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When Should You Check Blood Sugar

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Why Do I Only Crave Sugar And Carbs

When to Check Your Blood Sugar

Sugar and carbs are the two main things that people crave in their diet. They are both sweet, and they are both a source of energy. Carbohydrates can help you to feel fuller longer, while sugar can give you a rush of energy. There are many reasons why people might crave these two types of foods, but here are three of the most common ones:

1) Theyre both fattening. Carbohydrates tend to be more filling than sugar, so they can make you feel more satisfied after eating them. This is especially true if you eat them with meals or snack on them during the day.

2) Theyre both addictive. carbs and sugar are both addictive substances, which means that once you start eating them regularly, you may find yourself needing more and more of them to feel happy and satisfied.

What Do I Use To Check The Blood Sugar

Two kinds of devices can test blood sugar or glucose levels:

  • a blood glucose meter measures the amount of glucose in the blood
  • a continuous glucose monitor measures the amount of glucose just beneath the skin in the fluid around the cells

Your childs care team can tell you which device is best for your child.

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Blood Sugar Monitoring: When To Check And Why

Managing diabetes is one part investigation and two parts action. Unlike some other diseases that rely primarily on professional medical treatment, diabetes treatment requires active participation by the person who has it. Monitoring your blood sugar level on a regular basis and analyzing the results is believed by many to be a crucial part of the treatment equation.

When someone is first diagnosedwith diabetes, he is usually given a blood sugar meter and told how and when to use it, as well as what numbers to shoot for. However, the advice a person receives on when to monitor and what the results should be generally depend on his type of diabetes, age and state of overall health. It can also depend on a health-care providers philosophy of care and which set of diabetes care guidelines he follows. At least three major health organizations have published slightly different recommendations regarding goals for blood sugar levels.

There is some common ground when it comes to blood sugar monitoring practices. For example, most people take a fasting reading before breakfast every morning. Some people also monitor before lunch, dinner and bedtime some monitor after each meal and some monitor both before and after all meals. However, when monitoring after meals, some people do it two hours after the first bite of the meal, while others prefer to check one hour after the start of a meal.

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How The Test Is Done

You can buy a testing kit from a pharmacy without a prescription. Your provider can help you choose the right kit, set up the meter, and teach you how to use it.

Most kits have:

  • Small needles that fit into a spring-loaded plastic device
  • A logbook for recording your numbers that can be downloaded and viewed at home or at your provider’s office

To do the test, prick your finger with the needle and place a drop of blood on a special strip. This strip measures how much glucose is in your blood. Some monitors use blood from areas of the body other than the fingers, reducing discomfort. The meter shows your blood sugar results as a number on a digital display. If your vision is poor, talking glucose meters are available so that you don’t have to read the numbers.

Be aware that no meter or strip is accurate 100% of the time. If your blood sugar value is unexpectedly high or low, measure again with a new strip. Do not use strips if the container has been left open or if the strip has gotten wet.

Why The Test Is Performed

The 6 Best Ways to Test Blood Sugar Levels

Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of diabetes . More than likely, the doctor will order a fasting blood sugar test.

The blood glucose test is also used to monitor people who already have diabetes.

The test may also be done if you have:

  • An increase in how often you need to urinate
  • Recently gained a lot of weight

SCREENING FOR DIABETES

This test may also be used to screen a person for diabetes.

High blood sugar and diabetes may not cause symptoms in the early stages. A fasting blood sugar test is almost always done to screen for diabetes.

If you are over age 45, you should be tested every 3 years.

If youre overweight and have any of the risk factors below, ask your health care provider about getting tested at an earlier age and more often:

  • High blood sugar level on a previous test
  • Blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher, or unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • History of heart disease
  • Close relative with diabetes
  • Not physically active

Children age 10 and older who are overweight and have at least two of the risk factors listed above should be tested for type 2 diabetes every 3 years, even if they have no symptoms.

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Do I Need To Check If My Blood Sugar Level Is Normal

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, tracking your blood sugar regularly will help you understand how medication, food, and physical activity affect it. Checking your blood glucose level also gives you the chance to see when it’s rising and take action to correct it.

Managing your blood sugar levels is the most important thing you can do to prevent complications from diabetes, like blindness, heart attacks, amputation, kidney disease, and stroke.

Others who may want to track their blood glucose regularly include people:

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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How Does Vitamin D Make It Easier To Control Blood Sugar

Vitamin D is known to reduce inflammation. We believe that could be the key: It may be that by protecting beta cells from harmful inflammation, vitamin D gives them a chance to produce more insulin on their own. In the study, the group receiving vitamin D had lower levels of a compound thats a sign of inflammation, so that gives us an important clue.

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Follow Your Diabetes Meal Plan

When should you test your Blood Sugar

Make a diabetes meal plan with help from your health care team. Following a meal plan will help you manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Choose fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, chicken or turkey without the skin, fish, lean meats, and nonfat or low-fat milk and cheese. Drink water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt. Learn more about eating, diet, and nutrition with diabetes.

