Blood glucose monitoring is essential for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. When patients regularly monitor their blood sugar levels, they can know what affects their numbers, such as taking medication, eating certain foods and being physically active. With this information, your healthcare provider can develop the best diabetes care plan.
Most care decisions can help prevent or delay some significant diabetes complications, including stroke, heart attack, blindness, kidney disease and amputations. Your physician will advise you on how often you need to check your sugar levels.
Most blood glucose monitors in the market allow you to save the results in an app where you can easily track your sugar levels. If you do not have access to a smartphone, you can keep a daily written record to help you keep track of your blood glucose levels.
How Do I Use a Blood Glucose Monitor?
There are different types of blood sugar monitors in the market, but most of them work in the same way. Your healthcare provider will show you the benefits that come with each. Additionally, you will need someone else around you to learn how to use the meter to help check your blood sugar levels in case you are sick and cannot check it yourself.
Here are some vital tips on how to use the blood glucose meter:
- Ensure your glucose meter is clean and ready to use
- Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly. Do not use wet wipes since they have glycerin which can affect the results. It is also essential to ensure that your hands are warm to make it easier to get blood.
- Slot in a test strip on the glucose meter. Some meters come with test strips built in.
- Remove the cap from your finger prick device and install a new lancet. After that, place the cap back on and set the device by clicking or pulling the plunger.
- Choose a finger to prick but avoid the index finger and the thumb. Use a different finger each time you need to take your sugar readings.
- Take the glucose meter with the test strip and place a drop of blood on it till it is filled. It will let you know by beeping.
- Before you take your reading, check your finger and place a tissue on it to stop bleeding and then wrap the lancet before throwing it away in the bin.
- Note down the reading on the glucose meter.
- Wipe the test strip before taking it out and throwing it away, and then turn off your meter.
What Is the Normal Range of Blood Sugar Levels?
When taking your blood sugar level readings, you might get different readings during the day depending on different factors, including how often you move around and what you have eaten. Here is a guide to help know your targeted range:
A child with type 1 diabetes
- Waking up and before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
- After meals: 5 to 9 mmol/l
An adult with type 1 diabetes
- Waking up and before meals: 5 to 7 mmol/l
- Before meals and other times in the day: 4 to 7 mmol/l
An adult with type 2 diabetes
- Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
- Two hours after meals: less than 8.5 mmol/l
If you have gestational diabetes
- Fasting: below: 5.3 mmol/l
What Are the Benefits of Blood Sugar Monitoring?
Regular blood sugar monitoring is one of the ways that patients with diabetes can learn about their conditions. They use the readings to make essential decisions, including exercise, medications and diet to manage their blood glucose levels.
When you check your blood glucose regularly, you will know when your blood sugar is too high and when it’s too low, left unchecked, it can cause devastating health problems. Some health complications associated with low and high blood sugar levels include nerve damage, vision problems, heart disease, kidney disease and poor blood flow.
With the data provided, your doctor can calculate your blood glucose target range based on the type of diabetes and your age—Doctors advise patients to keep your sugar levels in your target range as best as possible. Mr. Edward James has dedicated his life to helping those affected by Type 1 & 2 diabetes. Visit his website for more information about this and much more on how to monitor blood glucose levels.