BLOOD SUGAR MONITORING
Blood sugar monitoring is the main tool to check your diabetes control. This check indicates the blood sugar level at any one time.
It’s important for blood sugar levels to stay in a healthy range. If sugar levels get too low, the ability to think and function normally is lost. If the sugar level get too high and stay high, it causes organ damage or complications over the course.
Keeping a log of the blood sugar levels is vital. This record helps the health care provider, to formulate a diabetes care plan. To help keep track of sugar levels, an online tool Diabetes 24/7 or a printable blood sugar log is available.
WHO SHOULD CHECK?
Talk to your doctor about whether you should be checking your blood glucose. People that may benefit from checking blood sugar include those:
- taking insulin
- pregnant women
- 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 sugar levels
HOW TO CHECK?
People with diabetes check their blood sugar levels by pricking their fingertips and using a blood glucose meter, or use a continuous glucose monitor that tells what their blood sugar is at in that moment. The HbA1C is also a blood test that gives us a snapshot of 3 months of blood sugar levels.
HOW TO CHECK WITH A METER?
After washing hands, insert a test strip into gluco-meter.
Use lancet on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood.
Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood, and wait for the result.
Your blood glucose level will appear on the gluco-meter's display.
Note: All meters are slightly different, so always refer to user's manual for specific device 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 lancets that make pricking yourself less painful.
If you use your fingertip, prick the side of your fingertip by your fingernail to avoid having sore spots on the frequently used part of your finger.
WHAT ARE THE TARGET RANGES?
Blood glucose targets are individualized based on:
- Duration of diabetes
- Age / life expectancy
- Comorbid conditions
- Known CVD or advanced microvascular complications
- Hypoglycemia unawareness
- Individual patient considerations.
According to Qatar National Clinical guidelines, Glycemic controls and targets:
- The target BG levels across all pediatric age groups are as follows :
- Before meals: 5.0 – 7.2 mmol/L (90 – 130 mg/dL).
- Bedtime / overnight: 5.0 – 8.3 mmol/L (90 – 150 mg/dL)
- HBA1C: <7.5% (a target of <7.0% is reasonable is it can be achieved without problematic hypoglycemia).
- HBA1C: Less than 7%
Before a meal (pre-prandial plasma glucose): 65–100 mg/dl
- 1-2 hours after beginning of the meal (Postprandial plasma glucose)*: Less than 125mg/dl
WHAT DO THE RESULTS MEAN?
After the blood sugar check, record the results and review them to see how food, activity and stress affect your blood sugar. Take a close look at your blood sugar record to see if the level is too high or too low, several days in a row, about the same time. If the same thing keeps happening, it might be time to change your plan. Ask your doctor or diabetes educator to learn what your results mean. This takes time. Ask your doctor or nurse if the results are out of a certain range should it be reported to a health care provider at once by phone.
Keeping in mind that blood glucose results often trigger strong feelings. Blood sugar numbers might upset you, make you confused, frustrated, angry, or down. It's easy to use the numbers to judge yourself. Remind yourself that your blood sugar level is a way to track how well your diabetes care plan is working. It is not a judgment of you as a person. The results simply reflects that you need a change in your diabetes care plan.
WHAT ABOUT URINE CHECKS FOR GLUCOSE?
Urine checks for sugar are not as accurate as blood sugar checks and should only be used when blood testing is impossible. Urine checks for ketones, however, is very important. Everyone with diabetes should be educated on how to check urine for ketones.