5 Tips To Monitor Your Blood Glucose Effectively
When it comes to managing your Diabetes, knowing your blood sugar levels and monitoring them by self-testing helps you track your progress in controlling your blood sugar levels effectively.
A blood glucose monitoring device helps you determine if your blood glucose levels are within your target range.
The latest guideline from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) generally recommends the following target blood sugar levels:
Between 80 and 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 4.4 to 7.2 millimoles per litre (mmol/L) before meals (Pre prandial)
- Less than 180 mg/dL (10.0 mmol/L) two hours after meals (Postprandial)
These are general guidelines and are not applicable for everyone to follow. Your target might vary depending upon your current age, weight, diet, etc. It's always better to ask your doctor about your target levels.
Regular blood glucose monitoring is an essential tool to help you take control of your Diabetes. By identifying and recording changes in your blood sugar levels, you’ll have more information about how food, exercise, stress, and other factors affect your Diabetes.
Keeping your blood glucose in a healthy range is an utmost priority. If your glucose levels get too low, we can lose the ability to think and function naturally, leading to hypoglycemia. If they get too high and stay high, it can cause damage or complications to the body over many years.
This article will share a few tips to make your blood sugar monitoring journey easier.
- Perform the steps of the blood sugar monitoring device as instructed
To get accurate results while self-checking, following the step-by-step process accurately and as instructed by your health care professional is very important.
We will show you how:
Wash and dry your hands well as dirty hands due to food and other substances can give you an inaccurate reading. You can also use an alcohol swab to sterilize the site of testing
Insert a test strip into your meter that shows your blood sugar level
Prick the side of your fingertip with the needle (lancet) provided with your test kit and put a drop of blood on a test strip
- Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood
- The meter will display your blood sugar level on a screen after a few seconds. You get results in less than 15 seconds and can store this information for future use. Some meters can tell you your average blood sugar level over some time and show you charts and graphs of your past test results
Note that all meters are slightly different, so always refer to your user's manual for specific instructions.
- Set a daily routine for your blood sugar check-up
You may need to check your blood sugar several times a day, such as before meals or exercise, at bedtime, before driving. When you think your blood sugar levels are low, that's where setting a daily routine for your blood sugar monitoring helps track your progress accurately.
The standard times to test your blood sugar level include:
Before breakfast (fasting stage)
Two hours after a meal
Before going to bed
Before and after a rigorous exercise
- When you are not feeling well
Take your doctor's advice to plan your routine as every person’s situation and body conditions are different, so it’s essential to decide on an arrangement that will work for you. Build it into your day. When testing becomes a part of your day, you’ll be less likely to forget checking and monitoring daily.
- Take care of your test strips
Make sure not to use expired tips as they can hamper recording your results.
As most test strips are easy to handle, make sure to keep them at room temperature (not too hot or too cold) and keep them in the original storage container. The container cap has to be sealed to keep humidity from affecting them. Testing strips come with expiry dates, and they can expire as well. The test strip container label will list the expiration or “use by” date.
If your test strips have expired, refilling them with new test strips will keep you on track of your blood glucose monitoring process, providing you with accurate results.
- Record and keep a log of your blood sugar results
Recording and keep in a log of your daily blood sugar results help you keep track of daily, monthly and yearly progress.
Helping you understand your body's response to medication, changes in diet, and exercise better.
If you manually log your results, record the date, time, test results, medication and dose, diet, and exercise information. Bring your record of results with you to your doctor's appointments. With the evolution in medical technology, a blood glucose monitoring device these days come with logs to track your daily sugar levels.
- If not sure about your results, do a retest
Apart from setting your meter correctly, keeping your meter clean, checking your meter's batteries, and following the instructions for the test carefully.
If you are still getting haphazard and inaccurate results, it's better to retest to recalibrate your blood sugar test results and compare your results to previous ones.
We hope these tips about how to manage your blood sugar monitor that can help you in managing your Diabetes efficiently.