Blood sugar or diabetes
Diabetes is a problem in which irregularity of blood sugar levels is found. It usually happens because the work capacity of insulin is not working properly. So, if a person is having diabetes, it is recommended that he or she needs to keep track of his or her blood sugar level. So, it can be maintained. There are different ways in which a person can test their diabetes level. Self-testing your blood sugar is one of those methods a person can use to determine the level of his or her blood sugar. There is a device named as continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Apart from this, you can also measure your blood sugar level with the help of a portable electronic device that is known as a blood sugar meter.
What is the need for testing blood sugar levels?
People who are diagnosed with diabetes need special care. Their blood sugar level does not remain stable. Therefore, they need to keep track of their vital blood sugar levels so they can take precautions accordingly. Blood sugar level testing provides useful and meaningful information for managing one’s blood sugar level. It can help in;
- It monitors the conditions of the patient.
- It helps to analyze whether the blood sugar level of the individual is high or low.
- It also helps patients to reach their overall treatment goal.
- It gives you an insight into how diet and exercise affect the level of blood sugar in your blood.
- It also gives you an idea about how other illnesses or diseases play a vital role in your blood sugar level.
When do you need to test your blood sugar level?
The consulting doctor will guide you or prescribe you when and how many times you need to test your blood sugar level. Apart from this, you can check your blood sugar level even if you do not have any prescription. Testing blood sugar levels is a good thing. It will give you insight into your blood sugar level and hence you can maintain your blood sugar level, respectively.
The testing depends upon the frequency of the type of diabetes. There are different types of diabetes and there are different testing plans according to the type of diabetes that a person has. If a person experiences symptoms of severe thirst, increased urination, unexplained weight loss, increased hunger, and tingling sensation of your hands and feet. If you are going through these then your doctor might diagnose you with diabetes. If you are testing your diabetes at home with the help of a blood sugar meter. You need to follow certain facts like;
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Dry them properly.
- Insert the test strip into your meter.
- Prick the side of the fingertip with the needle.
- Touch and hold the edge of the test strip.
- The meter will display your blood sugar level on a screen after a few seconds.
Types of diabetes and their respective tests
After the consultation and proper diagnosis from the medical health experts. You can identify which type of diabetes you are diagnosed with. For instance, there are 4 types of diabetes.
- Prediabetes – Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes – In type 1 diabetes, your pancreas does not make insulin or makes very little insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes – In type 2 diabetes, cells do not respond normally to insulin; this is called insulin resistance.
- Gestational diabetes – Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy in women who do not already have diabetes
The types of diabetes mentioned above are different from one another and they are tested differently as well. The different varieties of tests according to the type of diabetes are listed below;
Test for prediabetes, type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes:
- A1C Test: The A1C test usually measures the average blood sugar level for a period of 2 to 3 months. If the test results of A1C come below or under 5.7% is considered normal. If the test results come between 5.7 to 6.4% then it is considered as the person is diagnosed with prediabetes. And if the results come higher than 6.5% then the patient is diagnosed as diabetic.
- Fasting Blood Sugar Test: The fasting blood sugar test is another type of test that is used to determine the blood sugar level. In this test, your blood sugar level is measured after an overnight fast (not eating). If the results come equal to or lower than 99 mg/dL, then it is considered normal. If the results come in between 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL then it is considered the stage of prediabetes, or if the test comes as 126 mg/dL then the person is diagnosed as diabetic.
- Glucose Tolerance Test: glucose tolerance test is a test in which a person needs to drink a liquid that comprises glucose. The person needs to fast (do not eat) overnight before the test day. On the test day, the amount of blood will be taken and analyzed to determine your fasting blood sugar level. Then the person needs to drink a liquid and after 2 to 3 hours the blood sugar level is checked again. If the test results come after 2 hours and if it shows the analysis as 140 mg/dL or lower is considered normal. Whereas, if the test results come in between 140 to 199 mg/dL it denotes that the person is diagnosed with prediabetes. And if the results come to 200 mg/dL or above then the person is diagnosed with diabetes.
- Random Blood Sugar Test: Random blood sugar test is a very normal test that is done to determine the blood sugar level of an individual. The person does not need to fast like in other tests. If the reading of the results exceeds 200 mg/dL or higher, then the person is considered diabetic.
Note- if your doctor thinks that you have type 1 diabetes then you also need to test your blood for autoantibodies that determine whether your body is attacking itself or not. Another test that will be done is of your urine to test the presence of ketones in it.
- Test for Gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes is mostly diagnosed by doing blood tests. These blood tests are usually done during the 24th to 28th weeks of pregnancy. These tests include Glucose Screening Test and Glucose Tolerance Test.
- Glucose Screening Test: This test measures the level of blood sugar at the time you are tested. Then you need to drink a liquid that contains glucose. After 1 hour the blood will be taken to determine the blood sugar level. If the results come under 140 mg/dL it is considered normal. If the blood sugar level is higher than 140 mg/dL, then the person needs to take the Glucose Tolerance Test.
- Glucose Tolerance Test: A glucose tolerance test is used to measure the blood sugar level before and after you drink the liquid that comprises glucose. The person needs to fast overnight, he or she should not need to eat anything. After the fasting blood sugar level testing, the person is then asked to drink the liquid and then needs to check the blood sugar level after 1 hour, 2 hours and 3 hours afterward. Consult with your doctor about the test results.
The above given are the different types of diabetes and their respective tests. These tests must be conducted under the supervision of a medical expert. Moreover, if you want to test your blood sugar level with the help of blood sugar meters, you can easily do that. You just need to follow the instructions and you can successfully test your diabetes at home.
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