Regardless of whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, you need to purchase a glucometer for monitoring your blood sugar levels. This portable electronic device lets you monitor your blood sugar levels regularly from time to time without visiting the doctor. You can’t stop praising a glucometer as it gives you accurate results instantly in the comfort of your own home. What more can you ask and wish for? The valuable information immediately lets you know whether your blood sugar is too high, too low or in the normal range. Diabetes is a lifestyle disease.
Through this guide, you will see how regular monitoring of your blood sugar levels with a glucometer helps you in managing and keeping your Diabetes in control. Save yourself from additional complications and medications. You may thank us later, hehe.
Who Needs to Use a Glucometer?
Anybody living with Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) should use a glucometer. If any woman was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, then even she needs to use a glucometer. Along with taking your medication, the next major thing you should do is check your blood sugar levels regularly with the help of your glucometer.
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?
Our immune system plays the role of fighting off foreign invaders like harmful viruses and bacteria. So, what happens when someone has type 1 diabetes? When people have type 1 diabetes, their immune system considers even the healthy cells of their body to be foreign invaders. Their immune system not only attacks but also destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. And then this gets worse. After the immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells, the body is unable to produce insulin anymore. Most of the time this happens due to genetic or environmental factors.
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
When a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, that means he/she has insulin resistance. This does not mean that the body stops producing insulin completely. The body does produce insulin, but unfortunately, it is not able to use it effectively. Type 2 diabetes is mostly caused due to various lifestyle-related factors. These include being overweight, lack of exercise, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, stress and more. Like type 1 diabetes, environmental factors and genetics can also lead to type 2 diabetes. When an individual develops type 2 diabetes, their pancreas tries to produce more insulin in order to recompensate. Since their body is not able to use the insulin effectively, glucose stores up in their bloodstream.
Ideal Time to Test Your Blood Sugar Levels
The answer to this depends upon the type of diabetes you have. There is no “one size fits all”. What suits you may not suit the other person. You need to narrow it down to how severe your health condition is. In this case, the health condition is diabetes, so the appropriate time to check your blood sugar levels will depend upon whether you have type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes. We have penned it down for you so you won’t have to go anywhere else. Read further to know more.
People with Type 1 Diabetes
Generally, a person with type 1 diabetes needs to check their blood glucose levels four-ten times per day. Firstly, you need to test the levels before consuming any food items, be it a heavy meal or light snacks. Secondly, you need to test your glucose levels before and after your workout, lastly, before you get into bed at night. People with type 1 diabetes need to check their blood glucose levels more frequently. This needs to be done to ensure that they have sufficient insulin in order to keep their blood sugar stable. Further, if there is a change in your routine or if you fall sick then you will need to test your blood sugar levels more than before throughout the day or night.
People with Type 2 Diabetes
Regardless of whether they take insulin or not, people with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes may only need to test their blood sugar levels two-four times per day. Generally, the ideal time to test is before meals and before going to bed. If you are managing or treating diabetes with non-insulin medication then you may not even need to test your blood sugar levels everyday (once you have learned your patterns).
Glucometers are Extremely Portable
We often don’t like to carry numerous things and items along with us while commuting to work or anywhere. Especially heavy and large items. Even if it is a medical product or health device. To be honest, you won’t feel the same with a glucometer. This is due to the fact that glucometers are extremely portable. Besides the fact that glucometers require only a single drop of blood to check your blood sugar levels, they are also highly sophisticated. Most of the glucometers nowadays are conveniently sized and lightweight which makes them extremely portable.
You can carry them whenever and wherever you want to. These small-sized glucometers are perfect on the go and are comfortable to use. Moreover, they also fit easily in your purse. We bet you won’t find it difficult to carry it along on the go especially while travelling far distances or when you’re on a vacation. One such example of a lightweight, conveniently sized, and extremely portable glucometer is the CONTOUR NEXT ONE. Consider purchasing it.
Why Use a Glucometer Frequently?
- Well, besides the fact that glucometers help you self test your blood sugar levels from time to time at home. They instantly provide you with feedback on whether your blood sugar levels are high or low.
- Secondly, a glucometer is capable of recognizing patterns when you are more prone to have a spike in your glucose levels or a crash in glucose.
- Thirdly, you will also get to know how your glucose levels respond when you are stressed out and also after you finish working out.
- Further, it also monitors the effects of your diabetes medications as well as other therapies.
- Lastly, a glucometer also helps you analyse if you are meeting your specific treatment goals or not. If yes, then how well you are meeting these goals.
