One of the main tools that can help people manage their diabetes is blood glucose level testing, sometimes called blood glucose monitoring.
Although not everyone diagnosed with diabetes will test their blood glucose levels, many people find it beneficial to help them monitor their diet and inform their medication decisions (in conversation with their Dr).
If you take any prescribed medication that may lead to hypoglycemia, such as Insulin, you should test your blood glucose levels regularly.
What is blood glucose level testing?
A blood glucose level test is used to measure the concentration of glucose in your blood. It can be carried out at home using the Test2Go blood glucose level test.
This test uses a finger-prick blood sample to measure whether the blood glucose levels in your blood are higher or lower than average.
How does blood glucose level testing help to control diabetes?
Regularly testing your blood glucose levels can help people to control diabetes in a variety of ways, including:
- Assisting their doctor in medication decisions
- Identifying periods of high and low blood glucose levels
- Informing food choice and portion sizes
This can then lead to:
- Lower risk of some of the serious complications usually associated with diabetes
- A reduction in long-term glycemic control (HbAC1)
- Improved confidence in people of their ability to manage their diabetes themselves
Who is blood glucose testing suitable for?
Most people diagnosed with diabetes would benefit from regular blood glucose testing as long as they read the instructions on interpreting the results carefully and act on their results to improve the control of their blood glucose levels.
All people who take Insulin should be testing their blood glucose levels regularly, and people on specific medications such as medications in the Sulphonyluria family to determine periods of low blood glucose.
People on other medications that are now known to cause hypoglycemia may not need to test their blood glucose levels regularly. Still, it may be advisable for them to do so to help them manage their diabetes better.
Should I test my blood glucose levels?
Attitudes toward regular blood glucose level testing can vary quite dramatically, as some people find that it doesn’t help them manage their diabetes and make them more anxious. However, these tend to be people who have not had any education on their diabetes diagnoses.
Other people, however, find that blood glucose level testing is essential to their diabetes management – as they can interpret the results clearly and take action on them.
How often should I test my blood glucose levels?
The answer to this question depends on what type of diabetes you have.
People with Type 1 diabetes, for example, are usually advised by their doctor to test their blood glucose levels four times a day – once before each meal and once before bedtime.
However, if they also take part in many sports or have impaired hypo awareness, their doctor may advise them to test up to ten times a day.
People with Type 2 Diabetes are usually advised to test their blood glucose levels at least once a day. It may be best to do this at a different time each day to identify whether blood glucose levels are falling low or high at specific periods. You can then pass this information on to your doctor, who can help you to prevent this from happening.