If you suffer from type 1 or two diabetes home blood sugar monitoring devices, also known as glucometers, can give you important information on the possibility that you’re blood sugar levels are too low or too high or within a reasonable healthy range. These handheld electronic devices can give you immediate information and will let you know instantly the level of your blood sugar.
Monitoring regularly is a useful way to manage your diabetes and to manage your blood sugar levels which is why it’s crucial to be aware of how you can make use of the device.
Glucometers, also referred to as glucose monitors are extremely sophisticated and require only one drop of blood. They are easily sized and transportable. They are small enough to carry along with you wherever you go and, based on your personal preferences is able to be used at any place anytime.
Who Should Use a Glucometer?
If you suffer from type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes latent autoimmune type diabetes in the adult ( LADA) or you were diagnosed with gestational diabetics during pregnancy, a significant component of your treatment is regularly checking your blood sugar levels using the aid of a glucose meter. 1
Frequent glucometer use can help you:
- Examine how well-controlled your blood sugar levels are and if it’s high or low.
- Be aware of patterns that indicate when you’re more likely an increase or crash in sugar levels.
- Check how your glucose levels react to exercise or during times of stress.
- Examine how diabetes medication as well as other therapies.
- Check how well you’re meeting your specific treatment objectives
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When should you test
Discuss with your healthcare professional the frequency and times of the day you need to be testing, and what you should do in the event of results that are high or low. The frequency of your testing will depend on the specific type of diabetes as well as your individual treatment plan.
In general, if have type 1 diabetes you might need to check your glucose levels 4 to 10 times a day. You’ll probably test prior to eating foods (meals as well as snacks) as well as after and before exercising, before going to sleeping, and maybe in the evening. Because the condition is caused by the inability to make sufficient insulin, you’ll need be checking more often to ensure that you’re getting sufficient insulin to maintain your blood sugar levels. If your routine is altered or you develop a sickness it could be necessary to check more frequently during the day and night.
If you suffer from gestational or type 2 diabetes it is possible that you only need to test between two and four times a day, based on whether you are taking insulin, or do not take. In general, it is recommended to check before eating and at the time of bed. If you’re managing diabetes using non-insulin medications You may not be required to test your blood sugar on a daily basis once you’ve learned the routines.
How to use a Glucometer
Most of the time, unless you’ve had a meeting with an qualified diabetes education specialist or your healthcare professional, they might have issued the prescription for a glucose monitor without clearly describing how to make use of it. While most instruction manuals are user-friendly, the task may be daunting if you are unfamiliar with testing or are not an expert in technology. Be sure to follow these guidelines for test safety and ease of use.
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What You Should Know About the Glucometer
- A pad for preparation of alcohol (or the soap with water in the event that you have access an unattended sink)
- Test strip
- Notebooks to keep track of the results
Glucometer Use Instructions
- Then, you need to set up your glucometer and lancet, a test strip as well as an alcohol prep pad.
- Clean your hands to avoid the spread of infection. If you’re not in the vicinity of an actual sink, you are able to use an alcohol swab. If you’re by an unclean sink and clean your hands it is not necessary to use an alcohol swab.
- Sometimes, it is helpful warming your hands before warming them to allow the flow of blood more efficient. It is possible to apply a vigorous rub to your hands or place them in warm water. Make sure to dry them thoroughly because wet hands could make the blood sample less palatable which can result in a lower count.
- Switch on the glucometer, and insert an test strip inside the machine once it is fully operational. Check the indicator to see if you can place the strip with blood.
- Make sure that your hands are dry and clean the area you’ve chosen with an alcohol-prep pad. let the alcohol evaporate.
- Place your fingertip along the opposite side of your finger and then place it between the base of your fingernail until the point on your finger (avoid the pads since it can result in more pressure). The kind of blood drop required is determined by the kind of strip you’re using (some require an “hanging drop” of blood as opposed to tiny drops on strips where blood is drawn into through a capillary motion).
- Place the blood drop in the center or on the other side of the strip.
- The glucometer can take couple of minutes to calculate the level of blood sugar. Follow the advice of your physician for any blood sugar readings you receive.
- It is possible to utilize an alcohol preparation pad wipe the spot where you draw the blood, if it’s still bleeding.
- Record your results. Recording your results will make it easier for you and your medical professional to develop a suitable treatment strategy. Certain glucometers will save your results to an internal memory, which makes it easier for recording.
Recording your progress can help to manage your pattern by providing you with data about how your body responding to specific food items, exercises and medications. This can also provide your doctor with a complete image of the way your treatment is effective.
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Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Type 1 diabetics might need to check their sugar levels more often, and in such cases a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) could be extremely beneficial. 2A CGM is an instrument that is permanently in your body, which reduces (though it’s not entirely eliminating) the requirement for multiple fingerpricks. It is simply attached to the skin (usually located in the upper arm, abdomen or the thigh) and it’ll transmit the glucose reading at specified intervals, usually every few minutes to the monitoring device. Discuss with your doctor whether you think a CGM is the right choice for you.
