Augusta Healthcare for Women
Monitoring your blood sugar levels (glucose levels) is one of the most important steps you can take for managing diabetes.
Elevated blood sugar levels that remain high over months and years increases your chances of developing serious medical conditions, including:
Keeping your blood glucose close to normal increases your chances of remaining healthy.
To control your diabetes, you need to know your blood glucose numbers and your target goals.
The blood glucose test you do yourself uses a drop of blood and a glucose meter that measures the level of glucose in your blood at the time you do the test.
Self monitoring of your blood glucose helps you see how food, physical activity, and medicine affect your blood glucose levels. The readings you get can help you manage your diabetes day by day or even hour by hour.
Keep a record of your test results and review it at each visit with your health care team.
You prick the skin to produce a tiny drop of blood that is placed onto a paper or plastic "strip" and inserted into the glucose monitor. Be sure you know how to perform the test correctly.
Ask your health care team whether your meter gives the results as plasma or whole blood glucose. Most new meters provide the results as plasma glucose.
Set your personal blood glucose level goals with your doctor and health care team.
Some general guidelines used for many people with diabetes are:
Whole blood values
Self-tests are usually done before meals, after meals, and/or at bedtime. People who take insulin usually need to test more often than those who do not take insulin.
Ask your health care team when and how often you need to check your blood glucose.
Yes. The results of both your blood glucose tests and hemoglobin A1C test help you and your health care team to manage your diabetes and get a complete picture of your diabetes control.
Most states have passed laws that require insurance coverage of blood glucose monitoring supplies and diabetes education. Check your coverage with your insurance plan. Medicare covers most of the cost of diabetes test strips, lancets (needles used to get a drop of blood), and blood glucose meters for people who have diabetes.
People with diabetes are at high risk for heart attack and stroke. That is why people with diabetes need to control their blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as their blood glucose levels.
Ask your health care team about your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers and what your goals should be.
Reference: National Institutes of Health (NIH)