Blood sugar level reveals the amount of glucose in the blood, which your body absorbs from consumed drinks and food. Blood glucose levels keep going up and down throughout the day, but for people with diabetes, these fluctuations are larger and more frequent than those without the condition.
Thus, testing blood sugar level is crucial to managing diabetes and preventing further complications. You can test your blood glucose at home with an electronic device called a glucometer or a CGM or continuous glucose monitor.
The doctor will be able to help you understand what is the real cause of diabetes after conducting a few tests
Why Test Blood Glucose Levels?
Testing your blood glucose levels is vital for proper diabetes management. Results of blood sugar level test can help you:
- Identify too-low or too-high blood glucose levels
- Understand the effects of your diabetes medicines on glucose levels.
- Learn how exercise and sugar free diet can affect blood glucose levels.
- Track your progress in reaching your treatment objectives
- Understand how other factors, like stress and illness, affect blood glucose levels.
When to Test Your Blood Glucose?
An expert will tell you how often you should check your blood sugar level. Remember, the frequency of testing generally depends on the type of diabetes and treatment strategy.
Type 1 Diabetes
A diabetologist may suggest blood glucose testing four to ten times daily in case of type 1 diabetes. You must test the following:
- Before bed
- Before and after working out
- Before and after snacks and meals
- Sometimes during the night
- More frequently when you are sick
- More frequently, if you change your regular routine
- Very often, if you start new medicines
Type 2 Diabetes
An expert might ask you to test your blood glucose levels several times during the day if you are on insulin for diabetes management. But the frequency of testing will entirely depend on the insulin type and its amount. Blood glucose testing with type 2 diabetes is generally suggested at bedtime and before meals if you are on several injections.
However, if you are on long-acting or intermediate insulin, you may have to test sometimes before dinner and breakfast. If you use exercise, diet, and non-insulin medicines for type 2 diabetes management, you may have to test your blood glucose levels regularly.
How to Test Blood Glucose?
There are different methods to test blood glucose:
- From the Fingertip: Prick any of your fingers with a lancet or sharp needle and place a drop of your blood on the test strip. Now place the test strip into a glucometer that shows blood glucose levels. This form of testing delivers results within 15 seconds, and you can even record the details for future use. There are even meters that show average blood glucose levels over a time period with graphs and charts of past test results. The strips and meters are easily available at local pharmacies.
- Other Site Testing Meters: More advanced meters will let you test the other sites of your body instead of the fingertip. You can draw blood for the test from your forearm, upper arm, thigh, or base of the thumb. However, the results may vary with the results from fingertip testing. That’s because blood glucose levels in the fingertip keep fluctuating faster than those in other body parts. If you are checking your blood glucose when you have high blood sugar signs, use your fingertip for more accurate results.
- CGM Systems: Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems are also known as interstitial glucose measuring meters. These devices feature insulin pumps and deliver the same results as finger-stick sugar. They can show trends and patterns in your blood glucose results over time.
Random Glucose Testing
Random glucose testing is yet another way to measure the glucose circulating in your blood. Your doctor will perform it and use its result to determine whether you are at an increased risk of diabetes. This does not mean the other tests aren’t crucial to confirm a complete diagnosis. They are, but random glucose testing can help your healthcare provider determine whether additional testing is required or not.
A random blood glucose test measures glucose levels at any given time during the day and does not require fasting or continuous monitoring. It is useful for urgent diabetes diagnosis. In this test, the blood sugar random normal range is generally less than 200 mg/dL. A blood sugar range above this indicates that you may have diabetes. Nevertheless, your doctor will repeat this test another day to confirm a diagnosis.
To further verify your blood sugar random normal range, the doctor may even prescribe other tests like OGTT and fasting sugar test.
Fasting glucose level test range:
- Below 100 mg/dL is normal.
- Anything between 100 and 125 mg/dL indicates pre-diabetes
- Blood sugar random normal range of 126 mg/dL or above indicates diabetes
OGTT glucose level test range:
- Below 140 mg/dL is normal
- A range between 140 and 199 mg/dL indicates pre-diabetes
- A range of 200 mg/dL and above indicates diabetes
How to Maintain Normal Blood Glucose Levels?
Your doctor will make lifestyle and dietary recommendations to address your requirements. He may also prescribe medicines and insulin to stabilize your high blood glucose levels. Nevertheless, you can use the following tips to maintain normal blood sugar level:
- Monitor your blood glucose levels closely
- Work out regularly
- Pay attention to your weight
- Eat on time and avoid skipping meals
- Have food low on their glycemic index
- Drink lots of water
- Increase your fibre intake
- Avoid high-carb foods
- Get sufficient sleep
- Control food portion size
- Choose complex carbs over simple ones
- Eat more non-starchy fruits and vegetables along with grains
Monitoring your blood glucose levels regularly is imperative for diabetes treatment and management programmes. Remember, diet, family history, and level of physical activity might have a significant impact on blood glucose levels. Low or high levels of glucose can cause symptoms like dizziness, vision problems, and fatigue. Not managing glucose levels properly can lead to long-term health issues like kidney and heart diseases. Therefore, consult your healthcare provider immediately to find out the blood sugar random normal range.