Normally for diabetics the doctor or the diabetes educator would advice on a schedule when to test blood glucose levels. It could be early morning, before and after meals. It could also be before going to bed or even in the middle of the night. The aim of undertaking blood glucose test at different times is to know the effect of food and medication on the levels. Moreover keeping track of the levels helps you to ensure that your levels are not going too high or too low which may prove to be harmful.
When to test blood glucose?
The number of tests throughout the day may vary depending upon your diabetes condition. You may either take tests using the blood glucose testers available in the market. These bedside meters are simple and handy and you do need assistance of a nurse to take the samples. The home monitoring kits are extremely helpful to carry out comparison of blood glucose levels throughout the day. There are several meters like Accu-chek, Ascensia, etc that make daily testing easy and simple.
Doctor may advice blood glucose level testing at these times:
* Fasting glucose test: Mostly for diabetics the fasting glucose levels are highly important. These are before you eat anything and after fasting for at least 8 hours. The fasting test done in the morning gives more accurate results.
* Before meals: Doctors would advice on pre-meal target levels to be controlled. The ADA recommends glucose levels to be between 90 to 130mg/dL before meals.
* After meals: A blood test after meals is done 1 or 2 hours after you have had your meals. Generally, glucose levels are higher immediately after the meals and come to normal after 2 to 3 hours. Thus, this test is relevant as levels beyond the normal range are indicative of immediate attention.
* Before bed / middle of night: The overnight levels are also checked by some doctors to find the response of the body to insulin or any other medication.
* When you feel the symptoms of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia: A test should be done if you are experiencing symptoms of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. If you have taken medication or had a workout and are feeling dizzy, fatigued, blurred vision, sweating, increased urination or any other symptoms it is better to check if the blood glucose levels have gone too low or too high.
* Exercises: Glucose levels can change after you exercise. You may find it useful to do a test after a heavy workout.
* When unwell: Glucose levels tend to rise with small ailments like flu or if you are unwell. Most doctors advice diabetics to check the glucose levels on sick days.
* New medication: When your doctor prescribes a new medication, he may also order a test to find if your body is responding as expected.
* Pregnancy: It is advisable to check the blood glucose levels for gestational diabetes that is common during pregnancy.
With the blood glucose testers available now you can easily monitor the levels as per the doctor’s advice. You may have a recurring expense on testing strips if you have a bedside monitor. If you are not sure when to test blood glucose levels seek the advice of you doctor and review the results to check if they are in the normal range.