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Testing Blood Sugar

Testing Blood Sugar (SMBG- Self monitoring of Blood Glucose)

Why?

Checking Blood Sugar at home or office with glucometer is very important as it gives you a fair idea of the

  1. Status of diabetes control – wether your efforts are showing results or not 
  2. The way your body responds to different foods- you can see for yourself how your Blood glucose shoots up after having bread, while it remains controlled even after having sweet fruits.
  3. Guide you to take action! Serves as a wake up call- if you’ve been irregular with medicines, exercise or diet and inform your Diabetologist!!
  4. In case of very high sugar levels- reaching hospital in time or starting insulin makes a great difference to treatment and its outcomes, Abnormal levels should always be confirmed in Pathology Lab.
  5. It keeps you in touch with Diabetes- every time you check your Blood Glucose you are reminded about Diabetes , and your responsibilities about managing it and preventing complications, but please keep record of your Sugarlevels which you can easily do on this website by Creating an account just Login then go to myrecords and Add New..

When to check Blood Glucose?

Fasting- in the morning before you have taken your meals/ tea, coffee or breakfast- levels should be less than approx. 120 mg/dl ¨ 2 hrs after Breakfast – levels should be less than 140 mg/dl- important to check before meals and 2 hrs after meals ( Lunch and dinner as well), helpful in judging how different foods or their combinations affect your glucose levels. ¨ Afternoon 4-5 p.m before tea – to assess post lunch control ¨ 3:00 am in the morning – if you’ve been having too high unexplained fasting levels or episodes of hypoglycemia early mornings. Doing all the above tests is called 360 degree Blood Glucose monitoring. Atleast once a day – (fasting or 2 hrs post breakfast or meals) is very important and should not be missed. Please Also consult your Diabetologist or Diabetes Specialist to know more about when and how to monitor Blood Sugar..

How to check?

Prick the side or the tip of finger (any finger), even though index and middle fingers are easily accessible- Most of the glucometers come with a lancing device which make it easy to prick with minimum pain. Once you see a drop of blood sufficient enough to ‘fuel’ your glucometer- insert the strip, wait for the drop sign (almost ubiquitous in all glucometers).After you see the ‘drop’ or ready sign on the glucometer display press the drop of blood to the placed marked on the strip- it can be on the side, tip or centre of the strip depending on the model.After few seconds you can see your blood Glucose value on the Display. ¨ ( See the manufacturers instruction manual for more specific details)

Important points to remember

If your strips are coded- make sure that the code on the box is same as that of the coding chip inserted in the meter- or the current code of the meter. If you have wiped your fingers with spirit or alcohol based wipes or cotton, let it dry as it may affect the glucose values shown by the meter. Wash your hands thoroughly if you've peeled fruits a short while before testing Blood Sugar. ¨ Do not leave the strips in an open box- close the box and keep it in dry places- away from humidity.

Some tips about checking Blood Sugar

Don’t prick the same finger in the same area- keep on changing the places for pricks- this prevents the pain or infection which may happen if the same finger is needled all the time. If you use alcohol swabs to wipe the skin before pricks let it dry completely as alcohol itself is a reducing agent and may affect the values shown by the strip. ¨ When the oozing droplet is not sufficient increase the number on the dial of the lancing pen – or if you are pricking the finger manually, prick deeper - alternately change the place of pricks.

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