Blood - Sugar

Monitor blood sugar level

  • Monitoring blood sugar / glucose level help you take better care of your diabetes
  • Check your blood sugar to learn how food, activity levels, stress, medicine and insulin change your blood sugar level
  • Regular monitoring help you stay healthy and prevent or delay diabetic complications such as blindness and kidney failure

Supplies you need

  • Glucose meter
  • Alcohol pads
  • Sterile finger lancets
  • Test strips

Check with your health insurance plan to see if they will pay for these supplies.

Glucose meters

Check with your health insurance plan to see if they will pay for your glucose meter. If so, your plan may only pay for a certain meter. If your insurance plan doesn't pay for glucose meters, ask your doctor which meters he / she recommends. Shop around and compare costs. Consider what features are important to you. For example, some meters are made for people who have poor eyesight. If you want to pay a little more money, you can get a meter that stores the results in its memory. This allows you to compare results from several days at one time. Other meters can be hooked up to your computer to analyze your results.

Measuring blood sugar level

Follow your doctor's advice and the instructions that come with the glucose meter. Different glucose meters work differently, so be sure to check with your doctor for advice specifically for you.

  1. Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test
  2. Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that you're going to prick. With many glucose meters, you get a drop of blood from your fingertip. However, with some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh or the fleshy part of your hand. Ask your doctor what area you should use with your meter
  3. Prick yourself with a sterile lancet to get a drop of blood. (If you prick your fingertip, it may be easier and less painful to prick it on one side, not on the pad.)
  4. Place the drop of blood on the test strip
  5. Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into the glucose meter
  6. The meter will give you a number for your blood sugar level
Category of a person Fasting Value Maximum Value Value 2 hours after consuming glucose
Normal  Less than 120  Less than 160  Less than 120

  Early Diabetes

 120 to 140  160 to 180  120 to 140
  Established
Diabetes
 More than 140  200 or more  More than 140

* All values are in Milligrams

Getting a drop of blood

Try washing your hands in hot water to get the blood flowing
Then dangle your hand below your heart for a minute
Prick your finger quickly and then put your hand back down below your heart
Try slowly squeezing the finger from the base to the tip.

Note down the results

Write down the results in a record book. You can use a small notebook or ask your doctor for a blood testing record book. You may also want to keep track of what you have eaten, when you took medicine or insulin, and how active you have been during the day. This will help you see how these things affect your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor about what is a good range for your blood sugar level and what to do if your blood sugar is not within that range.

Check frequently

It is important to monitor your blood sugar on a regular basis. Ask your doctor how often you should check your blood sugar level and at what time of day. Many people start by checking their blood sugar 2 times a day: before breakfast and before supper. After a few weeks, some people are able to measure their blood sugar level only 2 or 3 times a week.

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