October 16, 2016

Knowing When to Test

Allen and I were having a discussion a few days ago about testing. He was complaining about how poorly WebMD was written for testing. I agreed with him and pulled up this information. Allen said you have an ability I wish I had. I said that is because I am planning to write a blog about the errors in this and opened the copy I had started,

I carefully hit the return key to be able I restart the blog. Most people with diabetes need to check their blood glucose levels regularly. The results help you and your doctor manage those levels, which helps you avoid diabetes complications. At this point, I stated this is the first error, as most doctors care nothing about your testing log, but only the A1c results. Allen and I both agreed the doctors miss a lot by ignoring the patient's testing log. Episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are not taken under consideration to prevent future episodes.

There are several ways to test your blood sugar; however, I will only mention those for type 1 diabetes. From your fingertip: You prick your finger with a small, sharp needle (called a lancet). Unless you own the only meter they describe, you will waste many test strips because most meters require that the test strip be inserted in the meter slot first to establish that the meter is working and the test strip is in date. Then the finger is pricked to receive enough blood for the test strip to wick into the test strip.

You get results in less than 5 seconds with most meters and can store this information for future use. Some meters can tell you your average blood glucose level over a period of time and show you charts and graphs of your past test results. You can get blood glucose meters and strips at your local pharmacy.

Meters That Test Other Sites: Newer meters let you test sites other than your fingertip, such as your upper arm, forearm, base of the thumb, and thigh. You may get different results than from your fingertip. Blood glucose levels in the fingertips show changes more quickly than those in other testing sites. This is especially true when your blood sugar is rapidly changing, like after a meal or after exercise. If you are checking your glucose when you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, you should use your fingertip if possible, because these readings will be more accurate.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring System: These devices, also called interstitial glucose measuring devices, are combined with insulin pumps. They are similar to finger-stick glucose results and can show patterns and trends in your results over time.

You may need to check your blood glucose several times a day, such as before meals or exercise, at bedtime, before driving, and when you think your blood glucose levels are low.

Everyone is different, so ask your doctor when and how often you should check your blood glucose. If you're sick, you'll probably need to test your blood glucose more often.

What Affects Your Results?

If you have certain conditions, like anemia or gout, or if it's hot or humid or you're at a high altitude, that can affect your blood glucose levels. They can also be unreliable if you have had a blood transfusion recently or are on dialysis.

If you keep seeing unusual results, recalibrate your meter and check the test strips.

Home Blood Glucose Monitoring.

The chart below gives you an idea of where your blood sugar level should be throughout the day. Your ideal blood glucose range may be different from another person's and will change throughout the day. At least they do recommend testing in pairs.
Time of Test
Ideal for Adults With Diabetes
Before meals
70-100 mg/dl
After meals
Less than 140 mg/dl

When Should I Call My Doctor About My Blood Sugar?

Ask your doctor about your target blood glucose range, and make a plan for how to handle blood glucose readings that are either too high or too low and when to call your doctor. Learn about the symptoms of high or low blood glucose, and know what you can do if you begin to have symptoms.

How Do I Record My Blood Glucose Test Results?

Keep good records of any blood, urine, or ketone tests you do. Most glucose monitors also have a memory. Your records can alert you to any problems or trends. These test records help your doctor make any needed changes in your meal plan, medicine, or exercise program. Bring these records with you every time you see your doctor.

Allen and I both agreed that WebMD information is often unreliable as it is most often written to ADA standards and we need better standards.

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