Blood Glucose Testing

Many people think they can tell how high their blood glucose levels are by how they feel, but the only way to know for sure is to perform a blood glucose test. Research shows that keeping blood glucose levels in an acceptable target range can help prevent the complications associated with diabetes. The recommended targets for blood glucose levels are 70 to 130 mg/dl before a meal and less than 180 mg/dl after a meal.*

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What is blood glucose testing?

The body makes glucose from the sugary and starchy foods that you eat, but diabetes changes the way your body controls your blood glucose levels. Blood glucose levels are also affected by other things, such as activity, changes in medication (tablets / insulin), illness and stress.

A blood glucose test is carried out using a blood glucose meter, sometimes called a blood glucose monitor. A blood glucose test tells you how much glucose is in your blood at any given time. The blood glucose test is performed simply by using a lancet device to prick the side of your finger to form a drop of blood. A blood glucose test strip is inserted into the meter and when the finger has been pricked, the strip sips up the blood for the meter to test. The meter will then count down and display the result. Make sure you always wash your hands prior to testing.

Why test your blood glucose?

Blood glucose monitoring provides you with a picture of your blood glucose levels and indicates when changes occur. By self-testing regularly, recording your results and reviewing them with your diabetes care team, you will learn to adjust your diabetes management to maintain your blood glucose levels within agreed targets.

When to perform a blood glucose test

You should discuss the timing and frequency of blood glucose monitoring with your diabetes care team. You need to carry out enough blood glucose tests to show your overall blood glucose trends so that you and your diabetes care team can see how well your treatment and management are working and where adjustments might be helpful.

* American Diabetes Association
Source: Medicine Net American Diabetes Association

 

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