When you are diagnosed with diabetes, it means you will need to make a couple of changes to your lifestyle. These changes focus on managing chronic disease and keeping your blood glucose levels in check. Diabetes management does not only rely on using the right medication but also on regularly monitoring your blood glucose levels. In this post, we discuss the importance of blood glucose monitoring and share a few tips to help you out.
The Role Of Blood Glucose Monitoring In Diabetes Management
People with diabetes can experience sudden changes in their blood glucose levels. When your glucose levels change, you may start to experience certain symptoms and even develop complications – with the worst-case scenario being a diabetic coma. These complications can become fatal in some cases, which is why you need to ensure you are able to detect changes in your glucose levels before you experience such a problem.
The specific frequency of testing is often not the same for every patient. This is because several factors can affect the stability of your blood sugar levels. The type of diabetes you have will also affect how frequently you should test.
People with type 1 diabetes may need to test their glucose levels between four and 10 times every day. You may also be advised to test multiple times every day if you have type 2 diabetes.
Some of the most important reasons why you need to regularly check your blood sugar levels include:
- It helps you and your healthcare provider determine how effective your current diabetes treatment program is.
- You can determine how certain lifestyle factors and changes affect your diabetes.
- Glucose monitoring can help you detect low or high blood sugar before it becomes a serious problem.
- You can also learn more about how stress, illness, and other elements you face in your daily life affect your glucose levels.
Understanding Your Target Range
Proper education plays an important role in how effective you are at managing your diabetes. One thing that you need to know when it comes to diabetes management is the target range that you should aim for when you test your glucose levels. An individualized approach is often needed to determine your target glucose range, so you may need to work with your healthcare provider closely.
With this said, there are a few guidelines that you can use to help you get a better idea of what the ideal range is for your glucose levels. The type of diabetes you have played an important role, as well as how severe you have the condition. Other factors that can also affect the calculation of your target range include:
- The period between now and the initial diagnosis of your diabetes.
- Whether or not you are pregnant.
- If you have any existing complications caused by diabetes.
- If you have any other medical problems, including chronic diseases.
The ADA suggests that your A1C levels should be between 80 and 130 mg/dL before you have a meal. One to two hours after a meal, the A1C levels should not exceed 180 mg/dL.
Using Your Blood Glucose Monitor Correctly
It is important to ensure you know how to properly use your blood glucose monitoring device. This can help to improve the efficiency of your testing procedures and give you a more accurate view of how effective your diabetes management strategy is.
Before you use your blood glucose monitor, it is important to wash your hands. Since you need to puncture the lancing device through your skin, bacteria, and other pathogens can enter the small wound that testing creates. As a diabetic, your risk of infection is higher, and your body can have a tougher time fighting off these infections. Washing your hands prior to the use of the glucose monitor can help to remove any pathogens from your skin.
Turn the device on and place a test strip into the appropriate slot. Avoid touching the area where you need to place a drop of blood to detect your blood glucose levels. You should then place your lancing device on the side of a finger. Make sure you place it at the fingertip, then press the button to puncture your skin. Place the drop of blood on the testing strip, then wait a little while to get your results.
While these are general instructions, you should note that there are sometimes differences in how these devices work. This is why it is a good idea to look at the manual that comes with the device to see if there are any special instructions you should follow.
Keeping Track Of Your Glucose Levels
When you monitor your glucose levels, it is important to ensure you use a book to record your results. Many people with diabetes overlook this particular factor, but it can become very useful in the long run. The ability to look at an overview of your glucose levels over a certain period of time is valuable – as it can help you get a better understanding of your condition.
Your healthcare provider may also advise you to write down your glucose levels. This can become a useful part of your management strategy. When your doctor looks at the history of your glucose levels, they can see whether there are any adjustments that need to be made to the current treatment plan. For example, if you regularly experience low blood sugar, without many cases of high glucose levels, you may decide to lower the dose of the medication you take. At a personal level, viewing your glucose levels can also help you see how lifestyle changes you make affect your blood sugar control.
When you have diabetes, keeping a close eye on your blood glucose levels is crucial. This helps to ensure you are able to recognize unexpected changes and take action before it becomes a problem. The goal of using a glucose monitoring device is to reduce the complications associated with diabetes and improve the overall management of the condition.