The Right Way of Using a Glucometer
As said earlier, the process is simple. The only thing you need to do is to be mindful while using a glucometer throughout the process. Before you use the glucometer, ensure you prepare your supplies. Next, clean/wash your hands properly. Then, turn on the glucometer and insert the test strip. After you do this, prick your finger carefully and squeeze a drop of blood. Remember, ONLY one drop of blood. Further, place this drop of blood to the edge of the test strip. Lastly, wipe off the remaining blood if any. Go through the following list comprising of the detailed instructions of glucometer usage.
- Firstly, fetch your glucometer, next, a test strip, lancet and an alcohol preparation pad.
- Secondly, wash your hands well in order to prevent infection. Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly. If there is no wash basin or sink next to you then no issues, you may use the alcohol swab.
- Warming your hands promotes blood flow i.e. it helps the blood to flow easily. Consider running your hands under some warm water for a few minutes. Once you are done, dry your hands well. If you leave your hands wet then it dilutes the blood sample, which in turn, affects the result. And you will end up with a lower blood sugar reading.
- To make this easier for you, there is another alternative. Instead of washing your hands, simply rub both your hands together briskly for a few minutes.
- Turn the glucometer on. Wait for it to come on and once it is ready to use, place a test strip into it.
- Keep a watch on the indicator in order to place the blood on the test strip.
- Please ensure that your hand is dry. With the help of an alcohol prep pad, wipe the area that you have selected. You need to wait till the alcohol evaporates.
- Next, pierce your fingertip on the side of your finger (between the bottom of your fingernail to the tip of your nail). Avoid the pads since this can pinch more.
- The type of blood drop that is required is determined by the type of strip that you are using. Some of them make use of a “hanging drop” of blood vs a small drop for strips that draw the blood in with a capillary action.
- Then, place the drop of blood on/at the side of the strip. Your glucometer will calculate the blood sugar reading and give you the results instanty.
- If the area that you pierced is still bleeding, then don’t worry. Make use of the alcohol prep pad to blot the site.
- Make a note of your results. Recording them makes it hassle-free for you as well as your doctor in order to set up a good treatment plan.
Nowadays, glucometers have a special “memory” feature. Through this feature, your glucometer can store all your blood sugar readings so you don’t have to struggle to memorize them yourself or note them down somewhere. Simply look up and find your previous readings. Keeping a record of all your previous readings is necessary since it can help you manage your patterns. Through the information, you can see for yourself how your body is responding to the food that you eat, your medication as well as your workout. Whether you need to exercise more or less, whether you need to refrain from certain foods and so on. This becomes easier for your doctor too as he gets a picture of your body and the treatment.
Testing your Blood Sugar Levels while Travelling
When you are on the go, on vacation or travelling, ensure you carry extra supplies. Your glucometer will need additional care in order to function properly and give you accurate results. The following points will help you use your glucometer effectively for monitoring your diabetes and also keep it in a good condition.
- So, the next time you’re travelling or you want to test your blood sugar levels on-the-go, ensure you carry along with you double the number of test strips and lancets. Do this in order to not fall short.
- Next comes hygiene and the ideal place to store. A dry and clean place is what you should store your glucometer and test strips in. Ensure you avoid extreme temperatures. Never keep your glucometer and test strips in direct sunlight, not even in your car. Direct sunlight can affect the glucometer and strips even if they are kept in the car. Extreme temperature also includes a cold climate. Lastly, never place these things on top of the heater.
- You can dispose of your lancets in a puncture-proof container. It would be best if you use a sharps container as it is specially made for the purpose of disposing of lancets, disposable needles, syringes, infusion sets and any other blood transfusion device. The other option is to use a thick, plastic laundry detergent bottle that comes with a screw-on cap. This helps in preventing needle-stick accidents.
- If you are going on a long vacation, several days or weeks then consider carrying a hard plastic pencil case. When you want to discard your lancets, you can store them in this pencil case. Once you are back home you can discard them properly.
Glucose Testing On-the-Go!
And with this, we’ve made it till the end of this article. See which glucometer is best for you, which one matches your requirements better for monitoring and managing Diabetes. Here are some of the best glucometer brands, consider taking a look at them. Get accurate results easily. Lastly, take care of yourself, eat healthy, move more, sleep deep, think positive. Get rid of that emotional baggage, negative emotions, stress. Avoid toxic people. Do what is best for you. You need to get the blood pumping.