Do your blood glucose levels remain persistently higher than normal. If yes then you may have diabetes. But you are not alone in this. In fact, this medical condition is becoming common among people all over the world. This may be due in part to the aging population, unhealthy diets and lack of exercise.
This is why it is imperative for a diabetic person to take extra good care of his body to maintain good health. For the same reason, keeping blood glucose levels within a specified target range should be one of the main aims of your diabetes treatment.
But how do you do this?
It’s simple. Really.
The key to do this is balancing your food with your activity, lifestyle and diabetes medicines. That’s it. To understand the link between blood glucose, food, exercise, and insulin, start monitoring your blood sugar. You can easily do this yourself at home and over time share your readings with your health professionals. These readings will provide you with the information required to determine the best management strategy for your diabetes.
Maintaining good blood sugar control is your best defense to reduce the chances of developing complications from diabetes.
What will you need to monitor blood sugar levels at home?
For monitoring blood glucose levels, you need:
- A blood glucose meter
- A lancet device with lancets
- Test Strips.
Usually, the blood glucose meters are sold as kits giving you all the equipment you need to start. There are many different types of these BGM devices, offering different features and at different prices to meet individual needs. You’ll find most of them to be highly priced but I personally found the ones from Omron Healthcare to be accurate and easy-to-use and you can easily get them in your city & pharmacies.
How can you test your blood glucose levels?
I can provide you with the instructions but every monitoring device has different instructions on how to use them. I would suggest you to ask your doctor to help you choose the right device and show you how to use your meter to get accurate results.
When should you test your blood sugar?
Like me, you might ask yourself what’s the best time to check blood sugar or how often to check your blood sugar. This varies from person to person, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being used. Ask your doctor to help you decide how many tests are needed and the levels to aim for. Common times to take the readings are:
- Before breakfast (fasting)
- Before lunch/dinner
- Two hours after a meal
- Before bed
- Before rigorous exercise
- When you are feeling unwell
Even though many blood sugar monitoring devices today have a memory, I would suggest you keep a record of your readings in a diary and to take this with you to all appointments with your doctor. This will provide you both with important information in deciding if and how your treatment may need to be adjusted.
What should be your blood sugar level targets?
Blood glucose levels are measured in millimoles per litre of blood (mmol/L). Target ranges may differ depending on your age, duration of diabetes, the type of medication you are taking and if you have any other medical problems. Speak with your doctor about your individual target ranges.
Normal blood glucose levels are between 4.0–7.8mmol/L. You can also refer to this blood sugar test results chart:
You might get inaccurate results initially if you do it yourself. So do consult your doctor and learn how to use and maintain your sugar monitoring meter.