Today is World Diabetic Day. India has earned itself the unfortunate title of ‘diabetic capital of the world’, which is why it’s important to spread the awareness about this disease so that people afflicted with diabetes can improve the quality of their life and control their diabetes symptoms.
An essential part of diabetes care is self-monitoring. Blood sugar testing is an important component of diabetes care that help you to take charge of the condition. Self-monitoring of blood sugar is an essential tool in managing the treatment plan and preventing the long-term complication of diabetes. It is crucial to regularly measure your blood sugar levels, to observe if you might have hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia or prediabetes symptoms.
How Blood Sugar Testing Help You?
Helps in assessing your overall treatment goals.
It helps you know the impact of diet and exercise on blood sugar levels
It helps gauge the impact of factors such as illness or stress, affect blood sugar levels
Helps observe the effect of diabetes medications on blood sugar levels
Helps monitor if blood sugar levels are high or low.
Know Your Target Range
The blood sugar test results are based on several factors,
Type of diabetes
Duration of diabetes
The existence of diabetes complications
Time of check
Target range blood glucose level for people with diabetes
Before lunch, dinner & snack
Two hours after meals
< 180 mg/dl
A1C (glycosylated haemoglobin HbA1C)
Ranges as per American Diabetic Association (ADA)
Why Is It Important To Control Blood-Glucose Levels?
Most of the people with diabetes don’t feel any symptoms unless they are suffering hyperglycaemia (glucose level is too high) or hypoglycaemia (glucose level is too low). Hyperglycaemia can cause damage to some of the organs, which leads to complications of diabetes. These include:
Diabetic nephropathy that may need dialysis.
Diabetic retinopathy, which may lead to loss of vision.
Cardiovascular disease such as myocardial infarction (heart attack) or stroke.
Diabetic neuropathy problems with circulation and can lead to amputation.
Blood sugar monitoring helps to keep your sugars under tight control and can reduce the risk of hyperglycaemia and prevent complications.
Self-monitoring your blood glucose levels is a vital part of managing diabetes. This helps to see the impact of the ways you are taking to control diabetes, including:
How Often Should I Test My Blood Glucose Level?
The frequency of monitoring your blood glucose levels varies depending on individuals, type of diabetes, tablets and or insulin being used. Your doctor or certified diabetes educator help you to decide the frequency of testing to meet the target.
Possible times to test are:
Before breakfast (fasting)
Two hours after a meal
Before rigorous exercise
When you are feeling sick
Monitoring 4 times a day is usually recommended for people with type 1 diabetes. However, those using an insulin pump may test more often.
Regular monitoring of blood glucose is positively associated with better diabetic control, your determination rewards you with improved well-being and reduced risk of long-term complications.
Who Should Check?
People who may benefit from checking blood glucose include those:
Those on insulin
Having uncontrolled blood glucose levels.
Those who experience frequent hypoglycaemia
Hypoglycaemia without warning signs.
Presence of ketones in the blood, due to high blood glucose levels.
When you completely understand how important it is to monitor blood glucose and the positive effect this has in preventing complications, diabetes can be managed well.