Blood Glucose Exams: What You Ought to Know

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When you have got diabetes, it’s possible you’ll use a blood glucose check to examine the extent of your blood glucose, or blood sugar.

If you happen to take insulin, it’s possible you’ll use a blood glucose tester, or glucometer, just a few instances a day. If you happen to take non-insulin treatment, it’s possible you’ll solely want an A1c check, which is completed at your physician’s workplace, each 3-6 months. An A1c check is a blood check that exhibits your physician the common of your blood glucose ranges over 3 months.

Blood Glucose Exams as You Age

As you grow old, your physician could change the way you monitor your blood sugar.

“The targets your physician desires you to purpose for could change primarily based in your age or different well being elements,” says Patrice Conrad, a senior diabetes specialist at Precedence Well being in Grand Rapids, MI.

“Older sufferers are at a better danger of getting low blood glucose with sure drugs, resembling insulin and sulfonylureas,” says Jocelyne Karam, MD, director of the Division of Endocrinology at Maimonides Medical Heart in Brooklyn, NY.

You might also have a better danger of low blood glucose you probably have sure situations, like kidney, liver, or coronary heart issues, or in case your urge for food will get smaller.

To forestall low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, your physician will need you to observe your ranges carefully with a blood glucose check.

What Blood Glucose Exams Do

Your blood glucose ranges go up and down all through the day. They might rise after you eat, then fall after you go a very long time with out consuming.

Your physician gives you a goal vary in your blood glucose degree. If it goes too low, you possibly can have issues functioning and considering nicely. In the event that they go too excessive, it might trigger issues in your physique over time.

By utilizing a glucometer, you possibly can examine your ranges and make changes to maintain them in a wholesome vary.

Varieties of Blood Glucose Exams

There are various kinds of blood glucose assessments.

Fingerstick blood glucose check. With this check, you poke your finger with a lancet to get a small drop of blood. You set the blood on a strip, then the glucometer tells you what your blood sugar degree is at that second.


Steady glucose monitoring gadget (CGM). With a CGM check, you set a sticker-like patch, or glucose sensor, in your pores and skin. It offers you a readout in your smartphone or one other gadget like an insulin pump. “It could actually measure and transmit glucose readings each 5 minutes, 24 hours a day,” says Karam. You might substitute the sensor each 7-14 days.

“The good thing about CGM is you possibly can see what your blood sugars are on a regular basis, better of all, with out poking,” says Conrad, a registered nurse. A CGM is useful you probably have a number of insulin pictures throughout the day or in case your ranges range quite a bit.

Easy methods to Select the Proper Check for You

The very best check will be the one which’s best so that you can use.

“There are speaking meters for individuals who could not see nicely, and a few could have greater numbers for these with restricted imaginative and prescient,” says Conrad. Some have backlighting, to make them simpler to learn. Others retailer your readings so you possibly can share them along with your physician by downloading them.

“Older sufferers who’ve issue sticking their fingers, however nonetheless have to have frequent glucose readings, can profit from glucose sensors,” says Karam. However you want some technical talent to make use of a CGM gadget, so that they might not be proper for everybody.

Speak to your physician or pharmacist about which check could also be greatest for you.

When to Verify Your Blood Sugar

Your physician will let you know how usually to check your blood glucose ranges, and if it is advisable to make modifications as you age.

“If you happen to’re on insulin, they’ll usually need you to examine earlier than meals and bedtime,” says Conrad. “In the event that they’ve been operating excessive or low, they’ll need no less than that many, if no more, assessments.”

In case your numbers have been operating at or close to your goal more often than not and also you’re not taking insulin with meals, your physician could advocate testing much less usually.

“Sufferers with kind 2 diabetes handled with weight loss program alone, or drugs that don’t trigger low blood glucose, would possibly solely have to examine with a fingerstick just a few instances every week,” Karam says.

You probably have modifications in drugs, medical situations, or urge for food, your physician could advocate adjusting your testing schedule to keep away from low blood sugar.


Maintain Your Numbers on Goal as You Age

You’ll be able to take steps to ensure your blood glucose ranges keep at a wholesome goal vary. “A lot of issues have an effect on your blood sugar. Some you have got management over, some you don’t,” Conrad says.

Right here’s what you are able to do to maintain your ranges on observe.

  • Eat wholesome more often than not.
  • Be as lively as you possibly can.
  • Handle your stress the most effective which you could.

  • Verify your blood sugar ranges as usually as your physician recommends.
  • Take your treatment on time, each time.



Patrice Conrad, registered nurse; senior diabetes specialist, Precedence Well being, Grand Rapids, MI.

Jocelyne Karam, MD, director, Division of Endocrinology, Maimonides Medical Heart, Brooklyn, NY.

American Diabetes Affiliation: “The Large Image: Checking Your Blood Glucose.”

Well being In Ageing: “Diabetes Care & Therapy,” “Diabetes Distinctive to Older Adults.”

Johns Hopkins Drugs: “Diabetes: What You Have to Know as You Age.”

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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