Blood Glucose Checks
Checking your blood glucose regularly is very important. It helps you know how you're doing so your can help your diabetes care team when making improvements to your treatment. It's also the best way to know how to treat your diabetes during the day.
Keeping your blood glucose as close to your target range is really important too. It's not only good for your body in the long-run, it also helps you feel good. When your blood glucose is in your target range, your body and mind can perform at their very best.
You'll become a pro at checking your blood glucose, but when you're just getting started, you and your parents should practice with your doctor or CDE to be sure you're doing it right.
A blood glucose meter (BG meter) is a small machine that can read the level of glucose in your blood. You need to supply a tiny drop of your blood on the test strips made for the meter. It's important that you don't mix and match test strips. Only use strips that are made for your meter.
A meter can store your glucose readings for a few days, depending on the meter. Most even come with software so you can upload your readings into charts and see how you're doing!
There are tons of different meters to choose from out there. Your D-Team can recommend one for you. Most likely, you'll have a meter that your parents' insurance company will pay for, but if you have a choice – it's all about what you prefer.
When to Check BGs
How many times should you check your blood glucose (BG) levels? It's different for everyone. You and your D-team will find a good routine for you. Checking before every meal and at bedtime is fairly standard. Some people check their BGs level after meals, before exercise, and whenever they feel low or high.
So many things can affect your blood glucose levels. Be especially careful when you change insulin doses. Things like stress, hormones, extra exercise and illness can also affect your blood glucose. You'll definitely want to check your blood glucose more often during these times.
Always check your BG before:
- You drive
- You exercise
- Take a big test
How to Check BGs
Every meter works a little differently, so read your meter's instruction booklet and practice with your D-team to make sure you're doing everything right. But here's some general tips for checking your blood glucose:
- Wash and dry your hands (always carry hand sanitizer in case you don't have soap and water)
- Take a new test strip and put it in the meter
- Use a new lancet to prick the side of your fingertip — trust me, it hurts less than pricking on top.
Hint:Prick a different finger each time so one finger doesn't get too sore!
- Place your drop of blood on the test strip
- Wait for the meter to give you your reading
- Record your reading in a journal or diary
If you get an error or a weird reading,
- Wash and dry your hands
- Make sure your drop of blood was big enough
- Be sure the code on your test strip matches your meter
- Use a control solution to be sure your test strips are working well
HINT: Strips can be damaged by too much heat or moisture. Damaged strips will give you a lower reading so use the control solution if you think something is isn't right.
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