When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar
It depends on which type of diabetes you have:
- Type 1 diabetes. Itâs up to your doctor. They could suggest you test anywhere between four and 10 times a day. For example, you could test before meals and snacks, before and after exercise, before bed, and even during the night. You may also need to check more often if youâre sick, making changes to your daily routine, or starting a new medication.
- Type 2 diabetes. It depends on what you take to treat your diabetes:
- Insulin. The doctor may tell you to test a few times a day, depending on the type and amount of insulin you use. Youâll probably test before meals and at bedtime if you’re taking multiple daily injections. You may need to test only twice daily, before breakfast and dinner, if you only use a long-acting insulin.
- Medications. If you use drugs to manage diabetes, your doctor will tell you how often to check your blood sugar.
- Lifestyle changes. If youâre relying on diet and exercise, you may not need to test your blood sugar daily.
American Diabetes Association: “Choosing a Blood Glucose Meter,” tion: “Standards of Medial Care in Diabetes — 2014,” “A1C and eAG,” âChecking Your Blood Glucose.â
Mayo Clinic: âBlood sugar testing: Why, when and how,â âType 2 diabetes.â
The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.
National Diabetes Foundation Program.
What About Health Insurance Coverage
Its helpful to know that the Dexcom G6, Abbott FreeStyle Libre 2, and Eversense implantable CGM are all covered by most private and public health insurance plans, including Medicare . Medtronics Guardian Connect, however, was not covered by Medicare as of December 2021.
Historically, people with type 1 diabetes have had a much easier time qualifying for a CGM through insurance than those with type 2 diabetes because it was easier to establish medical necessity.
Still, if you have T2D and your doctor can make a case for medical necessity, you may qualify. But your insurance company may still want to confirm whether you actually need a CGM.
If you can prove youre experiencing both high blood sugars and low blood sugars regularly, you will likely qualify. This can be proven by providing blood glucose logs uploaded from your fingerstick meter. Generally, hyperglycemia is defined as a blood glucose level of 250 mg/dL or over, while hypoglycemia is a blood sugar 70 mg/dL or below.
If your insurance company denies your coverage for a CGM, talk with your doctors office about peer-to-peer reviews and appeals. Pushing your doctor to fight for you matters.
Manufacturers can have your back here, too. Dexcom, for instance, has an easy-to-complete patient information form you can submit along with your insurance information. The company will then contact your insurer to work on getting your device authorized and covered. Medtronic offers a similar service.
When Should I Test My Blood Sugar
You may need to check your blood sugar several times a day, such as before meals or exercise, at bedtime, before driving, and when you think your blood sugar levels are low.
Everyone is different, so ask your doctor when and how often you should check your blood sugar. If you’re sick, you’ll probably need to test your blood sugar more often.
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How Cgms Change Life With Diabetes
The idea here is empowerment, as these devices provide some serious medical and lifestyle benefits.
First off, you can literally see in real time the effects of food and exercise on your blood glucose levels, and catch cases of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia as they happen, avoiding the potentially dangerous consequences. This is a huge advantage over historic static blood glucose monitoring, which only provides a single glucose reading at a time.
Theres also the convenience factor. CGMs can essentially eliminate the need for regular fingerstick tests, the long-standing only way to check blood sugar levels. Though fingersticks are sometimes needed to calibrate CGM systems and can still serve as a backup data source, they are no longer a constant, nagging, unpleasant to-do.
Furthermore, studies (
here ) show that CGMs can help increase the users time-in-range , the overall percentage of time spent in a healthy glucose range. TIR is quickly becoming the new gold standard measure of positive diabetes outcomes.
CGMs can be especially beneficial for active children , for ensuring safety during physical activity and during nighttime glucose fluctuations.
Its also a potentially life-saving tool for people with diabetes who experience hypoglycemia unawareness, alerting them to impending low blood sugars when their own bodies fail to recognize the warning signs.
Nutrition And Meal Timing For Diabetes
Eating a balanced diet is vital for people who have diabetes, so work with your doctor or dietitian to set up a menu plan. If you have type 1 diabetes, the timing of your insulin dosage is determined by activity and diet. When you eat and how much you eat are just as important as what you eat. Usually, doctors recommend three small meals and three to four snacks every day to maintain the proper balance between sugar and insulin in the blood.
A healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in your diet will help keep your blood glucose on target. How much of each will depend on many factors, including your weight and your personal preferences. Watching your carbohydrates — knowing how much you need and how many you are eating — is key to blood sugar control. If you are overweight, either a low-carbohydrate, low-fat/low calorie, or Mediterranean diet may help you get your weight to goal. No more than 7% of your diet should come from saturated fat, and you should try to avoid trans fats altogether.
