Checking Your Blood Sugar

Living with diabetes means checking blood sugar levels every day. Keeping control of your blood sugar levels will help you keep your Type 2 diabetes well-managed. Soon, checking your blood sugar levels will become second nature to you. The technique will be easy to follow, and you’ll have a good idea of how to achieve normal blood glucose, especially during the periods after meals. These definitions and tips can help you get started.

Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia

The term “hyperglycemia” means high blood sugar levels. “Hypoglycemia” means low blood sugar levels. Both of these conditions happen from time to time to everyone with Type 2 diabetes. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t dangerous. Hyperglycemia can cause many diabetes complications, and hypoglycemia can lead to seizures.

These conditions both come with symptoms, which you will likely learn to spot through monitoring how your body is feeling. However, both conditions can occur in your body without symptoms and still cause problems, even if you feel like your blood glucose level is normal. Checking blood sugar levels frequently is your best line of defense against complications.

Living With Diabetes Monitoring

Checking blood sugar levels starts with clean hands. Debris you may have on your hands can skew your results, so wash your hands first and clean your collection spot with an alcohol swab. Then:

  1. Insert a test strip into your blood glucose meter.
  2. Poke your finger with the sterile device to collect blood.
  3. Place a drop of blood on the strip.
  4. Watch for the display to appear on the meter.

If you cannot get a drop of blood from your finger, place your hands in warm water, or squeeze your finger from the base of your hand to the tip of your finger. Stay calm. Having a little difficulty from time to time is normal. Blood glucose levels can be impacted if you get upset.

Your doctor will tell you how often you should check blood sugar levels. In general, you should check your blood before and after meals and before you go to bed. As you become accustomed to living with diabetes, you may be able to reduce the number of times you check your blood sugar levels.

Keep a log of your blood sugar levels to bring to your next appointment, so your doctor can keep track of your progress in controlling your Type 2 diabetes.

Resources

American Academy of Family Physicians. (2010). Diabetes: Monitoring your blood sugar level. Retrieved January 7, 2010, from http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/diabetes/living/355.html

American Diabetes Association. (2010). Checking your blood glucose. Retrieved January 7, 2010, from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/checking-your-blood-glucose.html

American Diabetes Association. (2010). Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose). Retrieved January 7, 2010, from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/hyperglycemia.html

American Diabetes Association. (2010). Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). Retrieved January 7, 2010, from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/hypoglycemia-low-blood.html

Diabetes Net. (2010). Blood sugar testing.Retrieved January 7, 2010, from http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_information/diabetes_testing.php#axzz1AOU4kDiO