If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor has probably already told you that you need to monitor your blood ugar. Glucose meters allow you to test your blood sugar as many times a day as you need to.
Blood sugar can fluctuate throughout the day and is affected by food, medications, stress, exercise, and more – sometimes it feels like being on a never-ending roller coaster ride! But if you stay on top of these ups and downs with a glucose meter, it will help prevent the development of more serious health conditions from diabetes, such as heart or kidney disease.
What Is a Glucose Meter?
Glucose is just a fancy word that doctors like to use for blood sugar. Glucose meters, like the Diathrive glucose meter, measure the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. You can use them almost everywhere you go, like your favorite restaurant.
Why You Should Test Your Blood Sugar
If you have diabetes, then you have more glucose in your blood than other people. And that means, if unchecked, you could develop more serious health problems like:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Vision loss
Testing your blood sugar levels with a glucose meter will help you take charge of your health by alerting you when you have a problem that you need to tell your doctor about.
How Often Should You Test Your Blood Sugar?
Your doctor will tell you how often you should test your blood sugar with a glucose meter. However, here are some general guidelines from The Mayo Clinic based on whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
If you have type 1 diabetes, your doctor may ask you to test your blood sugar levels between four and ten times a day. Some typical times are:
- Before you go to bed
- Before you eat
- Before and after you exercise
- More often, if you are ill or start a new medication
Type 2 diabetes
Blood sugar testing with type 2 diabetes may depend on whether or not you take insulin or use non-insulin medications to control your diabetes. You may only have to use your glucose meter a couple of times a day if you take insulin.
For non-insulin medications, you may get away with no testing at all! Again, check with your doctor about whether you need to monitor your glucose levels with a glucose meter.
What Is Your Target Blood Sugar Range?
Your blood sugar will change throughout the day. Here is the average target blood sugar level for people with diabetes:
- 80-130 mg/dL before you eat or while you are fasting
- Less than 180 mg/dL two hours after you have eaten
Abnormal Blood Sugar Levels
If you have too little or too much sugar in your blood, you may have one of the following conditions:
- Hyperglycemia: Too much sugar, which is above 180 mg/dL
- Hypoglycemia: Too little sugar, which is less than 70 mg/dL
Daily blood sugar testing can help you take charge of your diabetes and catch more serious conditions before they get too far. A glucose meter will make you the conductor of your diabetes roller coaster, and not just along for the ride, by giving you immediate, accurate blood sugar level results. Your doctor will thank you too!