Diabetes Home Testing; What you need to know

Diabetes Home Testing; What you need to know


Why do I have to test my blood sugar?



An essential part of a diabetes care plan is testing your
blood glucose regularly. This is also referred to as home monitoring of
blood sugar and blood pressure levels can provide patients and physicians with
valuable information in the management of diabetes mellitus and hypertension.



Once diagnosed with diabetes, several visits to the doctor
are mandatory for formal and preventive testing. While staying in touch with
your doctor is important for you to stay on top of your treatment plan,
self-monitoring your blood sugar levels may also be vital to your treatment.
Self-monitoring of blood sugar levels in your body provides patients with
valuable information in the management of diabetes.



Who should use diabetes home tests?



In most cases, your Doctor will advise you if you need to
test your blood sugars at home. If by any chance you need to, they will also be
in a better position to be clear on what time of day the test should be done
and what times a day.



When should I test my blood sugar?



The most common times to test your blood sugar level are
before meals and at bedtime.Your doctor or health provider will however advise
you accordingly on how often and when to check your blood sugar.



What should my blood sugar level be?



Blood sugar ranges might be different for each person and
can change throughout the day. Your health care provider will tell you what
range is good for you. Call your health care provider if one of the following
applies:




  • Your
    blood sugar test results are higher than usual (more than 100 mg/dl above
    your usual results) for more than two days for an unknown reason.

  • Your
    blood sugar level is low (less than 70 mg/dl) more than 2 times a week.



What tests do I need to do at home?




  • Blood
    test
    : The blood test is used to measure the amount of sugar in your
    blood. It will help you find out if your meal plan, exercise and medicine
    are working to control your blood sugar.

  • Urine
    test
    : The urine test looks for ketones in your urine. This can be done
    if you are sick or if your blood sugar level is very high. Meters are also
    available that can test your blood for ketones.



What should I know about ketones?



Ketones appear in your urine when your body uses its own fat
for energy instead of sugar. Ketones usually appear when your blood sugar level
is more than 300 mg/dl. If ketones build up in your blood, you can develop a
very dangerous health condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketones are most likely
to occur in people with Type 1 diabetes.



How do I test for ketones?



The most common way to test for ketones is by dipping a test
strip into your urine. The test strip changes color, which is then matched to a
chart that shows the level of ketones in your urine. There are also meters
available that can test your blood for ketones.



When should I test for ketones?



Test for ketones if your blood sugar level is 300 mg/dl or
higher or if you feel ill.



Questions To Ask Your Doctor.



When visiting your doctor, you might keep these questions in
mind to ask during your appointment.




  • What
    is my target blood sugar range?

  • How
    often should I check my blood sugar?

  • What
    do these numbers mean?

  • Are
    there patterns that show I need to change my diabetes treatment?

  • What
    changes need to be made to my diabetes care plan?



If you have other questions about your numbers or your
ability to manage your diabetes, make sure to work closely with your doctor or
health care team.



Summary



Elevation of blood glucose levels slowly damages organs and
can result in life-threatening diabetes complications hence critical to pursue
research towards preventing, treating, and reversing diabetes complications.


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