Blood Sugar Testing

If you have diabetes or are at a high risk for diabetes, blood sugar testing is an extremely important part of managing your condition. Self-testing your blood sugar will help you to regulate it and can also be a big help in preventing long-term complications. You can do a basic blood sugar test using an easy, portable, hand-held device.

Advantages

Blood sugar testing is very helpful in managing and living a healthy life with diabetes. For example, checking your blood sugar regularly allows you to better understand how your diet and exercise affect your blood sugar levels as well as how your blood sugar fluctuates throughout the day and during isolated incidents like illness or stress. It can also help you test the effectiveness of diabetes medications. One of the most important advantages is that testing can let you know if you blood sugar levels are dangerously low or high, allowing you to take steps that could potentially save your life.

When to Test

You will need to speak with your doctor about designing a specific treatment plan for diabetes management and the frequency with which you test will depend on the type of diabetes you have. If you have type 1, you will probably need to test over three times a day, before and after meals and exercise. If you have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, you will probably only need to do blood sugar testing one or two times a day, usually before meals and after fasting for several hours.

Goal Range

When you talk to your doctor about blood sugar testing, he or she will use several factors to determine a target range for your blood sugar. Factors include:

  • Age
  • Type of diabetes
  • Severity of diabetes symptoms
  • Overall health
  • Presence of other medical conditions

How to Test

How to Test

The process for diabetes testing is fairly easy but needs to be exact in order to get an accurate reading. Your doctor will provide detailed instructions on how to test for diabetes and you will use a diabetes tester called a glucose meter.

To test your blood glucose, you usually prick your finger and wipe it on one of the provided disposable diabetes test strips. The most important part of testing your blood sugar with a glucose meter is that you follow the instructions provided in the box as well as any additional instructions your doctor might give you. This will ensure that you get an accurate blood sugar reading so you can properly manage your diabetes.

After Testing

Another thing you will need to do is make sure to record your test results and share them with your doctor at every appointment. You will also need to alert him immediately to any major changes or unexpected fluctuations as this may indicate further health problems. Recording your results will help you and your doctor determine any patterns and decide on further treatments.

To properly record your blood sugar test results, it helps to keep a notebook near your monitor so you can remember to write them down immediately. You will need to note the date, time, glucose number, any medications you are currently taking, the dosage levels of those medications, when you last ate, as well as information on what you’ve eaten and any recent exercise. The American Diabetes Association provides forms you can print from their website that you can fill out to help keep a log of your results.

Maintaining Your Meter

Maintaining your blood sugar testing meter as per the instructions on the package is important in order to ensure you get the most accurate readings possible. You should change your batteries often, store the test strips correctly, and never use anything that is expired. You will also need to clean and run quality control tests on the monitor when indicated in the manual. This will help ensure that you get reliable and accurate readings.

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