time for example, every 14 days for the FreeStyle Libre and every 10 days for the Dexcom G6.
    • If using finger strips, you may experience less pain by using the side of your fingertip closer to your fingernail.
    • Even if youre using a CGM, you may consider having a traditional meter on hand to double-check your glucose. This is in case you experience symptoms of high or low blood sugar despite a normal reading.

    Recommended Reading: How Long Does Thc Stay In A Diabetics System

    How To Get Your C

    Heres the good news its very easy get your c-peptide level tested. It is an inexpensive blood test that you can request from your doctor, or you can order the test for yourself online and schedule to have your blood drawn at a local Labcorp or Quest Diagnostics walk-in facility.

    You can usually schedule your blood draw for the same day you place your order, and there is little to no wait time. Most facilities are open on weekends, so paying out of pocket is often more convenient than waiting to see your primary care physician or endocrinologist.

    If you are going to use the latter method, we suggest ordering from one of the following online laboratories:

    Simply select where you would like to get your blood drawn, enter your credit card information, and then take the order form to your local facility. The results are quick, and often ready in 1-3 days.

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