Healthcare and medical technology have made leaps and bounds of progress in the last few years. So many treatment modalities and management processes are now possible in the comfort of your own house. Have you wondered how to check diabetes at home? You cannot check for diabetes, but you can check blood sugar levels at home. Let’s find out all about at-home blood sugar tests.
There are 3 main ways through which you can test your blood glucose (sugar) levels at home.
This is the most widely available and affordable option. Blood glucose meters are also called glucometers. This device uses a test strip on which a sample of blood taken from your finger is placed, and the strip is inserted into the meter to check your blood sugar.
Continuous glucose monitoring involves the insertion of a tiny sensor underneath your skin and provides real-time blood glucose readings every few minutes. This sensor measures your glucose level and sends the information to a monitor or an app on your phone. An alarm sounds if your blood sugar becomes too high or too low.
In this system, there is no finger prick required, and a tiny sensor is inserted underneath your skin. It does not provide continuous readings. Rather, when you want to check your blood sugar level, you can use a reader to scan the sensor.
Blood glucose testing is crucial to monitor your glucose levels and assess if your diabetes is under control. Blood glucose levels tend to fluctuate after meals, exercise, physical activity, or stress.
Both hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels) and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels) are associated with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. High or low blood sugar can cause severe complications. Hyperglycemia can lead to complications such as glaucoma, nerve damage, kidney damage, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Regular blood sugar monitoring helps you understand the impact of factors such as meals, exercise, physical activity, illness, and stress on blood sugar levels. It prevents episodes of hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia. It also helps you assess the efficacy of insulin therapy or other treatment modalities for diabetes.
You should check your blood glucose levels depending on the type of diabetes you have, the treatment you follow, and the instructions given by your doctor. The typical timings followed for at-home blood sugar tests are:
Discuss with your doctor and personalise your glucose monitoring schedule as per your health condition.
Blood sugar testing using a blood glucose meter requires a small sample of blood to be placed on a disposable test strip. Even if you use CGM, you will need a blood glucose meter to calibrate your CGM device daily.
Consult your doctor about which device is best for you and how to use it. Read and follow the instructions that come with your device.
Testing your blood glucose levels at home usually involves the following steps:
You can follow these tips to ensure accurate testing of your blood glucose levels at home:
For individuals without diabetes, blood sugar levels should be within the following ranges:
For people with diabetes, blood sugar readings should be within the following ranges:
As per the American Diabetes Association (ADA), ranges often vary depending on the age and personal health of the individual.
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