Get my guide here https://goo.gl/qFtvzB learn how check your blood sugar and everything about you need to know about Prediabetes.
One of the first “jobs” you will be shown how to perform is taking a blood glucose or blood sugar reading. In most cases you are written a prescription for a machine called a glucometer (some call a glucose meter).
Sometimes your healthcare provider will have one to give you. Generally you can get a glucometer kit for free, with enough supplies to get started. You will then pay for the test strips and lancets each month or however often you will need them.
Before we get into how to use the glucometer, I think it is important for us to explore some other areas concerning the task of taking blood sugar readings.
WHY DO I NEED TO MONITOR MY BLOOD GLUCOSE?
Monitoring your glucose daily is simply a vital part of managing diabetes. It also is important because it empowers you to be in charge of your disease. No matter what your treatment plan consists of, blood sugar monitoring gives you immediate feedback into how well your plan is doing. Is it working?
“Checking your blood glucose gives you the freedom to make choices without worry, the confidence to learn from your actions, and the motivation to keep striving to do better,” says Linda Dale, Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Outpatient Diabetes Education Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Monitoring tells you that what you’re doing either is working or isn’t, and it serves as motivation to keep up actions that are working or to make changes.”
WHAT DO THE NUMBERS MEAN?
Knowing what the numbers mean is very important in regards to taking blood glucose readings. If you know everything about getting the numbers, but don’t know what they mean, you are wasting time and effort. Knowing if your blood sugar is too high or too low or just right is vital in treating diabetes.
You were diagnosed with diabetes because of these numbers. Your fasting blood glucose level was greater than 126 mg/dl on 2 separate readings. This is the amount of glucose that was present in your blood after a time of not eating. Normal blood glucose levels are less than 100. Blood glucose readings of 100-125 are considered pre-diabetes.
You are shooting for a fasting blood glucose level of 80-130 before each meal which is called pre-prandial. A post-prandial reading (which is 1-2 hours after eating) should be less than 180.
A reading of less than 80 is considered hypoglycemic. This means your blood glucose level is getting too low. In this case you will need to get some carbs in your system. The recommended amount of carbs is 15 grams and then check your blood sugar levels again.
If your readings are extremely high, especially before eating, say in the 180 range, you may need to take a fast acting insulin to help bring it down. This should be discussed with your doctor and is one of the reasons taking blood sugar readings are so important.
“Regular monitoring is especially helpful for showing the positive effects of exercise,” says Dale. “Say your readings have regularly been around 140 mg/dl, but you start taking a walk every day and you start getting more readings around 120 mg/dl. That will definitely boost your motivation.”
HOW DO I CHECK MY BLOOD GLUCOSE?
The chart on the screen will give you a visualization of what to do.
1. Wash your hands. This is very important. You are going to be invading your finger with a lancet, it is necessary that your hands be clean. I personally keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my glucometer kit. I also buy a very large bottle and refill the smaller one when empty to save money.
2. You will prepare your supplies. Get out the glucometer, the test strip and the lancet device.
3. For most glucometers, you will place a test strip into the glucometer and wait for it to tell you to place blood on the strip.
4. You will choose a finger to draw blood from. The lancet device is spring loaded, most devices require you to set the spring by pulling back on the back of the device. You should use a fresh lancet every time. Look for instructions on how to change your lancet.
5. You will put the lancet device firmly on your finger and then depress the button that will allow the lancet to make a very small hole in the finger.
6. Squeeze around the hole and get a drop of blood to come to the surface of the skin.
7. Then place that drop of blood on the test strip that is in your glucometer.
8. Wait for the results.
9. Write the results down in a blood sugar journal. (There are several phone apps that are great for this. Some glucometers even have apps that will document this result for you on your phone.)
And there you have it. You have successfully taken a blood glucose reading and hopefully know why you did so.