Diabetes and Your Blood Sugar Testing-How Often?
Blood sugar testing is the most important part of your diabetes care plan.
In looking over my other articles, I wanted to cover more on the topic of glucose monitoring and how often you need to do it. So here goes my thoughts on the subject.
How do you feel about blood sugar testing? Most people prefer to call it a glucose check. When you say testing, it comes with the meaning of good or bad. It helps to refer to blood glucose numbers as either in the range or out of range. What is the right range anyhow?
Most of the time, prepranial (before meals) testing should be anywhere from 97-120 and not much over 120. And your two hour postpranial readings which means after eating should not run over 140. This example is according to the American Diabetes Association's targets.
In looking over your glucose readings overall, it is important to know the differences you have between a reading that stands out as way above or below target ranges to the patterns of readings that your system seems to follow. If for example, your readings before breakfast or lunch are typically from 110-140, and on one day it all of a sudden is 200, this isn't your usual pattern. But then you must take into consideration feeling out of sorts or other changes you may be having.
When you know your typical pattern, these readings that are off can be helpful and maybe let you know when you are about to be become ill or are under stressful situations.
How often you test really depends on you and your doctor's decisions and how your sugars typically run. Taking your glucose just once a day and forgetting about it, is not for the best and most doctors would agree. On the average, I think most people should test at least 4 times a day, but then being on insulin, this is much more critical.
When you check your blood glucose at the same times each day, you will detect your patterns. This will help you and your doctor make decisions based on your daily monitoring so that you can avoid complications in the end.
Your A1C is important to have checked every 3 months. Most doctors on the ball will see to this. It tells you overall how your blood sugar is all the time.
On sick days, check your blood sugars oftener.
How high is too high of a blood glucose? Well, from what I have learned, anything over 170 is considered a spike. If you are testing and find that you are seeing a lot of 170 or over readings, it is time for you and your doctor to evaluate your care plan and see where you need changes.
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