The What, When, Why, and How’s of Blood Sugar Testing

When you have diabetes you need to test your blood sugar often. Maintaining control over your blood sugar is essential to managing diabetes appropriately to avoid blood spikes and lows. There are several things you need to do to control your blood sugar and to test your blood sugar.

Test your blood sugar levels.

Visit your doctor

The first thing you must do is meet with your doctor to discuss your blood sugar levels and where they need to be at. Here are the average rates for diabetes patients:
Before meals 70-130 mg/dL
One to two hours after meals less than 180 mg/dL
Fasting for eight hours or more 90-130 mg/dL

Your doctor will do blood tests and urine tests to determine where your blood sugar range should be set. Since everyone’s bodies are different, meeting with your doctor to discuss your condition in extremely important, especially if you are pregnant or you have additional complications like hypoglycemia. Elderly patients usually have different levels for their blood sugar as well so their levels will be different from a middle-aged person.

How often do you need to test your blood sugar levels?

Depending upon the type of diabetes you have, your doctor may recommend that you test your blood sugar 3 times a day usually before and after meals, before exercise, and before bed. You will need a blood test monitor to track your blood sugar levels. These blood sugar monitors are easy to use. All you need to do is insert the test strip inside the blood test monitor and then use the lancet to prink your finger. Once the blood symbol appears on the screen of the blood test monitor, you will place your finger next to the test strip so it can absorb the blood. Your results will appear in just a few seconds and you will need to write them down so you can track how your blood sugar is doing throughout the day.

When do you need to take insulin?

Individuals with type 1 diabetes usually do not need insulin pills or injections. If you have type 2 diabetes, you will need to test your blood sugar about 3 times per day, it all depends on your insulin dosage level.

Test result problems

If you get a LO or HI reading, there may be a problem with your blood test monitor. Place a test strip inside the blood test monitor and use your control solution to reset your blood test monitor. Here are some other solutions that will help you if you are concerned about your test result readings:
  • Check the expiration dates on your test strips. If they are expired, throw them out. You should also toss the test strips that are damaged. 
  • Check the code on your test strips to make sure you are using the right test strips.
  • Check the battery on your blood test monitor. Keep your blood test monitor stored at room temperatures because the results can get confused if the room is too hot or too cold.
  • Always wash your hands. Lotion and other things can cause the test results to come back faulty.
Make sure you have a generous amount of blood to use on the test strip. Place your finger next to the “sponge” part of the test strip, usually located on the right or left side where the test strip will soak in the blood. Avoid adding more blood to the test strip after you add the original drop. You also need to avoid wiping your finger on the test strip as this can also cause faulty readings.

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Jan said...

Thank you for the clearly explained information. You've provided enough arguments for the necessity to test sugar blood level.

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