What Are Blood Glucose Tests Used To Diagnose
The amount of sugar in your blood is usually controlled by a hormone called insulin. But if you have diabetes, your body either doesnt make enough insulin or the insulin produced doesnt work properly. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.
In some cases, blood glucose testing may also be used to test for hypoglycemia. This condition occurs when the levels of glucose in your blood are too low, usually lower than 70 milligrams per deciliter .
Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes if they take too much of their medication, like insulin, exercise more than usual, or skip a meal. Less commonly, hypoglycemia can be caused by other underlying conditions or medications.
Doctors consider very low blood sugar to be a medical emergency, as it can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.
Are There Factors In Your Life That Limit Your Ability To Test Often
How often do you check your blood sugar with type 2 diabetes if there are any limitation factors? There may be different cases when you cant test often. In such situations, doctors advise their patients to try at least once a day. However, the final decision on the testing procedures should be discussed with your doctor.
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.
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What Is The Necessity Of Checking Blood Sugar
There are a few reasons why you might need to check your blood sugar. One is if youre feeling sick and think you might have diabetes.
Another reason is if youre pregnant. Gestational diabetes can develop during pregnancy, so its important to check your blood sugar regularly if youre pregnant.
You might also need to check your blood sugar if you have diabetes and are taking medication or insulin.
Checking your blood sugar can help you make sure that your treatment is working properly. Its also important to check your blood sugar if you feel like something might be wrong, even if you dont have any of the other reasons listed here.
If you have any questions about when to check your blood sugar, talk to your doctor. They can help you figure out whats best for you.
Sleep And Blood Sugar Testing
Testing your blood sugar before you go to sleep and after you awaken will reveal if it is high or lowand what might be causing that. Normally, the body releases insulin in the early morning to keep glucose levels, which naturally rise in the a.m., in check. If you have diabetes and your blood sugar is high when you awaken, you may need medication adjustments, says Wolf. On the other hand, if you check your blood sugar before you go to sleep and its on the lower end, you may want to eat a snack, adds Wolf. This applies for anyone taking insulin to control their blood sugar. Your physician will likely adjust your medication if your blood sugar is consistently low before bedtime.
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Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Level
Last Updated May 2022 | This article was created by familydoctor.org editorial staff and reviewed by Robert “Chuck” Rich, Jr., MD, FAAFP
If you have diabetes, its important to monitor your blood sugar at different times of the day and throughout the year. There are 3 tools that can help you do this and, therefore, manage your diabetes: A blood test done every three months, blood tests taken every day, and a system that constantly monitors your blood glucose.
The 3-month blood test is called an A1C test. This test reflects your blood sugar control over the past 2-3 months. Testing your A1C level every 3 months is the best way for you and your doctor to understand how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Your doctor will likely be the one who orders an A1C test. However, you can also purchase over-the-counter A1C testing kits that you can use at home. Your A1C goal will be determined by your doctor. However, the goal is generally less than 7% or 8%, depending on your age.
The daily blood test is done with a blood glucose monitor . This is also called a home blood sugar meter, a glucometer, or a glucose meter. This type of testing is often referred to as self-monitoring of blood glucose. Your doctor may prescribe a BGM, especially if your blood sugar fluctuates. They will show you how to use it.
Why Is Blood Sugar Checking Important
If you live with diabetes, a blood sugar check is paramount to good control. Without knowing your blood glucose numbers, you cannot appropriately dose insulin, treat a low blood sugar, eat a meal, or exercise with ease.
Think of a blood sugar check as a litmus test: the number isnt good or bad, it just gives a person with diabetes feedback on what they need to do next.
If a number is too high , its telling you to take some insulin or get some exercise, whereas if a number is too low, youll need to treat with sugar or some other form of glucose.
If your number is satisfactory, then you can proceed on with your day as planned.
Checking your blood sugar is also important to track long-term goals, like an hba1c test, and to see if youre reaching or even exceeding those goals.
Regularly checking your blood sugar also can give you feedback on whats working and whats not: maybe a particular food isnt working for your management goals, or a type of exercise, like yoga, has really helped to mellow out your blood sugar levels.
Its a good time to check in with yourself and calibrate your management to find what will work best for you, knowing that this can and will change over time.
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You Feel Tired All The Time Even After A Good Night’s Sleep
Dr. Mitchell shares, “One of the most common complaints doctors hear is, “I’m tired all the time, even after a good night’s sleep.” While there are many possible causes of fatigue, one often overlooked culprit is diabetes. When blood sugar levels are high, the body has to work overtime to process the sugar, leading to fatigue. In addition, high blood sugar can lead to dehydration, which can also make you feel tired. If you’re experiencing fatigue and other symptoms of diabetes, such as excessive thirst or urination, it’s important to see your doctor for a blood sugar test. Catching diabetes early can help prevent serious complications down the road.”
What If I Cant Get A Drop Of Blood For A Fingerstick
If you want to get blood from your fingertip, try washing your hands in hot water to get the blood flowing. Then dangle your hand below your heart for a minute. Prick your finger quickly and then put your hand back down below your heart. You might also try slowly squeezing the finger from the base to the tip.
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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, it’s 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 you’re looking for recommendations on how to keep track of your levels at home.