Try to fill half your plate with nonstarchy vegetables such as:
- Whole oats oatmeal
In general, less-processed food is better. It has a lower glycemic index, which means it may have less of an effect on your blood sugar. For example, oatmeal from whole oats has a lower glycemic index than instant oatmeal.
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Best For Travel: Freestyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System
Courtesy of FreeStyle
Works on multiple testing sites
Large, backlit display
Small enough to fit pockets
Less accurate than non-travel meters
When youre on the move, a compact and minimally invasive glucometer can be the key to successful diabetes management. This pick from FreeStyle is designed with travel in mind. Its small enough to fit easily in your pocket or purse, and it has a large enough LED display to be easy to read. It requires a smaller blood sample size than most monitors to provide an accurate reading in just five seconds, and it works on several testing sites, so you can give your fingertips a rest whenever necessary.
The FreeStyle Lite doesnt require coding, keeping your testing process simple no matter where you are. The monitor can store up to 400 results, noting both the date and time, and it provides 7-, 14-, and 30-day averages, too. It also comes with four alarm reminders to help keep you on track when your daily routine fluctuates.
Result Speed: 5 seconds | Included in Kit: Test light, reminder alarms, test strips sold separately
Precision Xtra Blood Glucose And Ketone Monitoring Meter Kit Bundle
Precision Xtra blood glucose and ketone monitoring meter kit is one of the fastest and accurate meters you will find out there. It is simple in design and fast in delivering the result. The meter is portable and handy in use, but easy to read the readings. It has three buttons for easy results and navigation. It can store 450 results with the date and time with 7,14,30 day averaging. You can also download the results into your computer.
The process just requires a sample of 0.6µL of blood for the test. The kit includes the meter, instruction manual, a lancing device, carrying case, battery which is already installed into the meter, an alternate site testing cap.
Along with the meter, you will get 10 Precision Xtra Ketone Test Strips, One Month Abbott Freestyle 28 Gauge Lancets, dynarex Alcohol Wipes and a I Love Keto Sticker. Anyhow, You need to buy the glucose strips separately at the nearby drug store.
For the test, All you need to do is to carefully open the test strip and insert it into the meter. There you go! The meter will turn on automatically. Now, you just need to give your finger a little pressure on the end of the strip and let the blood flow on it.
When enough blood occupies the strip, the meter beeps, giving you an indication to withdraw your finger. And within seconds, the readings will be up. Thereafter, you need to take out the strip, and the device gets turned off automatically.
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How Do You Get A Blood Glucose Monitor
Your doctor or nurse will give you a blood glucose meter for free if you have type 1 diabetes or treat your diabetes with medication that can cause hypos. On rare occasions you will get a prescription instead. Remember, you don’t pay for prescriptions if you have diabetes and its treated with any type of medication.
If you have diabetes that isnt treated with medication that causes hypos then you might not be able to get a blood glucose monitor from the NHS. This is because the current NICE recommendations are that self-monitoring blood sugar isn’t right for everyone with diabetes. You should check with your healthcare team if you want to self-monitor.
There are many different types of blood glucose meters available. That means you may not get the one you’ve read about or want from your doctor or nurse. But they should provide you with a monitor that meets your needs for blood sugar checking
You can also buy a blood glucose meter from a pharmacy or online. Our shop sells meters and test strips. You should speak with your healthcare team before you buy your own meter.
Test Strip Replacement Expenses
In the end, you need to take the test strip replacement expenses as a consideration. You have to check how much the test strip is costing you. There are lots of meters that have inexpensive testing strip pricing and vice versa. So you need to ask yourself how much you are willing to spend on test strips.
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Choosing The Right Cgm For You
Here are some details that might help you determine which CGM is best for you:
If youre looking for long-standing reputation and the authority of market share, Dexcom fits that bill. The longest player in CGM technology, Dexcom generally boasts the most accurate readings, within 9 percent of lab-measured glucose readings. With its G6 model, Dexcom offers high and low alerts, customizable alarms, data sharing, and a water-resistant device. Its not cheap, though.
Medtronics Guardian Connect is the most similar to Dexcoms line, and the costs are on par. The Guardian Connect is reportedly close in accuracy , although many patients claim that Dexcom seems more accurate in real-world settings.
The Guardian Connect offers increased connectivity, with data automatically uploaded into the companys Carelink app. That means your doctors can get your numbers without you having to do a thing. The predictive alerts are an interesting feature as well.
