How To Check Sugar Levels At Home
- Anoush Gomes
- 3 Min Read
- Fact Checked
Diabetes is a long-term condition that can lead to many complications if not managed and treated. Diabetics consider blood sugar testing as part of their primary care. Checking sugar levels at home can be very important in managing the chronic condition along with aiding in preventing complications. There are a few ways that you can check your sugar levels at home including using a blood sugar meter or online.
How to check sugar levels at home
The usual way to check sugar level at home includes the usage of a blood sugar meter. The meter is able to determine the amount of sugar that is present in the small sample of blood it collects through a tiny fingertip jab. It is recommended that after you buy a blood sugar meter, you should read the instructions thoroughly. Most blood sugar meters should be handled in the following way.
(1) Make sure your hands are washed, and dried well. You can also use alcohol wipes.
(2) Use a testing strip and insert it into the meter
(3) Use the provided lancet to prick your fingertip
(4) Transfer a small droplet of blood on the test strip in the meter
(5) In about 10-15 seconds the meter will display your blood sugar level
What do the results mean?
To understand the results, you must know what normal results would look like. For an adult >20 years old should have approximately the following results:
|Blood Sugar Levels||Normal Levels|
|Random blood sugar||<200 mg/dL|
|2 hours after a meal||<140 mg/dL|
|Before bed||100-140 mg/dL|
If you’re experiencing any symptoms of Diabetes or you suspect you have the condition, talking to a general physician or a diabetologist would help. Download the MFine app to opt for a blood sugar test. You can get your results from the comfort of your own home. The sample will be collected to test for glucose levels. There will be two stages of the test -Sugarone will be done before fasting and the other after a meal – for precise analysis.
|Blood Sugar Levels||Fasting||After a meal|
|Normal||70-100 mg/dL||<140 mg/dL|
|Pre-Diabetes||100-125 mg/dL||140-199 mg/dL|
|Diabetes||>126 mg/dL||>200 mg/dL|
When to check sugar levels at home
If you are a diabetic, you’re most likely working closely with a diabetologist. A professional will let you know how often you should be checking your blood sugar levels as each case is different. Generally, though, the amount of times testing is required depends on the type of diabetes you have.
Please follow this table below to understand testing requirements
|Type 1 Diabetes: testing required 4-9 times a day||These times can include before meals, before or after physical activity, before sleeping and if there is a change in medication therapy|
|Type 2 Diabetes: If you are on insulin therapy then the number of times you are advised to check your sugar levels can vary depending on the amount of insulin used.||Testing times usually include before meal times and at bedtime.|
Watch this video to learn how to manage Diabetes at home.
Symptoms of high blood sugar levels
High blood sugar levels, also called hyperglycemia, is caused when your body is unable to use the insulin it makes properly. Conditions such as diabetes (both types 1 and 2) can cause hyperglycemia. Symptoms of which can include:
(1) Frequent urination
(2) Increased thirst
(3) Increased fatigue and headaches
(4) Affected vision: loss of or blurred vision
(5) Rapid weight loss
Complications of high blood sugar levels
If hyperglycemia is not treated, it can lead to many complications such as strokes, peripheral neuropathy, kidney damage, Eye damage and a serious complication called diabetic ketoacidosis. The affected patient’s body makes ketones that increase in the blood and can be fatal.
Symptoms of ketoacidosis are:
(1) Sudden abdominal pain
(2) Positively tested for ketones
(4) Rapid breathing/shortness of breath
Why should you check your sugar levels?
There are various very important reasons as to why diabetics need to monitor their blood sugar levels. Besides the fact that in some cases complications such as strokes and ketoacidosis can be life threatening, here are other ways testing blood sugar levels can help
(1) Understand your triggers:
Sugar levels are affected by factors such as increased stress, or other medical illnesses
(2) Medication effects:
Some medications can increase or decrease your blood sugar levels. Therefore monitoring it can help you get ahead of the game.
(3) Meeting medical goals:
Since there is no cure for diabetes, balancing your blood sugar levels through diet and lifestyle changes or medications is the treatment objectives. Tracking your progress can help keep your on track.
(4) Diet control:
Blood sugar levels are directly affected by food consumption, and if something is too much, you’d know what to avoid.
Diabetes screening is important and should always be a priority if you are a diabetic. Technology and telemedicine has made it affordable and effective to make sure that your Diabetes treatment is on track. Learning how to check sugar levels at home is a significant part of diabetes treatment.