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Before And After Meals And Snacks

If you eat first thing in the morning, your first blood sugar check of the day can also count as your pre-meal check, but if you dont, youll need to check again before breakfast.

This can inform you as to how much insulin youll need for your meal . If youre running a little high, youll need to bolus extra, but if your blood sugar is on the lower end, you can take a little less insulin for any carbohydrates eaten.

Checking before every meal and snack can help curb postprandial glucose excursions, otherwise known as the stubborn high blood sugars you sometimes can experience after eating a meal and not adequately bolusing for said meal.

Ideally, you should also be checking 2 hours after all meals as well, to determine if your meal bolus was adequate, if you took too much insulin, or if you need to adjust and take more insulin.

Two hours is the recommended time frame, because by then most carbohydrates have been absorbed into the body and most fast-acting insulin has already peaked.

When checking before snacks , make sure youre calculating any active insulin on board so you dont overtreat a high and end up going low.

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.

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Why Test Blood Sugar Levels

If you take certain medication, like insulin or sulphonylureas, checking your blood sugars is a vital part of living with diabetes. It can help you work out when you need to take more medication, when you need to eat something or for when you want to get up and move around more.

Routine checks can help you know when you might be starting to go too low or too high . Its a way of getting to know your body and how it works. It can help you and your healthcare team spot patterns too. Do you write your results down? You might find that helpful.

But importantly, it will help you stay healthy and prevent serious diabetes complications now and in the future. By complications, we mean serious problems in places like your feet and your eyes. This happens because too much sugar in the blood damages your blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow around your body. This can lead to very serious problems like sight loss and needing an amputation.

The higher your blood sugar levels are and the longer theyre high for, the more at risk you are.

Tips On Blood Sugar Testing

How Often to Test Your Blood Glucose

For BGMs, you should:

  • Pay attention to expiration dates for test strips.
  • Use a big enough drop of blood.
  • Check the batteries of your meter.
  • Be sure your meter is set correctly.
  • Keep your meter clean.
  • Follow the instructions for the test carefully.
  • Write down the results and show them to your doctor.

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How Do I Check My Blood Glucose Levels

Refer to your blood glucose meters instructions on how to monitor your blood glucose levels.

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

Keeping a record of your blood glucose levels can be very helpful for you and your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. You can keep a diary or use a mobile phone app or website to record your levels.

What Time Of Day Should I Test

Recommendations for the best time of day to test your blood sugar depend on your medicine, mealtimes, and blood sugar control. Your doctor may provide a chart that outlines when to check your blood sugar and what level you should target. Your doctor may also suggest different goals, depending on your situation.

The chart may look something like this:

Time to Test

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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.

Preventing A Low Blood Sugar Level

How Often to Check Blood Sugar? Diabetes Specialist Gives Advice.

If you have diabetes, you can reduce your chance of getting a low blood sugar level if you:

  • Check your blood sugar level regularly and be aware of the symptoms of a low blood sugar level so you can treat it quickly.
  • Use a continuous glucose monitor or flash monitor to see how your blood sugar levels are changing. Ask your diabetes care team about getting a monitor if you do not already have one.
  • Always carry a sugary snack or drink with you, such as glucose tablets, a carton of fruit juice or some sweets. If you have a glucagon injection kit, always keep it with you.
  • Do not skip meals.
  • Be careful when drinking alcohol. Do not drink large amounts, check your blood sugar level regularly, and eat a carbohydrate snack afterwards.
  • Be careful when exercising eating a carbohydrate snack before exercise can help to reduce the risk of a hypo. If you take some types of diabetes medicine, your doctor may recommend you take a lower dose before or after doing intense exercise.
  • Have a carbohydrate snack, such as toast, if your blood sugar level drops too low while youre asleep .

If you keep getting a low blood sugar level, talk to your diabetes care team about things you can do to help prevent it.

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Before And After Exercise

This is crucial, because exercising with a low or even in-range blood sugar level can be dangerous, depending on the length and intensity of the exercise you plan to do.

Make sure to work with your doctor to determine an appropriate pre-exercise blood sugar level, but people usually like to have their levels sit a little higher than normal before starting any vigorous cardiovascular exercise to prevent severe hypoglycemia.

On the other hand, some peoples blood sugars tend to rise during exercise, especially if they are doing weightlifting or types of exercise that spike adrenaline levels in the body. Its important to make sure your blood sugar is at an appropriate level in case it will rise during your workout.

You also dont want your blood sugar to be too high before exercise, either. The Mayo Clinic actually advises against people with diabetes exercising if their starting blood sugar is above 250 mg/dL.

This is due to the fact that if a body is exercising without enough insulin in the bloodstream, the liver and kidneys will inadvertently release more sugar into the body, increasing your number even more and putting you at risk for dehydration, ketones, and even increased risk of spiraling into diabetic ketoacidosis .

Always check your blood sugar after exercise as well, as some people require a post-exercise bolus to combat spikes due to temporary pump settings that had decreased their basal rates.

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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