Monday, June 17, 2024

When Should Diabetics Check Their Blood Sugar

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Times To Check More Often

When to Check Your Blood Sugar

There will be times when you need to check more often, however you should first discuss this with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. Example of these times include when you are:

  • Being more physically active or less physically active
  • Sick or stressed
  • Experiencing changes in routine or eating habits, e.g. travelling
  • Changing or adjusting your insulin or medication
  • Experiencing symptoms of hypoglycaemia
  • Experiencing night sweats or morning headaches
  • A female planning pregnancy or are pregnant.
  • Pre/post minor surgical day procedures
  • Post dental procedures

Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you work out self-monitoring approach especially for you.

Consider Testing After You Eat

Whether or not you take insulin or one or more other glucose-lowering medications to control your blood glucose levels, consider checking one to two hours after you eat to see how certain meals affect your blood sugar. This is especially helpful when you are first diagnosed. Itâs also useful to do whatâs called paired testing, which is testing before you eat and then again after you eat. Doing this at your biggest meal of the day can be valuable.

Below are target blood sugar guidelines for adults with diabetes who have no other health issues. Thereâs a slight difference between the two organizationsâ recommendations. Ask your provider about specific fasting and after-eating glucose levels and A1C targets that are right for you.

Guidelines for checking glucose after a meal :

American Diabetes Association: Less than 180 mg/dl

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists: Less than 140 mg/dl

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Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar

The American Diabetes Association advises becoming familiar with responding to your symptoms of low glucose levels since every person is different. Common low blood sugar symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

  • A tingling or numb sensation in your tongue, lips, or cheeks

It is also possible for hypoglycemia symptoms to go unnoticed: This is Hypoglycemia unawareness. It prevents many people with diabetes from identifying the early signs of hypoglycemia, so theyre less likely to receive treatment in time.

Research suggests that older adults are at a higher risk of this complication than younger generations. Regular blood sugar testing is vital.

The only way to truly know if your glucose is low is to check your blood sugar never just assume. If you are struggling or unfamiliar with the process, consult your healthcare provider.

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What To Know About Blood Sugar Levels And Driving

If you have type 1 diabetes or have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, its possible to develop low blood sugar while driving, causing difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and operating the vehicle. You may even pass out. Before you head out on the road, check your blood sugar levels, especially if youre taking insulin or insulin-releasing med, such as Glucotrol , says Dr. Thomas. Depending on the length of your journey, you should also pull over during your trip to check your levels again. The bottom line: Swings in glucose levels with diabetes can be controlled if you monitor them carefully.

Stress, Meals, Exercise and Blood Sugar Testing:Journal of Diabetes Research. Variables to Be Monitored via Biomedical Sensors for Complete Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Management: An Extension of the On-Board Concept.

Regular Blood Sugar Testing:Diabetes Care. Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes, 2018. A Consensus Report by the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes .

Hypoglycemia:BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care. Never Again Will I Be Carefree: A Qualitative Study of the Impact of Hypoglycemia on Quality of Life Among Adults with Type 1 Diabetes.

Blood Sugar Instability Symptoms

They include:

Insulin resistance does not happen all-of-a-sudden. Rather it builds over time and increasingly contributes to health problems. Understanding the signs of poor blood sugar control is the best way to be proactive in this regard. There are several telling signs that your body is not stabilizing blood sugar effectively.

Some of the most common include:

  • Unstable Energy Levels
  • Sudden Intense Hunger

Most commonly, these symptoms arise simply because someone is consuming too many carbohydrates and sugar throughout the day. This is why I always start with a Keto Metabolic Makeover to kick start a fat-burning state and help people step off the blood sugar rollercoaster. If you are commonly experiencing these symptoms, it is imperative to test blood sugar levels periodically as these symptoms can be effectively controlled by doing so.

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Why Is My Blood Glucose Level High How Does This Happen

The process of digestion includes breaking down the food you eat into various different nutrient sources. When you eat carbohydrates , your body breaks this down into sugar . When glucose is in your bloodstream, it needs help a key to get into its final destination where its used, which is inside your bodys cells . This help or key is insulin.

Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas, an organ located behind your stomach. Your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts as the key that unlocks the cell wall door, which allows glucose to enter your bodys cells. Glucose provides the fuel or energy tissues and organs need to properly function.

If you have diabetes:

  • Your pancreas doesnt make any insulin or enough insulin.
  • Your pancreas makes insulin but your bodys cells dont respond to it and cant use it as it normally should.

If glucose cant get into your bodys cells, it stays in your bloodstream and your blood glucose level rises.

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How Long Should I Wait After Eating To Check My Blood Sugar

All content on this website is for educational purposes only and does not replace the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

While each persons specific blood sugar monitoring schedule is personal, checking blood sugar throughout the day is one of the best ways to ensure that your levels are in a safe target range. Blood glucose tends to peak after meals. This may leave you wondering, how long should I wait after eating to check my blood sugar? Finding the answer can help you safeguard your health and better manage your diabetes.

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Comparing Home Test Results To Lab Results

Some of the home tests had pretty good accuracy that was equivalent to the lab, stated Renda, but she also cautioned that you have to be careful.

Studies have shown mixed results. In a 2010 study, A1c values measured by the A1C Now Selfcheck device were found to be accurate and within an acceptable range of the lab value. Authors found that participants who watched a DVD of how to perform the test had lower first-time failure rates than those that were given written instructions.

A more recent study conducted in 2020 showed an A1c difference of greater than 0.5% in about a third of people who used point-of-care devices compared to their lab results. The authors noted there can be wide variability between devices, echoing the results of a 2017 study.

