5 things to change about your blood glucose checks
Has your doctor recommended that you check your blood sugar, but you're not sure how—or why? Here are a few ideas to take to heart.
- Make sure you're doing it right. Knowing the right way to test can reduce the pain of pricking your fingers and save money through fewer wasted test strips. If you haven't learned the technique from your healthcare team, watch a step-by-step video on our YouTube channel.
- Stop thinking they're just for your doctor. You can learn a great deal from the data you collect in-between visits. If your numbers are higher than normal, think about whether you've changed your routine, eaten more than normal, are particularly stressed or are falling ill.1 If your level is low, it could be your medication, more activity than usual or eating fewer carbohydrates.2 Over time, you may be able to predict the effect of your decisions on your blood sugar.
- Check for a reason. While "my doctor told me to" is one good reason, there are others. Do you want to know how certain foods or activities impact your health? Run a quick check and see. In our interview with Bennet D, he talked about the value of testing before and after specific events.
- Know why A1C and self-checks both matter. Your A1C (or, as some healthcare providers prefer to report it, your eAG) is a look at your average BG level over the past two to three months.3 But think about it—if you take the average of 5 and 5, or the average of 1 and 9, you get the same result. Your still need your self-check results to make sure your blood sugar doesn't fluctuate too greatly day to day.
- Think beyond today's number. Try not to just check it and forget it. Look for patterns in days that you're in and out of range. After all, the more time you spend in range, the better you may be able to prevent or delay the onset of foot, eye or other problems often associated with diabetes.4
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1American Diabetes Association. Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose). Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-gl.... Accessed December 3, 2018.
2American Diabetes Association. Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-gl.... Accessed December 3, 2018.
3American Diabetes Association. A1C and eAG. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-gl.... Accessed December 3, 2018.
4American Diabetes Association. Complications. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/. Accessed December 3, 2018.