Blood Sugar Monitoring - Dr SfurtiMann
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Blood sugar monitoring

When to check your blood sugar level and why to check?

Managing your diabetic condition is one part investigation and another part is to take action. Unlike some other diseases whose treatment depends primarily on professional medical treatment, in the same way, diabetes treatment also requires active participation by the person who is suffering from it. Monitoring your blood sugar level on a regular basis and analyzing the results are believed to play the most crucial part during the treatment for diabetic conditions.

When someone is first diagnosed with diabetes, he is usually given a blood sugar meter and told how and when to use it, as well as what numbers to shoot for. However, the advice a person receives on when to monitor and what the results should depend on his type of diabetes, age, and state of overall health. It can also depend on a health-care provider’s philosophy of care and which set of diabetes care guidelines to follow. According to three major organizations, it has been believed that there are different recommendations regarding the goals for maintaining blood sugar levels.

There is some common thing that falls in all practices for monitoring the blood sugar levels. For example, in most cases, diabetic patients records a fasting reading before breakfast every morning while some of them monitor their sugar level before lunch, dinner, or bedtime. In some cases, patients monitor sugar level after each meal whereas some monitor both before and after meals. It has also been surveyed that some people do it two hours after the first bits of the meals while others prefer to check one hour after the start of a meal.

Why monitor?

Self monitoring is an integral part of diabetes management because it puts you in charge regardless of how you manage diabetes; regular blood sugar monitoring provides immediate feedback on how your program is working. The important thing that a diabetic person should be known to is interpreting the numbers and take the necessary action as soon as possible. For example, if you take insulin and you found that your blood sugar is high, you are supposed to take a more rapid-acting insulin dose. If you manage type-II diabetes with diet and exercise, you might treat high sugar block with a walk around the block.

People who are using insulin and certain oral diabetes drugs are found to be at higher risk of developing low blood sugar level or hypoglycemia, which needs treatment promptly when it occurs. Regular monitoring of your blood sugar level helps you to catch the issues that can help you to treat it at an early stage.

How often?

The more often people monitor their blood sugar with a conventional blood sugar meter, the better their glycosylated hemoglobin levels. For people whose type-II diabetes is in good control, monitoring twice a day is recommended. A person whose type-I diabetes is in stable control should monitor a minimum of four times a day. For home monitoring to help you reach your goals, you need to check more frequently, analyze the data and make more changes as necessary.

Fasting readings:

A fasting blood sugar reading, taken in the morning before eating or drinking anything, gives you a starting level of blood sugar for the day and helps to determine what is going on during the night. ADA recommends a range of 80-130 mg/dL. If your readings are higher than these goals, it may be because of the dawn phenomenon or a result of the Somogyi effect. The Somogyi effect is a phenomenon in which low blood sugar during the night causes the body to release hormones that raise blood sugar levels resulting in high morning levels.

Checking before meals:

Similar to fasting readings, monitoring your blood sugar before meals give you a baseline reading of your blood sugar before you eat. Some medical professionals call these pre-prandial readings. Recommended levels are between 80-140 mg/dL.

Checking after meals:

Premeal monitoring is critical role tool in diabetes management but sometimes post meal readings are needed. Post meal readings are beneficial when a person’s fasting and pre-meal readings are in range, but his HbA1c level is high. This schedule of checking blood sugar level after meals helps a person to get a sense of how much the blood sugar level is raised and which food items or amount of items are responsible for this.
The most important time of life to check after the meal is during pregnancy. This is the only time we know for certain that post meal reading has a direct and proven effect on outcomes. ADA suggests post meal readings below 180 mg/dL.

A change in attitude is necessary:

For many people with diabetes, striving for tight control is a full-time job and noticing numbers on the diabetes scale when goes outside the parameter can make you crazy. A shift in perception can help you to avoid knee-jerk reactions to high or low numbers, instead of “testing” your blood sugar focus on “monitoring” it. When you test the results can be interpreted to mean that you have passed or failed. It is emotionally charged. When you monitor your blood sugar level it is important to gather information and make adjustments to your lifestyle as necessary to control the levels. During this situation, you need to find the answer to these three questions: “What am i suppose to learn from it?” “Do there is a need to make some change in the insulin dose that I take before exercise?” What can I do better so that I could prevent this situation from happening in the future?

Dr. Sfurti Mann is a passionate, and caring physician completely dedicated to the health and well being of her patients.Her philosophy of health care is early detection, prevention, and early intervention in order to prevent serious multi-system illnesses.


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