Checking our blood glucose, also known by the name blood sugar is a vital part when it comes to diabetes care. So, one may wonder why do we need to know our blood glucose numbers? Well, our blood glucose numbers show how good our condition is being managed.
Managing our diabetes means having less chance of developing severe health issues like vision loss and kidney disease.
As we check our blood glucose, we will see what exactly makes our numbers go down or maybe up. For instance, we might see that when we consume specific foods, or when we are under stress, our numbers go up.
Also, we might see that when we are active or take our drug, the numbers go down. This crucial information tells us what needs to change and what is working.
Blood Glucose Numbers – How Do We Measure Blood Glucose?
There are 2 ways to measure the blood glucose. Blood glucose check we can do ourselves. These tests show us what our blood glucose level is at the exact time we test it.
The A1C is a test done at our provider’s office or in a laboratory. This test shows us the average blood glucose level over the past 3 months.
How Can We Check Our Blood Glucose Levels?
We can check our blood glucose with a blood sugar meter. This is a device which uses a small drop of blood from the finger in order to measure the blood glucose.
We can get the supplies and the meter by mail or in a drug store. We should read the directions which come with our meter. This will help us learn how to check our blood glucose.
Also, our doctor can show us how to use this device. We should write down the results of the test, the time and the date in a blood glucose record, and take our meter and blood glucose record to each visit and discuss our results with our doctor.
What Are Target Blood Glucose Levels?
A target is something which we try to reach. Our doctor might also use the term goal. Those who have diabetes have blood glucose targets they need to reach at different times during the day.
Such targets are:
- From 80 to 130 right before we eat
- Below 180 – 2 hours after the beginning of the meal
Consult a doctor about what blood glucose numbers are good for you.
How Often Should We Check Our Blood Glucose?
We should bear in mind that the number of times we check our blood glucose will depend on the type of drug we take and on the type of diabetes we have.
For instance, individuals who take insulin might need to check their blood glucose more often. This is in comparison to those who don’t take insulin. We should consult our doctor about how often we need to check our blood glucose levels.
The typical times for checking blood glucose are when we wake up, before we eat, two hours after we eat and at bedtime. Consult your doctor about when is best to check your blood glucose.
What We Need to Know About the A1C Test
This test shows us and our doctor about our average blood glucose over the past 3 months. Also, it helps our doctor and us to decide the amount and type of drug we will need.
What Is A Good A1C Goal?
For many of those with diabetes, the A1C is below seven. This is a number which is different from the blood glucose number we check on a daily basis. Together with our doctor, we will decide on the right goal for us.
How Often Do We Need an A1c Test?
We need to do this test at least twice per year. We might need to do it more often if:
- The treatment for diabetes changes
- The number is actually higher than the goal number
How Do We Pay for These Supplies and Tests?
Medicaid, Medicare and other private insurance plans actually pay for the A1C test and part of the cost of supplies when it comes to checking our blood glucose.
We can ask our doctor for help in finding free or low-cost supplies, and what to do in case we run out of test strips.
What If We Have Trouble Reaching Our Blood Glucose Goals?
There might be times when we have trouble getting our blood glucose goals. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we have failed. It might mean that together with our doctor we should see if there is a need for certain changes.
Contact your doctor in case your blood glucose is too low or too high. Take action to be healthy.
Things We Should Remember
- Check blood glucose levels as many times on a daily basis as the doctor suggests
- Do the A1C test at least twice per year
- Keep a record of the A1C numbers and blood glucose levels
- Take blood glucose record and meter to your visit and show them to the doctor
- Work with your doctor and decide what changes you should make in order to reach your blood glucose levels goals