Diabetes Home Testing; What you need to know

Diabetes Home Testing; What you need to know


Why do I have to test my blood sugar?

An essential part of a diabetes care plan is testing your blood glucose regularly. This is also referred to as home monitoring of blood sugar and blood pressure levels can provide patients and physicians with valuable information in the management of diabetes mellitus and hypertension.

Once diagnosed with diabetes, several visits to the doctor are mandatory for formal and preventive testing. While staying in touch with your doctor is important for you to stay on top of your treatment plan, self-monitoring your blood sugar levels may also be vital to your treatment. Self-monitoring of blood sugar levels in your body provides patients with valuable information in the management of diabetes.

Who should use diabetes home tests?

In most cases, your Doctor will advise you if you need to test your blood sugars at home. If by any chance you need to, they will also be in a better position to be clear on what time of day the test should be done and what times a day.

When should I test my blood sugar?

The most common times to test your blood sugar level are before meals and at bedtime.Your doctor or health provider will however advise you accordingly on how often and when to check your blood sugar.

What should my blood sugar level be?

Blood sugar ranges might be different for each person and can change throughout the day. Your health care provider will tell you what range is good for you. Call your health care provider if one of the following applies:

  • Your blood sugar test results are higher than usual (more than 100 mg/dl above your usual results) for more than two days for an unknown reason.
  • Your blood sugar level is low (less than 70 mg/dl) more than 2 times a week.

What tests do I need to do at home?

  • Blood test: The blood test is used to measure the amount of sugar in your blood. It will help you find out if your meal plan, exercise and medicine are working to control your blood sugar.
  • Urine test: The urine test looks for ketones in your urine. This can be done if you are sick or if your blood sugar level is very high. Meters are also available that can test your blood for ketones.

What should I know about ketones?

Ketones appear in your urine when your body uses its own fat for energy instead of sugar. Ketones usually appear when your blood sugar level is more than 300 mg/dl. If ketones build up in your blood, you can develop a very dangerous health condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketones are most likely to occur in people with Type 1 diabetes.

How do I test for ketones?

The most common way to test for ketones is by dipping a test strip into your urine. The test strip changes color, which is then matched to a chart that shows the level of ketones in your urine. There are also meters available that can test your blood for ketones.

When should I test for ketones?

Test for ketones if your blood sugar level is 300 mg/dl or higher or if you feel ill.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor.

When visiting your doctor, you might keep these questions in mind to ask during your appointment.

  • What is my target blood sugar range?
  • How often should I check my blood sugar?
  • What do these numbers mean?
  • Are there patterns that show I need to change my diabetes treatment?
  • What changes need to be made to my diabetes care plan?

If you have other questions about your numbers or your ability to manage your diabetes, make sure to work closely with your doctor or health care team.

Summary

Elevation of blood glucose levels slowly damages organs and can result in life-threatening diabetes complications hence critical to pursue research towards preventing, treating, and reversing diabetes complications.

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