When you take insulin, chances are you’ll use a blood glucose tester, or glucometer, a number of instances a day. When you take non-insulin medication, chances are you’ll solely want an A1c test, which is finished at your physician’s workplace, each 3-6 months. An A1c check is a blood check that exhibits your physician the common of your blood glucose ranges over 3 months.
Blood Glucose Checks as You Age
As you become older, your physician might change the way you monitor your blood sugar.
“The targets your physician desires you to goal for might change primarily based in your age or different well being elements,” says Patrice Conrad, a senior diabetes specialist at Precedence Well being in Grand Rapids, MI.
“Older sufferers are at the next threat of getting low blood glucose with sure drugs, akin to insulin and sulfonylureas,” says Jocelyne Karam, MD, director of the Division of Endocrinology at Maimonides Medical Heart in Brooklyn, NY.
What Blood Glucose Checks Do
Your blood glucose ranges go up and down all through the day. They could rise after you eat, then fall after you go a very long time with out consuming.
Your physician offers you a goal vary in your blood glucose stage. If it goes too low, you’ll be able to have issues functioning and considering properly. In the event that they go too excessive, it might trigger issues in your physique over time.
By utilizing a glucometer, you’ll be able to test your ranges and make changes to maintain them in a wholesome vary.
Forms of Blood Glucose Checks
There are various kinds of blood glucose assessments.
Fingerstick blood glucose check. With this check, you poke your finger with a lancet to get a small drop of blood. You set the blood on a strip, then the glucometer tells you what your blood sugar stage is at that second.
Steady glucose monitoring system (CGM). With a CGM check, you place a sticker-like patch, or glucose sensor, in your skin. It offers you a readout in your smartphone or one other system like an insulin pump. “It could possibly measure and transmit glucose readings each 5 minutes, 24 hours a day,” says Karam. Chances are you’ll change the sensor each 7-14 days.
“The advantage of CGM is you’ll be able to see what your blood sugars are on a regular basis, better of all, with out poking,” says Conrad, a registered nurse. A CGM is useful you probably have a number of insulin pictures throughout the day or in case your ranges differ so much.
Easy methods to Select the Proper Take a look at for You
The very best check stands out as the one which’s best so that you can use.
“There are speaking meters for individuals who might not see properly, and a few might have greater numbers for these with restricted vision,” says Conrad. Some have backlighting, to make them simpler to learn. Others retailer your readings so you’ll be able to share them along with your physician by downloading them.
“Older sufferers who’ve issue sticking their fingers, however nonetheless have to have frequent glucose readings, can profit from glucose sensors,” says Karam. However you want some technical ability to make use of a CGM system, in order that they might not be proper for everybody.
Discuss to your physician or pharmacist about which check could also be greatest for you.
When to Test Your Blood Sugar
Your physician will inform you how typically to check your blood glucose ranges, and if it’s good to make adjustments as you age.
“When you’re on insulin, they’ll typically need you to test earlier than meals and bedtime,” says Conrad. “In the event that they’ve been operating excessive or low, they’ll need a minimum of that many, if no more, assessments.”
In case your numbers have been operating at or close to your goal more often than not and also you’re not taking insulin with meals, your physician might suggest testing much less typically.
“Sufferers with type 2 diabetes handled with diet alone, or drugs that don’t trigger low blood glucose, would possibly solely have to test with a fingerstick a number of instances per week,” Karam says.
When you have adjustments in drugs, medical circumstances, or urge for food, your physician might suggest adjusting your testing schedule to keep away from low blood sugar.
Hold Your Numbers on Goal as You Age
You’ll be able to take steps to verify your blood glucose ranges keep at a wholesome goal vary. “A number of issues have an effect on your blood sugar. Some you will have management over, some you don’t,” Conrad says.
Right here’s what you are able to do to maintain your ranges on observe.
- Eat wholesome more often than not.
- Be as energetic as you’ll be able to.
- Handle your stress one of the best which you can.
Check your blood sugar ranges as typically as your physician recommends.
- Take your treatment on time, each time.