Getting diagnosed with diabetes can be quite stressful as one needs to make multiple lifestyle changes to manage the disease. Blood sugar levels need to be monitored regularly too for avoiding serious health problems and that can add to the distress. Learning to check glucose levels from the comforts of your home can alleviate your worries to an extent. An ideal blood sugar level is not only important to avoid deadly heart and kidney diseases but can also help you focus better at work, boost your energy levels and prevent weight gain. To ensure staying healthy with diabetes, you must monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. (Also read: How to keep Diabetes under control? Expert shares tips)
Here’s a complete step-by-step guide to check your glucose levels at home by Dr Pramod Tripathi, Founder, Freedom From Diabetes.
To check blood sugar level at home you need:
• A lancet (small needle) and a lancet device (to hold the needle)
• Test strips
• A glucose meter
• Cords to download data, if needed
Here are simple steps to follow:
1. Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Do not wash them with alcohol as it dries the skin too much.
2. Put a lancet into the lancet device so that it’s ready to go. Always use a fresh lancet.
3. Place a new test strip into the meter. Make sure the code on the strip matches the code on the meter.
4. Prick the finger-tip with the lancet in the protective lancing device. It does not need to be the same finger every time.
5. Squeeze from the base of the finger; carefully place the subsequent drop of blood onto the test strip.
6. Result will appear on the screen of the glucometer. Note down the results.
7. Store the test strips in the provided container. Do not expose them to moisture, extreme heat, or cold temperatures.
What is the ideal time to test blood sugar levels
– Fasting (immediately after waking up)
– After breakfast (PP1)
– After lunch (PP2)
– After dinner (PP3).
Dr Tripathi says that one should avoid checking fasting sugars after exercise as it results in high blood sugar levels due to the release of stress hormone (cortisol).
Ideal blood sugar range
Fasting – Less than 110mg/dl
Postprandial (PP1, PP2 & PP3) – Less than 140mg/dl
“Glucometer uses a small amount of blood from the fingertip, while lab tests use blood sample from the vein so there will be difference of 10 to 15 points in the results of glucometer and lab tests. So, this range is considered normal when testing at home,” adds Dr Pramod Tripathi.
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