Creating A Blood Sugar Testing Schedule
2-3 Hours after the Meal
4-5 Hours after the Workout
1-2 Hours after the Main Meal
There should be a clear blood sugar testing schedule. It will help you stay organized with your procedures. And following a plan will make it easier to adjust the doses to feel better in the long run. The plan should be based on your health condition and the recommendations from the doctor.
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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels After Eating
Your blood sugar, or glucose, level is found in your blood and serves as your main source of energy. During digestion, carbohydrates, which are sugars, starches, and fiber, are changed into glucose. Your body then uses this as energy, or stores whatever isn’t used in your cells for later use.
Your blood sugar is influenced by the food you eat, your age, stress, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol use. It is also impacted by heart issues or diabetes, a group of conditions where too much glucose builds up in the bloodstream.
Danie Drankwalter / Verywell
This article explores the range of glucose levels an individual may experience after eating. It will also cover how different types of food impact blood sugar, as well as how to manage glucose levels.
What Other Tests Can Help Me Keep Track
Using a glucose meter can help you check your blood sugar levels, but other tests can help you know how well you’re controlling your diabetes too.
The glycosylated hemoglobin test will tell you how you’ve been controlling your blood sugar levels over the past few months. It’s usually done during regular visits with your diabetes health care team.
Hemoglobin is the substance inside red blood cells that carries oxygen to the cells of the body. The higher the glucose level in the blood, the more the glucose sticks to the hemoglobin. And once hemoglobin picks up glucose, the glucose stays on it for the life of the red blood cell, which is about 2 to 3 months.
The most commonly measured type of hemoglobin in the blood that has glucose attached to it is called HbA1c. In general, the lower your HbA1c, the better you’ve been controlling your blood sugar levels over the last 2 to 3 months. Having lower HbA1c levels may make it less likely that you’ll develop long-term diabetes problems.
Ketones are something else you’ll need to check for sometimes. Ketones are chemicals that show up in the urine and blood after the body breaks down fat for energy. The body will break down fat when it can’t use glucose. This can happen when you haven’t taken enough insulin to help the glucose get into the cells, or when you haven’t eaten enough to provide glucose for energy .
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What Causes Blood Sugar To Be High
Many things can cause high blood sugar , including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to long-term, serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Feeling very tired.
- Having blurry vision.
- Needing to urinate more often.
If you get sick, your blood sugar can be hard to manage. You may not be able to eat or drink as much as usual, which can affect blood sugar levels. If youre ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.
Check Your Blood Glucose Levels
For many people with diabetes, checking their blood glucose level each day is an important way to manage their diabetes. Monitoring your blood glucose level is most important if you take insulin. The results of blood glucose monitoring can help you make decisions about food, physical activity, and medicines.
The most common way to check your blood glucose level at home is with a blood glucose meter. You get a drop of blood by pricking the side of your fingertip with a lancet. Then you apply the blood to a test strip. The meter will show you how much glucose is in your blood at the moment.
Ask your health care team how often you should check your blood glucose levels. Make sure to keep a record of your blood glucose self-checks. You can print copies of this glucose self-check chart. Take these records with you when you visit your health care team.
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Diabetes And Checking Blood Sugar
How often do you check your blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? There are 3 common reasons for monitoring your blood sugar levels:
- youre interested in the result but have no prescription for blood sugar monitoring.
- you take insulin daily.
- you arent prescribed the insulin injections.
The last 2 points should be answered in more detail. Lets clear the issue and determine how often to check blood sugar type 2 diabetes in such cases.
Discuss Blood Sugar Levels With A Doctor
- Make sure to speak with your physician about how often you should be checking your blood sugar and at what times of day or week checks should be done.
- Dont forget to ask your physician: “What should I do with all this information?” Your overall control will likely not improve unless you know what to do with the glucose numbers you are seeing!
- If you are uncertain how to use your meter, ask to meet with a diabetes educator for additional training.
How often do you check your blood sugar?
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How Do I Pick A Glucose Meter
Your doctor will make a recommendation. Check with your health insurance plan to see if it will pay for your BGM, its supplies, or a CGM. If so, your plan may only pay for a certain meter.
Shop around and compare costs. Consider what features are important to you. For example, some meters are made for people who have poor eyesight. If you want to pay a little more money, you can get a BGM that stores the results in its memory. This allows you to compare results from several days at one time.
Touch The Blood Glucose Test Strip To The Blood Drop
Figure 15. Touch the end of the test strip
It is important to look at the number on the screen, not just the color.
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Is Blood Sugar Monitoring Without Diabetes Worthwhile
- By Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
Heres an ad you havent seen, but it could be coming soon: A man jogs along a dirt path meandering through idyllic countryside. He pauses at an overlook and glances down at his cellphone. The phone screen flashes a number, telling him his blood sugar is normal. He smiles and resumes his run.
Whats different about this ad, you wonder? The jogger doesnt have diabetes. So, how does his phone know his blood sugar? And why, in the middle of a run, does he want to know the result? Read on.
Factors That Affect How Often You Need To Test Your Blood Sugar
How often do you check your blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? There are clear rules to check blood sugar levels.
- You should know about the severity of your case.
- Age also influences the frequency of checkups.
- The time you suffered from the disease determines the number of checking procedures.
- Being pregnant is another factor that affects the testing procedures.
- Different complications should also be mentioned when it comes to testing procedures.
The number of blood sugar tests per day should be discussed with the doctor. These are the factors that may influence their choice.
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