One of the necessary evils of diabetes is monitoring and controlling your blood sugar levels. By continually keeping a close eye on your levels of glucose or blood sugar, you will come to understand just how not only your medication affects your levels, but also stress, activity, and foods. Monitoring your levels of sugar within the blood is necessary and could help in prevention or delay of severe complications commonly associated with diabetes such as kidney failure or blindness.
To accurately and properly monitor your blood sugar levels you will have to obtain some supplies. Supplies needed will include test strips, sterile lancets, alcohol pads, and a glucose meter. These are typically prescribed by your physician, obtain from your local drug store, and most often covered by your medical insurance. Your doctor will educate you on the proper use of this equipment. However, in general circumstances the following steps are taken to measure the levels of sugar within the blood.
First, you should make sure your hands are clean and completely dry before performing the tests. Then you will want to clean the area to be tested with the alcohol pad. In most cases this will be your fingertip; however, some meters will allow you to use other areas of the hand, thigh, or even the forearm. You will then take the sterile lancet and prick the area to be tested. A drop of blood will form and should be carefully placed on the testing strip. You will then place the strip into your glucose meter, following the instruction provided by the manufacture or your doctor. After the meter has completed its course, you will be provided with a number, which indicates your blood sugar level.
It is necessary to document your test results, as well as medications taken, times taken, and foods that have been eaten that day. In the beginning of your treatment your doctor will likely ask you to test and record your blood sugar levels two to three times each day. Do not forget to document foods eaten and activity as well. This will allow both of you to get a general idea of what affects your levels and why. After this initial period, you may only be required to perform tests two to three times weekly.
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