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Managing diabetes: Measuring your blood glucose levels.
Find out everything you need to know about blood sugar levels. Why, when and how to test your blood sugar levels. Regular monitoring prevents long-term complications associated with diabetes.
It’s important for an individual living with diabetes to be proactive when monitoring their blood glucose levels.
Monitoring of your blood glucose level is an important tool in managing your treatment plan and preventing long term complications associated with diabetes. Let’s look at the WHY, WHEN and HOW when it comes to the monitoring of your blood glucose levels.
Why should I test my blood sugar levels?
Self-monitoring of your blood glucose levels allows you to have useful information for your diabetes management. It can help you with the following.
- Determine how well you’re reaching your overall treatment goals.
- Understanding and determining the effects of diet and exercising on your blood sugar levels.
- Understanding the effects of external factors such as stress/illness on your blood sugar levels.
- Effectively monitoring the effects of your medication on your blood sugar levels.
- Identifying high/low blood sugar levels.
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When do I test my blood sugar levels?
Getting advice from your Doctor on how often you should monitor your blood glucose levels is always best. The frequency of testing is also dependant on the type of diabetes you are living with, as well as your treatment plan.
If you are a type one diabetic, your Doctor may recommend that you test your blood sugar levels around 4-8 times a day. He may suggest testing before having snacks/ meals. Before and after exercising and occasionally at night. Your Doctor may encourage you to check your blood sugar levels when you are ill or have had a change in medication.
If you are a type two diabetic and are using insulin to manage your diabetes, your doctor may recommend testing 2 or more times a day depending on the amount and type of insulin you are using. It is usually recommended to test before any meals and at times before bedtime. However, if you are making use of non-insulin-medications or a by means of a diet and exercise alone, you may not need to test as often. Possibly just once a day is sufficient.
How do I test my blood glucose levels?
- You can make use of a glucose meter if you have one at home.
- Visit your doctor.
- Visit your local clinic/hospital.
- Make use of the services of the clinics at either Dischem or Clicks outlets.
We all have questions.
Below are some of the answers to the most common questions that you need to know.
Which is worse – Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes?
“Worse” is a harsh comparison. The difference between these two types of Diabetes is that Type 1 requires insulin, and it never goes away. Type 2 requires consistent effort and can be managed over your lifetime.
What is the normal HbA1C level?
It is generally accepted that you should maintain HbA1C below 8%. The following guidelines are suggested by the South African Diabetes Association:
- 4 – 6% Non-diabetic range.
- < 7% Well-controlled diabetic 7% – 8% Acceptable diabetic control > 8%
- Poor diabetic control needs attention.
What is the main cause of Diabetes?
Diabetes (Type 1) is usually a predisposed or genetically inherited condition. Diabetes (Type 2) is caused by lifestyle choices. Gestational Diabetes can be caused by either genetics or lifestyle choices.
What are the first signs of diabetes?
- Excessive thirst over a prolonged period.
- Increased frequency in the need to urinate.
- Significant weight loss or gain.
- You find yourself fatigued, tired, and irritable, on a regular basis.
- Open or ruptured wounds take a long time to heal.
- Blurred vision.
- Tingling sensations in your hands and feet.
Can you get life insurance if you have Diabetes?
Yes. AllLife can help you get up to R10million life insurance, as either a Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetic.
Can I test myself for Diabetes?
Although you can easily test your own blood glucose levels at any time, only your doctor, nurse, or clinic team can confirm a Diabetes diagnosis. This is because a series of specific tests are required for diagnosis.
Up to R10 million Life Cover for people living with Diabetes.
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What will I be covered for?
With just one phone call, you could be offered comprehensive Diabetic Life Cover and Diabetic Disability Cover (optional). A simple underwriting process is completed once you’ve signed up, usually consisting of common blood tests, to determine if full cover can be continued.
What happens after I‘m covered?
After you’re covered you can enjoy the benefit of our Health Control Programme where we remind and assist you when it comes to regular tests and checkups, ensuring that you live a healthy and happy life.
Remember, life cover gets more expensive as you get older, so your premium will never be lower than it is today.