Monitoring Blood Glucose
All That You Need To Know!
Buy a blood glucose meter
Keeping blood glucose levels under check is the key to diabetes management and what better way other than to buy your own blood glucose meter for checking and maintaining a diary about your fluctuating blood glucose levels. This would also help you in altering your diet, physical activity and insulin dose accordingly.
Ideal blood sugar levels should be between 4 to 6 mmol/l before meals and under 8 mmol/l after meals as per the readings of the finger prick tests. Anything beyond this should ring alarm bells necessitating a visit to your doctor.
How to test your blood glucose level?
All you need is a blood glucose meter, a test strip and a lancing device. Though all the blood glucose meters work more or less on the same principle, but amount of blood sample etc. required and ease of the interface are the points to ponder before investing in a blood glucose meter. Keep on verifying the accuracy of your blood glucose meter and the state of the batteries from time to time.
A blood glucose meter may give false readings in following situations:
- When not kept clean
- When the meter or the strips have outlived their efficient working tenure
- When the same has been mishandled and kept in too hot or humid an environment
- When the meter fails to calibrate with the strips
- Blood glucose meters take anywhere between five seconds to a minute to display the blood sugar levels
- Some blood glucose meters even provide the verbal results in various languages.
- Practical aspects to consider while you are buying a blood glucose meter include its ease of use, accuracy, memory (total number of test results it can store), size of the meter, size of the blood sample it requires from the finger, the display interface, provision of calibration testing and coding with respect to the test strips, cost of the strips, service backup, warranty and the software which may help you to see the average per day and the trend in the past 30 days or so in a diary format.
- Blood glucose meters at home give the reading for whole blood glucose contrary to the plasma glucose tests in the diagnostic labs and the value for the latter is about 10-15 percent more than the former.
Blood glucose recording
Take the readings before and after meals (two hours after) ensuring that you note down as to which meals make your blood sugar control easier, what times of the day correspond to high or low blood sugar levels, how was your state of diabetes during stress and illness, etc.
Blood glucose data management system
A blood glucose data management system allows you to record and save hundreds of your test readings and other data with respect to your insulin dosage, exercise and corresponding blood glucose level details etc. The same can then be mapped in the form of graphs etc.