When you take insulin, you might use a blood glucose tester, or glucometer, a number of occasions a day. When you take non-insulin medication, you might solely want an A1c test, which is finished at your physician’s workplace, each 3-6 months. An A1c check is a blood check that exhibits your physician the typical of your blood glucose ranges over 3 months.
Blood Glucose Assessments as You Age
As you become older, your physician could change the way you monitor your blood sugar.
“The targets your physician desires you to goal for could change based mostly in your age or different well being components,” says Patrice Conrad, a senior diabetes specialist at Precedence Well being in Grand Rapids, MI.
“Older sufferers are at the next threat of getting low blood glucose with sure medicines, equivalent to insulin and sulfonylureas,” says Jocelyne Karam, MD, director of the Division of Endocrinology at Maimonides Medical Middle in Brooklyn, NY.
What Blood Glucose Assessments Do
Your blood glucose ranges go up and down all through the day. They could rise after you eat, then fall after you go a very long time with out consuming.
Your physician will provide you with a goal vary to your blood glucose degree. If it goes too low, you’ll be able to have issues functioning and considering effectively. In the event that they go too excessive, it could trigger issues to your physique over time.
By utilizing a glucometer, you’ll be able to test your ranges and make changes to maintain them in a wholesome vary.
Kinds of Blood Glucose Assessments
There are several types of blood glucose exams.
Fingerstick blood glucose check. With this check, you poke your finger with a lancet to get a small drop of blood. You place the blood on a strip, then the glucometer tells you what your blood sugar degree is at that second.
Steady glucose monitoring machine (CGM). With a CGM check, you place a sticker-like patch, or glucose sensor, in your skin. It offers you a readout in your smartphone or one other machine like an insulin pump. “It will probably measure and transmit glucose readings each 5 minutes, 24 hours a day,” says Karam. You might substitute the sensor each 7-14 days.
“The advantage of CGM is you’ll be able to see what your blood sugars are on a regular basis, better of all, with out poking,” says Conrad, a registered nurse. A CGM is useful in case you have a number of insulin pictures through the day or in case your ranges fluctuate so much.
Methods to Select the Proper Check for You
The perfect check often is the one which’s best so that you can use.
“There are speaking meters for individuals who could not see effectively, and a few could have larger numbers for these with restricted vision,” says Conrad. Some have backlighting, to make them simpler to learn. Others retailer your readings so you’ll be able to share them together with your physician by downloading them.
“Older sufferers who’ve problem sticking their fingers, however nonetheless have to have frequent glucose readings, can profit from glucose sensors,” says Karam. However you want some technical talent to make use of a CGM machine, in order that they will not be proper for everybody.
Speak to your physician or pharmacist about which check could also be finest for you.
When to Examine Your Blood Sugar
Your physician will inform you how usually to check your blood glucose ranges, and if it’s essential to make modifications as you age.
“When you’re on insulin, they’ll usually need you to test earlier than meals and bedtime,” says Conrad. “In the event that they’ve been operating excessive or low, they’ll need at the least that many, if no more, exams.”
In case your numbers have been operating at or close to your goal more often than not and also you’re not taking insulin with meals, your physician could advocate testing much less usually.
“Sufferers with type 2 diabetes handled with diet alone, or medicines that don’t trigger low blood glucose, would possibly solely have to test with a fingerstick a number of occasions every week,” Karam says.
You probably have modifications in medicines, medical circumstances, or urge for food, your physician could advocate adjusting your testing schedule to keep away from low blood sugar.
Maintain Your Numbers on Goal as You Age
You may take steps to verify your blood glucose ranges keep at a wholesome goal vary. “A lot of issues have an effect on your blood sugar. Some you may have management over, some you don’t,” Conrad says.
Right here’s what you are able to do to maintain your ranges on observe.
- Eat wholesome more often than not.
- Be as lively as you’ll be able to.
- Handle your stress the very best which you could.
Check your blood sugar ranges as usually as your physician recommends.
- Take your remedy on time, each time.