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Testing and monitoring your blood sugar levels.

Understand the importance of regularly testing and monitoring your blood sugar levels. Learn how!

Testing and monitoring your blood sugar levels.

It’s important to know how your insulin doses and treatment plan are affecting your blood glucose levels so that you can adjust your plan when necessary.

Testing and monitoring

Blood glucose

It is possible to keep a very close track of your blood glucose levels by testing and monitoring your blood yourself. You can purchase a Glucometer from your local pharmacy or healthcare provider. Checking blood glucose levels requires obtaining a small drop of blood to place on a blood glucose strip. Talk to your diabetes educator, doctor or pharmacist about the various methods available and which one is right for you.

In South Africa, blood glucose levels are measured in millimoles per litre. Good management entails regular blood glucose monitoring – i.e. testing your blood glucose levels and adjusting your treatment accordingly. The normal range in people who do not have diabetes is considered to be between 4 and 6 mmol/l. You are considered to be diabetic if your blood glucose (blood test done before you have eaten breakfast) is over 7 mmol/l or over 11 mmol/l at any other time (non-fasting).

Your doctor will advise you what levels to aim for, but it is generally accepted that keeping the glucose levels between 4 and 8 mmol/l will greatly reduce the risk of diabetic complications.

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar

Hypoglycemia occurs when Diabetics are over-controlling their medication or not eating for extended periods of time.

Hypoglycaemia is a condition in which blood glucose levels drop too low (generally below 3.5mmol/l). Symptoms include irritability, numbness in the arms and hands, sweating, confusion, extreme hunger, shakiness or dizziness. It should be treated immediately by eating or drinking a simple sugar such as a glucose sweets, or sugary cold drink, followed by a sandwich or other form of carbohydrate. If left untreated, this condition can become severe and lead to unconsciousness.

Understand more about Diabetes and how to live a happy, healthy life as a Diabetic.

Leave your details below to get more lifestyle tips, updates on medical research, and other resources to help you and your family live a healthy happy life in the presence of Diabetes.

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HBA1C

Haemoglobin binds and transports oxygen in red blood cells. Depending on how high or low the blood glucose level is, more or less glucose is bound to its haemoglobin during the blood cell’s life .

HbA1c is a measure of the per cent of the haemoglobin in the red blood cells that have glucose bound to it, providing an average measurement of the blood glucose levels during the last 2-3 months. If HbA1c is monitored at regular intervals, this will provide a good summary of how good your diabetic control has been during that time.

HbA1c should be checked regularly (every three to six months in all people with diabetes), as elevated HbA1C levels can provide early warning of potential future complications. If elevated levels occur, your doctor should recommend treatment measures appropriate to your situation to achieve better control. The doctor should then monitor your HbA1C levels more frequently (e.g. monthly) until better control is achieved.

Studies have shown that by maintaining controlled blood glucose levels, it is possible to delay or even prevent the potential long-term complications of diabetes.

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.

Hypoglycemia or high blood glucose

High blood glucose can result when food, activity and insulin and/or other medication are not balanced. High blood glucose may happen when you are ill, pregnant or under stress. Symptoms include thirst and/or dry mouth, glucose in the urine, large urine volumes and more frequent urination, as well as weakness and lethargy, blurred vision, and weight loss.

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.

Simply fill in your details below and we'll call you back.

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.

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*Risk Profile Dependent, Premiums increase by 6% every year and can be reviewed given 30 days' notice.