01 August 2013
Tips for Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels
Apart from diet, medication and exercise, your diabetes treatment plan should also include a schedule to monitor your blood sugar levels at regular intervals. Diabetes monitoring helps you and your physician understand the effect of the prescribed drugs and establish the need for any changes in your diet.
Use self-testing kits
Your doctor will prescribe the frequency of the tests based on the type of diabetes you suffer from.
If you are being treated for Type 1 diabetes, you may be required to constantly monitor your blood sugar levels (also referred to as blood glucose levels) as many as three or more times a day.
If you are taking insulin supplements to control your glucose levels every day, you will be required to test yourself at least once a day.
When you need to rely on such daily tests as part of your treatment plan, it's best to equip yourself with a self-test kit which helps you watch your glucose levels anytime, or anywhere. Ideally, to ensure the accuracy of these home tests, it's best to compare them with your doctor's results periodically.
Stay within the target range
Your doctor and previous lab results will clearly stipulate the maximum range for your glucose levels. You are likely to experience various symptoms when these levels are exceeded or if your blood sugar levels fall below the mark.
Symptoms of high blood sugar levels include blurred vision, increased urine output, drowsiness, nausea, increased water consumption and excessive hunger pangs. Symptoms of low glucose levels include anxiety, sweating, dizziness, irritability, weakness and excessive hunger pains.
The usual target range for most people is 70-130 mg before meals and less than 180 mg a couple of hours after your meal. These figures could vary a little depending on your age, type of diabetes, duration of the disease and your overall health.
Identify glucose patterns
Diabetes monitoring helps your physician understand the treatment plan best suited for you. It also helps him identify the variations in your glucose levels and suggest changes in your lifestyle and increase or lower the dosage of your medication. You can correct your diet too by judging your body's reaction to your meals.
A flu or virus could also cause an increase in your blood sugar levels, and understanding these patterns can mean avoiding medical emergencies and finding a treatment plan for such instances.