Like any test, you can get false positives or negatives. This means your result could indicate you have prediabetes or diabetes when you dont and vice versa. Renda explains that if you get a false negative with a point-of-care test but have , you should still be seen by a health care provider.

Drink Water And Stay Hydrated

Safe at School: Chapter 5 – Blood Glucose Monitoring

Drinking enough water could help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy ranges.

In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out any excess sugar through urine.

One review of observational studies showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels (

34 ).

You can do so at home using a portable blood glucose meter, which is known as a glucometer. You can discuss this option with your doctor.

Keeping track allows you to determine whether you need to adjust your meals or medications. It also helps you learn how your body reacts to certain foods .

Try measuring your levels regularly every day and keeping track of the numbers in a log. Also, it may be more helpful to track your blood sugar in pairs for example, before and after exercise or before and 2 hours after a meal.

This can show you whether you need to make small changes to a meal if it spikes your blood sugar, rather than avoiding your favorite meals altogether. Some adjustments include swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting them to a handful.

Summary

Checking your blood glucose and maintaining a daily log enables you to adjust foods and medications when necessary to better manage your blood sugar levels.

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How Do I Record My Blood Sugar Test Results

Keep good records of any blood, urine, or ketone tests you do. Most glucose monitors also have a memory. Your records can alert you to any problems or trends. These test records help your doctor make any needed changes in your meal plan, medicine, or exercise program. Bring these records with you every time you see your doctor.

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What Is The A1c Test

The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 2 or 3 months. The test is done at a lab or your doctors office in addition tonot instead ofregular blood sugar testing you do yourself.

A1C testing is part of the ABCs of diabetesimportant steps you can take to prevent or delay health complications down the road:

The A1C goal for most adults with diabetes is between 7% and 8%, but your goal may be different depending on your age, other health conditions, medicines youre taking, and other factors. Work with your doctor to establish a personal A1C goal for you.

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Monitoring Glucose With A Cgm Or Bgm789

Blood glucose meters provide a blood sugar reading in a moment of time. If your blood sugar is rising or falling rapidly, BGM will often be more accurate in that moment. The use of a CGM requires wearing a sensor that checks blood sugar levels every 1-5 minutes, depending on the device. Continuous glucose monitoring provides more data points and helps to ease the burden of daily management. The decision to use CGM instead of BGM should be determined with your healthcare team. Though cost and insurance coverage of CGM devices can sometimes be a barrier, there is an option to use a professional CGM, which is owned by the clinic and worn by the person with diabetes on a short-term, as-needed basis, up to 14 days, and typically 2-4 times per year. Of course, you should check with your insurance plan first to confirm your options.

There are many benefits to blood sugar monitoring, particularly as you learn how your body uniquely responds to different factors. Blood sugar monitoring can help you achieve your glucose targets, increase your time in range, and feel your best while avoiding potential long-term complications from diabetes.

References:

1 American Diabetes Association: Glycemic Targets: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2020 Diabetes Care 2020 43:S66S76

2 Cleveland Clinic Last accessed August 31, 2020

6 Last accessed August 25, 2020

What Causes Low Blood Sugar

Checking your blood sugar levels

Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.

Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:

Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.

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Wheres The Health Benefit In This

Is there any evidence of benefit if people without diabetes monitor their blood sugar levels with CGMs? Theres little published research to help answer this question.

The best study I could find found nothing particularly surprising: among 153 people who didnt have diabetes, about 96% of the time blood sugar levels were normal or nearly so. In fact, many of the abnormal levels were considered implausible or a mistake. Another small study looked at sedentary individuals without diabetes who were overweight or obese. Participants completed a counseling session about the effects of physical activity on blood sugar and used a CGM device and an activity tracker for 10 days. Afterward, they reported feeling more motivated to exercise.

But I could find no published study suggesting that monitoring translates into improved health. Well, wait: one maker of a CGM device posted a study on its website reporting better blood sugar results among healthy people using their product. However, the study wasnt published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, it lacked details that would allow critical evaluation, and it examined what seem to be arbitrary ranges of blood sugar values, not actual health outcomes such as heart disease, nerve damage, or hospitalizations.

Can I Check My Own Blood Sugar

You can do blood sugar level check by doing a finger-prick test, or by using an electronic blood sugar monitor called a flash glucose monitor or CGM. 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

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How To Test Blood Sugar

People with diabetes usually check their blood sugar levels themselves. However, its a good idea to have a roommate, friend, or family member also know how to do it if you are sick and cant do it yourself.

To use a blood sugar meter, follow these steps:

  • Wash your hands.
  • Insert a test strip into the meter.
  • Obtain a drop of blood by pricking the side of your fingertip with the device.
  • Place the edge of the test strip to the blood and await the results to appear on the display.
  • If you are interested in CGM, you should talk to your healthcare provider since these are prescription devices. To use CGM, follow these steps:

  • Place the sensor under the skin on your belly or arm.
  • Most CGM devices check glucose levels every five minutes, around the clock. You dont need to do anything for this to occur.
  • View the information that the sensor transmits. This data may go to a separate receiver, your cellphone, or an insulin pump.
  • You will also need to change the sensors on the CGM regularly, usually every one to two weeks.

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    When should you test your Blood Sugar

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    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.

    When Should You Check Your Blood Sugar

    People with diabetes are encouraged to check their blood sugars often, and with the latest technology like continuous glucose monitors , the frequency of checking has increased more than ever.

    But what if youre using a glucometer, lancet device, and test strips? How often, and maybe more importantly, exactly when should you check your blood sugar?

    This article will outline the importance of checking your blood sugar, how often, and when you really should check for better diabetes management.

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    How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar

    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.

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