Sunday, 10 April 2011

Use Blood Sugar Testing To Reach Goals?

For over a century, the ability to measure blood sugar in a laboratory has existed, but to measure blood sugar in a self collected sample of blood from a fingertip has only been around for a few decades or so.

These days it only takes a few seconds to collect a tiny dot of blood and get a blood sugar reading almost instantly. Despite how relatively easy this is to do, most diabetics fight to put this information to good use.

There are many different blood sugar meters are on the market, with most sharing some common features. Most require minute amounts of blood collected from the sides of the fingertips (the least sensitive areas to poke), or even from areas such as the forearm.

Modern diabetic meter readings take as little as five seconds. Most meters feature a built in memory chip, and clocks that allow the user to log special events; like medicine, exercise, food, or illness.

Whether diabetic or not human blood sugars are in constant flux, it’s just a question of how much. Lower limit for randomly collected sugar levels in nondiabetic adults range from 60 mg/dl to as high as 200 mg/dl at the upper end. However even nondiabetics can occasionally have readings outside these ranges and not be diabetic.

A blood sugar meter can’t be used to diagnose diabetes, but if there is a suspicion of abnormal blood sugar based on a meter reading in a nondiabetic, that person must see a doctor to get a proper evaluation.

The aim of all diabetics is to minimize the state of flux in their blood sugar levels and make their sugar patterns more like that of a non-diabetic. Therefore, everything you are taught as a diabetic and all the diabetic supplies and medications you are prescribed should be applied as instruments and or strategies to achieve this result.

Use your tools to reach your goals each and every day as best as you can. But since a single blood sugar reading is a small part of a larger picture, the smart diabetic knows that every piece of information can and should be put together to form a bigger picture of their overall diabetes control.

There are some significant points in time when a sugar check is more likely to give useful information. The first is before eating meals or snacking, as food is almost always going to increase blood sugars. Being aware of how much your blood sugars can rise with food can empower you in improving choices with medication doses, such as insulin, and food choices.

The second important time to check blood sugar is after eating. To be precise, between 2 and 3 hours after eating. In nondiabetics, the blood sugar two to three hours after eating is always under 140 mg/dl. While such an objective is not always reachable with all diabetics, it’s still something to target.

One other time of importance to be aware of your blood sugar level, is in the A.M. after waking up. This is commonly referred to as the fasting glucose. This is the reading that any diabetic wants to make sure is in range, since the first sugar level reading of the day usually sets the tone for how things will go the rest of the day.

There is an old diabetes proverb that says “fix the fasting first”, meaning that when dealing with totally out of control blood sugar levels it’s best to get control of the overnight readings before making changes to the daytime management.

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