Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose

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Blood glucose (blood sugar) monitoring is the main tool you have to check your diabetes control. This check tells you your blood glucose level at any one time.

It’s important for blood glucose levels to stay in a healthy range. If glucose levels get too low, we can lose the ability to think and function normally. If they get too high and stay high, it can cause damage or complications to the body over the course of many years.

Keeping a log of your results is vital. When you bring this record to your health care provider, you have a good picture of your body’s response to your diabetes care plan.

Talk to your doctor about whether you should be checking your blood glucose. People that may benefit from checking blood glucose include those:

  • taking insulin
  • that are pregnant
  • having a hard time controlling blood glucose levels
  • having low blood glucose levels
  • having low blood glucose levels without the usual warning signs
  • have ketones from high blood glucose levels

 

How to check?

People with diabetes check their blood glucose levels by poking their fingertips and using a blood glucose meter, or use a continuous glucose monitor that tells what their blood glucose is at in that moment. The A1C is also a blood test but it tells us what blood glucose levels have been over the last two to three months.

How to check with a meter:

  1. After washing your hands, insert a test strip into your meter.
  2. Use your lancing device on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood.
  3. Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood, and wait for the result.
  4. Your blood glucose level will appear on the meter’s display.

Note: All meters are slightly different, so always refer to your user’s manual for specific instructions.

Other tips for checking:

  • With some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh or fleshy part of your hand.
  • There are spring-loaded lancing devices that make sticking yourself less painful.
  • If you use your fingertip, stick the side of your fingertip by your fingernail to avoid having sore spots on the frequently used part of your finger.

 

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