Things to Consider When Testing Your Blood Sugar Level

Diabetes Glucose TestingMost diabetics understand the need to keep their blood glucose levels under control. Keeping on a healthy diet, and avoiding foods that will push up your glucose levels, are the main things to bear in mind. Monitoring how well your efforts are working, enables you to work out your own individual diet, so you can still eat food you enjoy while knowing it is not harmful to your health. Testing gives you knowledge, and knowledge empowers you.

Blood glucose testing kits measure the levels of glucose present in the blood in units of millimoles per litre, or mmol/l. There are different kits available, but they generally consist of a strip and a measuring device. The principle is simple. First, you take a sample of your blood, usually from a finger, and place it onto the strip. The strip is then placed in the measuring device which determines the glucose level in the blood sample and displays it.

The normal range for glucose levels in the blood is between 4 and 8 mmol/l. However your glucose level varies during the course of the day according to what you are doing and what you are eating. Just prior to meal times, for instance, it is normal for the level to drop a little, probably under 7mmol/l. Following your meal, the glucose levels will increase. Your approach to testing yourself needs to take account of this. If you test your levels at the same time each day, you will quickly pick up on any unexpected change to the usual glucose level in your blood. However, a strategy of varying the times you take the tests, will give you a fuller picture of how your levels change throughout your daily routine. This can be very useful. For example, if you miss your regular testing time and finish up taking your test later, unless you have tested yourself at this time before, you won’t know what the level should be. We all like to have a routine and it makes it easier for us to remember those necessary little daily tasks, so keeping to a regular testing time has definite benefits. You should also occasionally test your levels at different times though, so that you build up a good general picture of what your glucose levels should be throughout the day.

Should your own testing give you cause for concern, a more comprehensive form of testing for your blood sugar levels, is the glycated hemoglobin, or HbA1c test. This test is carried out by a professional and the results can take a few weeks to come back to you, but it gives a better guide to how well your diet is controlling your blood sugar levels. The HbA1c in your body is created by the reaction between the glucose and hemoglobin. This reaction occurs over a period of weeks, and is independent of the regular ups and downs in your glucose levels which are occurring all the time. If your average blood sugar levels have been high over the past month or so, this will produce a higher level of HbA1c. We sell A1C test kits from $24.99.

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