It’s important for an individual living with diabetes to be proactive when monitoring your blood glucose levels.

Managing diabetes: Measuring your blood glucose levels

It’s important for an individual living with diabetes to be proactive when monitoring their blood glucose 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.

  1. Determine how well you’re reaching your overall treatment goals.
  2. Understanding and determining the effects of diet and exercising on your blood sugar levels.
  3. Understanding the effects of external factors such as stress/illness on your blood sugar levels.
  4. Effectively monitoring the effects of your medication on your blood sugar levels.
  5. Identifying high/low blood sugar levels.

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?

  1. You can make use of a glucose meter if you have one at home.
  2. Visit your doctor.
  3. Visit your local clinic/hospital.
  4. Make use of the services of the clinics at either Dischem or Clicks outlets.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org

http://dischem.co.za

https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com

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