Mon­i­tor­ing blood glu­cose

Reg­u­lar mon­i­tor­ing is key to be­com­ing your own di­a­betes ex­pert.

Diabetes Care Guide (English) - - CONTENTS -

WHAT DO BLOOD GLU­COSE ME­TERS DO?

Like a speedome­ter helps you con­trol your driv­ing speed, blood glu­cose me­ters help you con­trol your blood glu­cose. Blood glu­cose read­ings let you know what your blood glu­cose level is at the mo­ment you take it. They help you un­der­stand how the food you eat, the ac­tiv­i­ties you do and the med­i­ca­tions you take af­fect your glu­cose level. A glu­cose me­ter is a small, por­ta­ble ma­chine that comes with a lanc­ing de­vice spe­cially de­signed to draw a small sam­ple of blood from your fin­ger­tip as pain­lessly as pos­si­ble. Once you have a small drop of blood on your fin­ger­tip, you place it on a test strip, which is then in­serted into and read by the me­ter.

There are many mod­els of blood glu­cose me­ters avail­able in Canada. Each model of­fers its own com­bi­na­tion of fea­tures. It is help­ful to dis­cuss which me­ter is best for you with your di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor or phar­ma­cist.

Me­ters are usu­ally ob­tained at re­tail phar­ma­cies or di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tion cen­tres. If you are go­ing to pur­chase a me­ter for the first time, ask for train­ing from the phar­ma­cist or di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor. Call ahead and sched­ule an ap­point­ment to learn the best tech­nique for ac­cu­rate re­sults.

Track your re­sults

When you mon­i­tor your blood glu­cose lev­els, track them in a di­ary or blood glu­cose log. Talk with your di­a­betes team about in­ter­pret­ing your re­sults. When look­ing at glu­cose read­ings, pat­terns and trends are im­por­tant – not an oc­ca­sional read­ing that is out of the or­di­nary.

With the in­for­ma­tion from your blood glu­cose pat­terns, ad­just­ments to your food, ac­tiv­ity or med­i­ca­tions can be made to make sure you are achiev­ing the health­i­est glu­cose con­trol as pos­si­ble. Dis­cuss your in­di­vid­ual goals with your di­a­betes team. The tar­get range for most in­di­vid­u­als ac­cord­ing to the Cana­dian Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion 2013 Clin­i­cal Prac­tice Guide­lines for the preven­tion and man­age­ment of di­a­betes, is noted at right.

Test your blood glu­cose at a va­ri­ety of times dur­ing the day, both be­fore and af­ter meals. It is pos­si­ble for your pre-break­fast glu­cose to be in the tar­get range, and your two-hour post lunch read­ing to be high. Pat­terned glu­cose read­ings, such as sev­eral pre-sup­per read­ings in a week, pro­vide a more com­plete pic­ture than one in­di­vid­ual read­ing. More fre­quent test­ing may be nec­es­sary if the blood glu­cose is not well con­trolled, if hy­po­glycemia (low blood glu­cose) oc­curs, or in sit­u­a­tions such as travel, ill­ness or ex­er­cise. Ask your ed­u­ca­tor which kind of mon­i­tor­ing will work best for you.

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