Although your individual goals may be smaller There are defined windows for what are normal for people who have diabetes in general. Your levels can vary based on your age, level of activity, gender, and the type of diabetes.
As per the American Diabetes Association, the below target ranges are applicable to the majority of non-pregnant adults. 1 Target hemoglobin A1C (a test that determines the overall average blood sugar levels over the last two to three months) The ranges can differ based on the age of the person and gender as well as other factors.
|Marker||The Value Targeted|
|The preprandial glucose (pre-meal)||80-130 mg/dL|
|Blood glucose levels postprandial (post-meal)||less than 180 mg/dL|
|A1C||A little less than 7percent|
First-Time Testing Tips for First-Time Testing
It is important to read the user’s manual that comes with your glucometer as testing procedures can differ for different models. Here are some more useful suggestions for beginners:
- If you’re experiencing the process as extremely painful, you might have to alter the gauge of your lancet (thickness). Lancets come in different gauges. The more gauges that is higher, the less thick the lancet. A lancet with a gauge of 21 might not be as comfortable as a 30- gauge lancet.
- You can also alter the settings on the lancing device to indicate how far the needle can be able to penetrate the skin. A majority of people can collect sufficient samples from somewhere between the two. If, for instance, the lancet is marked with a number set to number 2. If this doesn’t work, you could increase the settings.
- Use only test strips specifically specially designed for your glucometer.
- Certain devices require larger blood samples. Make certain to select the appropriate size blood sample needed by your device.
Some Common Problems You Should Avoid
It’s essential to keep track of your glucose monitor to prevent possible issues. Use these guidelines to ensure proper functioning:
- Keep batteries that are compatible with your glucometer.
- Check that your test strips aren’t expired, since expired test strips may give an incorrect result.
- After you have taken a strip of test, seal the lid completely. Insufficient light or moisture could cause damage to the strip.
- Clean your device on a regularly scheduled intervals, and conduct quality control tests whenever you are asked.
- Cleanse your hands thoroughly prior to testing as food residues may influence the results.
- Allow the alcohol to dry (if you are using any) as it could cause false lows.
The Glucose Test on the go
If you’re on the road you might need to carry extra supplies along and be extra careful to ensure that your glucose monitor continues to work correctly.
- If you’re conducting tests on the go ensure you’ve got more than twice the amount of lancets and test strips as you believe you’ll need just in the event of.
- Keep your test strips and glucometers in a dry and clean location. Avoid extreme temperatures. For instance, don’t leave your meters and strips in your vehicle when it’s cold and in the direct sun, or on the top on your heating system.
- Lancets should be disposed of in a container with a puncture-proof seal preferred one that is red and is designed specifically for this use. It is available from your health care provider or a pharmacy. If you don’t have one you can use a sturdy plastic bottle for laundry detergent with an attached cap that screws on to stop needle-stick accidents. A lot of pharmacies and hospitals have sharps drop-off programs that allows you to bring in your container when it’s full.
- If you’re planning to travel for a long period of time, take an easy-to-clean pencil case with you to keep your lancets that have been discarded in it and take them back to you when you’re able to dispose of them properly. them.
- Be sure to keep a small supply of fast-acting carbohydrate snacks, additional insulin, or other medications in the event of an need in the event of an emergency.
Tips for Children
It’s equally important for children who suffer from the condition (type 1 , or 2 though type 1 is more prevalent) to check their blood sugar levels, as well.
Instructing your child about regular glucose testing can have these advantages:
- Troubleshooting issues in the treatment plan
- Feeling of control over what’s going on
- Be aware of the effects of certain types of food, exercise and medicines on blood sugar levels
Children may require testing more often than adults, particularly those who take insulin. Children might also have greater glucose target limits than adults. Talk to your child’s doctor about their individual goals. Children who are suffering from hypoglycemia episodes could require tests in the late hours of the night and during the time of illness. 2
The keeping of glucose level records can be particularly beneficial for children who are beginning to recognize patterns in they’re blood sugar levels rise and drop after certain events including different foods and physical activities as well as medicines.
Helping kids Self-Test
Do glucometer tests regularly with your child. Later, when they are older enough, they could be able to begin testing on their own. Give them the knowledge and tools needed to be able to manage themselves.
Make sure your child is aware that self-testing for glucose is a huge responsibility which is extremely useful for managing their condition as they get older and more independent.
Oft asked questions
What is continuous glucose monitoring?
A tiny sensor placed under the skin monitors the level of your blood sugar every few minutes during the day and at night, and sends the results to a remote monitor you to review it. By monitoring your glucose continuously those with diabetes can test their blood sugar levels without having to poke their fingers every time.
What is the reason I should check my blood sugar levels during the course of my day?
The blood sugar reading of your blood will tell you if your diabetes is in control. If your diabetes isn’t adequately controlled it puts you at risk for a higher chance of developing kidney disease, loss of vision and heart disease as well as other health issues.
How do glucometers work?
A glucometer is a hand-held device that is able to scan the blood of a small sample to measure the level of glucose. 5 To take the measurement, poke your finger to collect an ointment droplet. Place the droplet on a strip and then put this strip inside the glucometer, so that it can be analysed.
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