Diabetes is a condition that leads to high blood glucose levels. High blood sugar can create some serious problems such as blindness, kidney disease, and amputation. That’s why blood glucose monitoring is a very important part of your diabetes treatment plan.
Diabetics have high blood glucose because their body isn’t producing the hormone needed to help cells use the sugar for energy. This hormone is called insulin, and it is produced by the pancreas. Type one diabetics don’t produce any insulin at all. This accounts for about ten per cent of cases, and usually occurs in children and youth. Type 2 diabetes is far more common. This means either your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin, or that your body isn’t using the insulin effectively.
Without proper insulin levels, glucose builds up in the blood stream. You need to have a regular blood glucose monitoring plan to help keep your blood sugar levels normal. Diabetes research has helped scientists learn how to create human insulin in the lab. Insulin injections and menu planning will be part of your management plan. Exercise and stress reduction can also help.
There are a variety of testing kits used for blood glucose monitoring. You can get help from your doctor or diabetes educator in learning which glucose meter is best for your needs. There are a number of options to take into account. You should consider features such as how fast you get results, the size of the meter, the size of the blood sample and the type of display. Other factors to consider are the cost, ease of use, and data management.
The test kits involve using a lancing device, lancet, test strip and metre. After washing your hands, prick your finger with the lancing device. Then place a small droplet of blood on the test strip, and insert it into the blood glucose monitoring meter.
It is a good idea to check your blood at different times during the day so you can set your personal blood glucose targets. Testing before breakfast helps you find out how well the long lasting basal insulin is working. Testing just before lunch or dinner shows how well your breakfast and lunch insulin doses worked. Testing two hours after eating lets you check your peak blood glucose level. You should also test before bed to ensure your blood glucose level isn’t too low to last through the night.
Blood glucose monitoring will help you learn how much insulin to take when to reach your target levels. Other factors that may affect blood glucose levels are stress, exercise, and illness. Sometimes, if you have too much insulin in your system, you will have a low blood sugar episode. You need to test your blood sugar level to determine if you are indeed experiencing hypoglycemia. If you are, you need to eat or drink something containing sugar. It takes about 14 minutes for your body to absorb the glucose, so be sure not to “over-treat” your condition. The best way to avoid this condition is to ensure you are eating and taking your insulin on time. You need to eat food if you drink alcohol. Also remember, blood sugar is always lowest before a meal and in the morning. You may have hypoglycemia if you are confused, shaky, tired, sweaty or irritable.
High blood glucose levels can cause blurred vision, thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue. As you can see, it is important to keep your blood glucose within normal range. Blood glucose monitoring is an essential part of your diabetes treatment plan. With proper management, you can live a full and long life.