If youre looking for a CGM that tries to predict your bodys future, and minimizes the amount of work you need to do in retrieving your data, the Guardian Connect might be for you. This one isnt cheap either, and the sensors only last 7 days compared to Dexcoms 7-day wear.
Abbotts FreeStyle Libre brings cost effectiveness and streamlined design to the forefront. Its relatively cheap and accurate .
Can I Test Myself For Type 2 Diabetes
Over 40% of adults with type 2 diabetes dont know they have it which means a lot of people out there are not getting treatment to protect themselves from serious complications ahead of them such as stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and heart diseases.
While you can get yourself a diabetes self-testing kit which is an essential tool in managing your diabetes and preventing complications, it is also crucial and even the best option that you make an appointment with a medical examiner to have your blood tested for type 2 diabetes.
When an individual shows symptoms or signs of type 2 diabetes, diagnostic tests are performed and such tests are not the same as screening. Screening is to identify asymptomatic individuals who are likely to test positive for diabetes. It is the screening results that determine the type of diagnostic tests that will be done using standard criteria.
A person cannot diagnose diabetes using home testing alone when you have unusual readings or high numbers records, you dont have to panic. Your doctor might need to carry out other tests like HbA1c, oral glucose tolerance test, or using a combination of these to verify if you have the disease.
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Why You Should Check Your Blood Sugar
Testing blood glucose can help you manage diabetes by showing you:
- How well your diabetes treatment plan is working
- How exercise and food affect your blood sugar levels
- How things like stress and illness affect your levels
- How well your diabetes medication is working
- When your blood sugar levels are too high or too low
Types Of Blood Sugar Tests
You can take a blood sugar test two ways. People who are monitoring or managing their diabetes prick their finger using a glucometer for daily testing. The other method is drawing blood.
Blood samples are generally used to screen for diabetes. Your doctor will order a fasting blood sugar test. This test measures your blood sugar levels, or a glycosylated hemoglobin, also called a hemoglobin A1C test. The results of this test reflect your blood sugar levels over the previous 90 days. The results will show if you have prediabetes or diabetes and can monitor how your diabetes is controlled.
When and how often you should test your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and your treatment.
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Easy Touch Diabetes Kit:
Easy Touch Diabetes Testing Kit consists of the Easy Touch Blood Glucose Meter, 100 Easy Touch Blood Glucose Test Strips, Easy Touch Adjustable Lancing Device, Easy Touch Owners Manual, Logbook, 100 Easy Touch 30G lancets, and Carrying Case, Virtually everything you need for at-home diabetes testing kit.
The lancing device can be adjusted to 5 different levels of depth after placing your samples on the testing strip. Then the meter will show the final readings in 5 seconds. Easy Touch is one of the best blood sugar testing machines and ranks among the first 5 sugar test machine amazon.
It is durable and comfortable to use as a carrying case holding all the accessories mentioned above making it easier to travel with this diabetes self-testing kit.
The Easy Touch glucose monitoring allows you to obtain a fresh blood sample for glucose testing from different areas of your body, that is, you can test your glucose levels from your palm, your fingertips, and your forearm.
- It has an alarm setting
- Control solution has to be bought separately
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. Do not use hand sanitizer before doing 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 readings. This is in case you experience symptoms of high or low blood sugar despite a normal reading.
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Lifestyle Changes For Diabetes
Wear a medical ID tag
It is a good idea to wear a MedicAlert bracelet or tag that says you have diabetes. This will make others aware of your condition in case you have a severe hypoglycemic attack and are not able to make yourself understood, or if you are in an accident and need emergency medical care. Identifying yourself as having diabetes is important because hypoglycemic attacks can be mistaken for drunkenness, and victims often aren’t able to care for themselves. Without prompt treatment, hypoglycemia can result in a coma or seizures. And, because your body is under increased stress when you are ill or injured, your blood sugar levels will need to be checked by the medical personnel who give you emergency care.
Take care of your teeth
Be sure to take good care of your teeth and floss regularly. Diabetes can worsen gum disease.
If you’re stressed, you may exercise less, drink more, and not watch your diabetes as closely.
Stress can also raise your blood sugar and make you less sensitive to insulin. When you’re stressed, your body adopts a “fight or flight” response. That means it will make sure you have enough sugar and fat available for energy.
Studies of people with type 1 diabetes found blood sugar levels go up for most people under mental stress and down for others. If you have type 2 diabetes and you’re feeling pressure, your glucose will go up.
Support groups, counseling, or therapy can help, too.
Cut back on alcohol