With the rapid rise in diabetes cases, blood sugar testing is a reality millions face every day.
Without adequate regulation of blood sugar levels, our bodies face a number of challenges, including the risk of loss of vision, impaired wound healing, and going into a life-threatening coma. Blood sugar is an important aspect of everyone's health – not just those with diabetes.
Testing your blood sugar no longer requires you to make a trip to the doctor. Hundreds of easy-to-use home tests have been developed that allow anyone to measure their blood sugar levels any time they like.
are electronic and can usually give results in less than one minute.
Blood sugar, also called blood glucose, is the measurement of how much sugar, or glucose, is in a person's blood.
Under normal conditions, the body regulates blood sugar by releasing the right amount of insulin after we eat. However, those with diabetes have improper insulin release, and their blood sugar levels can spike to dangerously high levels. To help avoid this, most diabetics take insulin.
Just like having too high blood sugar is a bad thing – having too low is bad as well. You know how you feel if you haven’t eaten for a long time? Lightheaded, tired, and maybe even angry.
This is a sign of hypoglycemia, or not enough sugar in the blood. This can lead to confusion, loss of consciousness, or even a coma. Too much insulin and improper monitoring of blood sugar levels can cause these scary symptoms in diabetics.
Proper blood sugar regulation is critical in nearly everything our bodies do, especially weight management and energy production. Diabetes cases are rising at an alarming rate, especially Diabetes Type II. Diabetes Type II is strongly correlated with obesity and is considered a preventable and curable disease.
At one time, Type 2 Diabetes was rarely seen in children. Now, these rates are skyrocketing.
Modern diets have wreaked havoc on our bodies and our mental capacity to resist tempting, but terrible-for-you foods. Combined with blood sugar testing, proper diet can help diabetics get off insulin and take back the reigns of their life.
There are several different blood sugar testing methods to help in monitoring and diagnosis of diabetes. These tests usually require only a small sample of blood, sometimes just a tiny drop from the fingertip. You can also have a simple test done: click here to find out more.
Fasting blood sugar test (FBS) – This blood sugar test is done after a person hasn’t eaten for at least 8 hours – usually in the morning. This is one of the first tests done to diagnose diabetes. The “normal” range for blood glucose is 70-100. Levels between 100 and 126 are referred to as impaired fasting glucose or pre-diabetes. Fasting levels higher than 126 are an indication for diabetes.
Random blood sugar (RBS) – This test is done at any point in the day, regardless of when the last meal was eaten. A "normal" random glucose test in an average adult should be 80-140; 140-200 considered pre-diabetic; and any reading over 200 is considered diabetic. Any value of 140 should be tested again after a few minutes and if it remains or gets higher, schedule a doctor’s visit.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – A test in which an oral dosage of glucose is given and a blood sample is taken a few hours afterward to determine how well the body manages the large influx of sugar. The test is usually used to test for diabetes, insulin resistance, and during pregnancy to test for gestational diabetes.
HbA1c Test – Measures blood sugar levels over 2 – 4 weeks, giving a better history of the patient’s sugar levels than the other tests. Great for doctors to help test how compliant a patient is in managing their blood sugar.
Of course, more than one test is needed to diagnose diabetes. Diabetics often check their blood sugar levels before and after meals.
Having an easy-to-use and reliable blood sugar monitor (or glucose
meter) is key to proper management. Thankfully, these monitors are
extremely affordable and nearly anyone can use them, even children.
With these tests, the finger is pricked with a lancet and a drop of blood is put onto a test strip. The glucose meter reads the strip and a number is reported.
The True Result Blood Glucose Starter Kit is a great all-in-one monitor and includes everything you need to get started, including test strips and lancets. This monitor keeps up to 500 past readings and only needs 0.5 ml of blood.
Bayer’s Contour Blood Glucose Monitoring System is another great option for blood sugar testing, combining affordability with usability. This monitor can also report a 14 day average to help you track your blood sugar levels better.