Self-testing: What is the acceptable blood sugar level for persons with diabetes?

Self-testing: What is the acceptable blood sugar level for persons with diabetes?

Did you know that regularly self-testing your blood sugar is an important tool in managing diabetes and preventing complications??
All you need is a blood sugar monitor and you'll be able to test your blood sugar at home

Why test your blood sugar?
Blood sugar testing provides useful information for diabetes management. It helps to:
  • Monitor the effect of diabetes medications on blood sugar levels
  • Identify blood sugar levels that are high or low
  • Track your progress in reaching your overall treatment goals
  • Learn how diet and exercise affect blood sugar levels
  • Understand how other factors like illness or stress can affect your blood sugar levels

Know your blood sugar target range

Always ask your health care provider the reasonable blood sugar range that's best for you. Your health care provider will set target blood sugar test results based on factors like:

  • Type and severity of diabetes
  • Age
  • Pregnancy status
  • If you're on medication like steroids, birth control pills, Isotretinoin amongst others
  • How long you've lived with diabetes
  • The presence of diabetes complications and other medical conditions

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends the following target blood sugar levels for someone with diabetes:
Before meals - Between 80mg/dL and 130mg/dL
OR 4.4mmol/L to 7.2mmol/L
Two hours after meals - Less than 180 mg/dL OR 10.0 mmol/L

*These goals should be personalized because they often vary depending on age and personal health

People with slightly higher blood sugar goals include people who:

  • Are 60 years old and above
  • Have other medical conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease
  • Have a reduced ability to sense low blood sugar levels also known as hypoglycemia unawareness

How to test your blood sugar
Blood sugar testing requires the use of a blood sugar meter that measures the amount of blood sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from the fingertip, that you place on a test strip. Always follow the instructions that come with your device
Generally, here's the process:

  1. Clean your hands (Contamination can give you an inaccurate reading)
  2.  Insert a test strip into the meter
  3.  Prick the side of your fingertip with the needle (lancet) provided with your test kit.
  4. Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood.
  5. The meter will display your blood sugar level on the screen after a few seconds
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