Diabetes is a type of lifestyle-related disease that affects many people worldwide. Approximately 90% of patients are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Monitoring diabetes or blood glucose level is important to help monitor how much glucose present in your blood. High levels can subsequently lead to many health problems.
Several factors can have affect on your blood glucose level or diabetes. These factors include overall health, age, and whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus. Personal preferences and your understanding regarding your health condition can help you better target your blood glucose level.
For those who are taking oral hypoglycaemic drugs, as well as those with type 1 diabetes (a condition where your body’s pancreas does not produce any insulin), one is strongly recommended to monitor their blood glucose levels frequently. Similarly, people with type 2 diabetes (a condition when your body’s cells ignore the insulin or your pancreas does not produce enough insulin) are also advised to monitor their glucose level so that the given treatment can meet the desired goals.
Why Should You Monitor Your Blood Sugar Level?
Monitoring blood glucose levels can help you better understand how your daily activities, medication, food, insulin, mood swing and stress influence your blood sugar levels. This info is much needed as it will aid in better management of your diabetes besides delaying or preventing diabetic complications which include kidney failure, blindness and diabetic indulged eye disease.
Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels
Glucose-monitoring kits including a small meter and lancet are widely available. From the blood glucose monitor, you get a reading of your blood glucose level in a digital form. Many blood glucose monitors come with different features with some of them made specifically for those who have poor eyesight or other disabilities. Therefore, it is particularly important for you to discuss with your doctor which one suits you best.
Since most blood glucose monitors come with a memory to store the readings in which this data can be downloaded to a computer and hence helping a doctor to monitor and analyze so that a better treatment of diabetes can be recommended for the patient.
To maintain the accuracy of the reading of a blood glucose meter, it should be recalibrated each time the reading is taken the device should be properly maintained. Most manufacturers provide good service support but some do not, so you should look for the meter which offers the best service and technical support.
How to Measure Your Blood Glucose Level?
You should always ask your doctor’s advice regarding correct instructions in using a glucose meter. This is because different models of blood glucose meters may work differently. In general, the instructions on using glucose meters are as follow:
Firstly, prior to testing, wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
Second, using an alcohol pad, clean the area that you’re going to prick. Most glucose meters require a drop of blood from your fingertip. It is always advisable to ask your doctor which area (such as thigh, or forearm) should be used with your meter.
Third, to get a drop of blood, prick yourself with a sterile lancet. It is always easier to prick on your fingertip as it is less painful to prick particularly on one side.
Forth, place the drop of your blood on the test strip
Fifth, follow closely the instructions on how to insert the test strip into the meter.
Sixth, the meter will give you a reading of your blood sugar level
After getting the reading from your blood glucose meter, make sure you write it down in a record book everyday so that you can better keep track of your diabetes condition. Most importantly, you should stabilize your blood glucose level if you are a diabetic. Certainly, in most cases, ‘acceptable’ blood glucose levels can be slightly varied from one individual to another. As a rule of thumb, non-fasting levels should be stabilized at 4-8mmol/L, while fasting levels should be less than 5.6mmol/L. Below is important info to bear in mind:
Diabetes mellitus Plasma venous glucose mmol/L (mg/dl)
Fasting ≥ 7.0 (126)
2 hours after a meal ≥ 11.1 (200)
Impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG)
Fasting 5.6- 6.9 (100- 125)
2 hours after a meal < 7.8 (140)
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
Fasting < 7.0 (126)
2 hours after a meal 7.8 – 11.0 (140 – 199)
Another important point for you is that you should keep your blood glucose level as close as possible to its normal range so as to help reduce the risk of long-term complications arising from diabetes. Talk to your doctor if your blood glucose level is not within the normal range and ask him or her to suggest a good range for your blood glucose level and also what you should do to maintain a healthy blood glucose level. You may also need to advise your doctor about what you have eaten, how active you are during the day, and how medications affect your insulin when discussing your glucose level with them, so that they can help you manage your diabetes or blood glucose level.
Note: If you are unable to perform this blood glucose testing, you can still perform urine test by using urine test strips to check the condition of your glucose levels.
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