Diabetes is one of the chronic health conditions that are long-lasting and affects how the body turns food into energy. When a person has diabetes, his or her body does not make enough insulin, or it does not use the insulin it makes as well as it needs to. With this, too much blood sugar stays in the bloodstream. In time, it can cause serious health problems like kidney disease, heart disease, and vision loss.
There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but there are things that you can do that might help. These include eating healthy, losing weight, and being active. It is also important to take medicines regularly and monitor your blood sugar levels. Why do you think it is important for people with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels? Read on to learn more about it.
Why is Blood Sugar Monitoring Important?
The only way to find out the blood glucose level of a person is through testing. Doing it regularly can help identify high and low levels before serious problems could develop. In addition to that, regular blood sugar level testing can also help people assess how well there are balancing their insulin therapy, exercise, and as well as meal planning to manage their diabetes. The results of the tests will also give important information for doctors so that they can make adjustments to their patient’s overall care plan.
According to research, frequent blood sugar testing is the foundation of managing diabetes effectively. Based on the Diabetes Control and Complication Trial or DCCT, which is one of the most important studies on the association between glucose control and long-term complications, regular testing helps reduce the risk of developing long-term complications.
Monitoring Your Blood Sugar
There are various ways in how a person’s blood sugar level can be monitored. You can choose among traditional home glucose monitoring, meters that test body parts, and a continuous glucose monitoring system. Among the many options out there, one of the most accurate is the finger-stick glucose or the use of diabetic meters like the Bayer contour next monitor.
Those small, pocket-sized blood sugar monitoring devices can check glucose levels in seconds, and they only use a small drop of blood. Most of them are portable and battery-operated. Here are some of the information that you can get from using blood sugar meters:
- The measurement of your blood sugar level at a given time.
- Informs you if you have a high or low blood sugar level at a given time.
- It will help you see how your lifestyle and medications affect your blood sugar levels over time.
- The results of your tests will help you and your doctor or healthcare team to make some changes to your medications and lifestyle in order to improve your blood sugar levels. Many devices today also allow people to download the results to computers, which you can use to create charts and graphs of your readings to determine spot trends or trouble spots.
Using a Blood Sugar Monitoring Device
Even though there are many different kinds of blood sugar monitoring devices or meters in the market today, most of them almost work the same way. If you want to learn how to use one, here are some of the steps that you can follow:
- Ensure that the blood sugar meter is clean before using it.
- Get one test strip from the container. Always close the container properly after getting one because when exposed to moisture, the strips can be damaged.
- Before you use the device, wash your hands with soap and warm water first, and make sure to dry them well. After that, massage your hand to get blood into the finger that you will be pricking.
- Get the lancet that comes with the device and use it to prick your finger. Squeeze your finger from the base and put a small drop of blood onto the test strip. Then, place the strip in the blood sugar meter.
- After a few seconds, it will display the reading. After testing, it is better that you track and record your results. You can also add notes about what you think may have caused that reading, like the foods you ate and the activities you did.
- Always dispose of the used lancet and test strip properly in a trash container.
When using a blood sugar meter, you need to make sure that you do not share it with anyone else, even with family members. This will help you avoid infections. Also, make sure that you keep the test strips in the container provided and do not let them be exposed to moisture, cold temperatures, and heat.
Diabetes is indeed one of the challenging ailments that many people are struggling with. But with proper diet, exercise, and blood sugar monitoring, you will be able to keep your body healthy. Therefore, if you have diabetes or you want to prevent it, it is better to have your own blood sugar monitoring device at home. This way, you can always check if your blood glucose levels are normal or if you need to seek help from your doctor. We hope this post helped you learn more about the importance of monitoring blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.