Why is Blood Sugar Checked at Home?

blood-sugar-homeThe question that many people ask when it comes to diabetes is that of why blood sugar has to be checked so often; even those who have been recently diagnosed may not entirely understand why it is that the checks of their blood sugar that happen in their checkups with their physician—both current blood sugar and A1C—are not sufficient. There are multiple reasons to check blood sugar regularly, not the least of which is to keep track of levels over time. Even if your medication is perfectly dosed and calibrated, there are a number of things that monitoring your blood sugar will do for you—and a number of dangers that can come from not checking regularly. More and more, diabetic supply companies are making it easier to purchase the diabetic accessories you need to monitor your blood glucose levels, making it difficult to come up with an excuse not to do so.

Monitoring blood sugar at home helps you to understand the ways in which exercise and diet affect your blood sugar levels, which can have a few important consequences: it can change the dosage you need to take of your medication, and it can also make it easier to manage your diabetes. As you learn more about the ways your diet impacts your glucose levels and how exercise changes that interaction, you can be a little more flexible in other controlling mechanisms. It also helps you to understand how other factors such as illness and stress can affect you. Every individual is different, and the way that your body responds to stress or illness may be entirely different from what another person experiences.

In addition to better understanding the way your body is working, regular at-home monitoring of your blood sugar levels helps you to judge how well you’re reaching overall treatment goals. When your doctor diagnoses you with diabetes, it’s important to stick with the goals that he or she come up with as a way of preventing complications that can arise from poorly managed blood sugar. Very dangerous things can happen if your blood sugar becomes too low or too high, and monitoring it on a regular basis allows you to take action—whether that means eating something to bolster your levels or taking additional medication to bring them down. Your treatment goals are specific to you, and will continue to evolve over time, so it’s important to see how closely you’re able to meet them, and how consistently you’re doing so. Without monitoring, there’s very little ability for you to truly know.

Dangerously high or low blood sugar levels can have monumental consequences, both in the short term and over time. If you consistently have high blood sugar, you can be damaging your nerves, or contributing to conditions such as high blood pressure and infection. Depending on your overall level of health and the type of diabetes you are diagnosed with, your doctor may recommend different intervals of testing, and it’s important to adhere as closely as possible to his or her recommendations. Diabetic accessories such as testing kits, lancets, and test strips are readily available from many different diabetic supply companies, which makes it much more convenient to monitor your levels at home.

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