Buy glucose meters keeping in mind effect of vitamin C on blood glucose testing

Blood glucose testing at home helps keep track of the glucose levels at specific times. This is necessary to ensure that you are within the normal range. If not then you need to immediately take measures like medication and diet control to ensure that you come within the normal range. Some food supplements like Vitamin C are important for the body. However, they may interact with some drugs that may give you different results. Vitamin C may interfere with results of blood glucose testing with home glucose meters.

Vitamin C and blood glucose testing

There are studies that suggest that high doses of supplements of Vitamin C may lead to unexpected increase of blood glucose levels. In one case a slightly obese person who took high levels of vitamin C had his fasting level go to 121mg/dL and after meals to 220mg/dL. The person took about 4500mg of synthetic unsweetened vitamin C per day. However, when he discontinued the supplements his averages came to 99mg/dL. The causes of high blood glucose for the person were the very high levels of Vitamin C supplements. Researchers suggest that vitamin C induced glucose production may actually interfere in blood glucose tests. However, lower doses have been proven to be effective in reducing blood glucose levels.

You may be taking medication like Actos, Avandia or Glucophage to control blood sugar. However, there is another option that may be useful to some diabetics, Vitamin C. Some studies conducted around the world suggest that Vitamin C may actually help control blood glucose levels as well as keep diabetics from gaining weight. However, it is better to consult your doctor before you use any such supplements.

Vitamin C is a compound that may actually interfere with glucose tests. Thus while taking a blood glucose test make sure you inform your physician or nurse assistant if you are taking high doses of Vitamin C. The same goes to say if you are testing blood glucose levels with your home monitoring kits. Guidance of your doctors is necessary to know the relation of vitamin C and blood glucose testing.

The interference of the Vitamin C supplements has been taken into consideration by the glucose monitoring system manufacturers. There are blood glucose test strips for Precision Xtra from Abbott Diabetes Care that use the TrueMeasure Technology. This technology ensures that the effect of interfering agents like aspirin, acetaminophen and vitamin C are minimized. Similarly there are MediSense Optimum Blood Glucose Test Strips that have been designed to reduce the effects of metabolites. They are also useful in reducing the interference of Vitamin C, aspirin etc on the blood glucose test results. The WaveSense Technology used for WaveSense Presto and other meters have also been designed to detect the common errors in blood glucose measurements. It detects the chemical interference from food and beverages like Vitamin C when testing blood samples.

When you are buying a blood glucose testing kit, keep the interaction of Vitamin C in mind. If is very important to find such blood glucose testing strips that would minimize Vitamin C interference. Similarly while testing glucose with bedside monitors inform your doctor or nurse assistant if you are taking any vitamin C supplements.

Understand when to test blood glucose so that you remain always in control

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.

Nurse assistant blood glucose monitoring test questions are vital to diabetes management

Blood glucose monitoring is vital to keeping a check on the glucose levels. It helps keep track of the trends in level and to know if you are on the right track. There are several blood glucose monitors available to enable home monitoring. These are generally simple monitors but some patients may require assistance. Sometimes those in assisted living home may not find it possible to check their glucose levels and may require nurse assisatant (assistant) blood glucose monitoring. Be ready for nurse assistant blood glucose monitoring test questions as they are vital to help you with diabetes management.

Nurse assistant blood glucose monitoring test questions

Diabetic patients may have their blood glucose levels checked on a regular basis. They often would require a test two to three times a day. Others may only need it once. If you are not able to test for some reason like shaky hands, feeling confused, dizziness, etc a nurse assistant may be needed. The nurse assistant while checking has to be very careful and alert to the sings of high or low blood glucose levels. Nurses have to observe the sings and symptoms indicating urgent need for treatment.

During the test the nurse may ask you certain questions. Typically they would want information related to causes of any changes that they may have seen during the tests. The questions may include your routine medical history. They may also like to know if anyone in the family has type 2 diabetes. Your age could be one thing they may want to know. At the time of the test they would want to note what time you had your meals as the glucose levels are affected after every meal. Moreover, for them what you have eaten is also important, as carbohydrate rich foods may cause glucose levels to shoot. Normally after you have your meal the glucose levels are high for about 2 hours and come to normal after some time. If the nurse finds that your glucose levels are not in the normal range even after 2 to 3 hours after meal, then they may advice you some further tests or medication to ensure that you are not at risk of any complications.

Other ailments that you may be suffering from may be of concern to them. Sometimes even a small ailment like flu may cause your glucose levels to rise. Similarly if your medical history has been one of high blood pressure, stroke or heart ailments, then that surely is a concern area. High blood glucose may be due to some recent ailments like these and you should be extra careful. The medication may also be a cause for glucose level fluctuation. If you just had insulin then your glucose levels may sometimes go below normal. Whether you have exercised prior to the test is also of importance to them and they may question you regarding it.

Further they may want to know what diet you are taking to make sure you are getting the nutrients without causing glucose levels to fluctuate to harmful levels. If you have experienced any symptoms of high or low blood glucose levels like extreme hunger, weight loss, frequent urination, increased thirst, blurred vision, nausea, tingling in extremities, fatigue etc they are a cause of concern.

Nurse assistant would not just take you blood test but carry out monitoring of your overall diabetes management plan. This includes your medication, diet, exercises etc. Whenever you have nurse assistant for blood glucose monitoring be ready to answer the test questions that are vital for them to help you to manage your diabetes and be in safer ranges.

Explore a bit and find what is new in blood glucose testing kits

There are million of diabetics around the world. Home glucose monitoring has been a boon to many for regular testing of the blood glucose levels. Manufactures like Roche and Bayer who came up with their handy meters around 1882 have been continuously involved in improving blood glucose meters over the years. From the finger prick systems now we even have the non invasive ones that have made life easy for diabetics. A look at what is new in blood glucose testing kits would show you that there have been serious efforts to make glucose testing safe, quick, easy and painless.

New in blood glucose testing kits

Those suffering from Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes may have to take blood glucose tests at least 2 to 3 times a day. Now this can cost quite a bit. In addition the finger prick can be troublesome too when done so many times. If you consider the current costs involved, if a patients tests 3 to 4 times a day, that would mean spending about $4 or more on test strips per day. There is always the probability of contamination or mistake in testing that can lead to use of extra test strips. That, in turn means higher costs.

The advances in meter designs have reduced discomfort to a large extent. Though many people do not mind the occasional finger prick, there is surely a discomfort that may come due to regular use. The meters now have alternative testing site options too, like forearms, thighs, etc. However, amongst all these, what counts is the accuracy, speed and affordability of meters. Accurate meters means you spend less on retesting. There are meters like New Optimum from Abbott laboratories that shows results in as less as 5 seconds. Another factor of concern is the sample size. Now you have meters that require as little as 0.5 to 0.6 micro liter blood sample. The Ascensia Breeze 2 has a great feature. It comes with a disc that facilitates 10 tests without having to change the strip. No coding is required making it error free. Handling becomes easy and individually sealed strips, ensures extended life. There is a test meter from Accu-chek, called Compact plus which comes with preloaded drum of 17 test strips. There is no need for individual strip handling. There is a feature where you can customize depth setting to match your skin type and avoid nerve contact.

What if we can have testing without pricking the finger? Well, we have new meters that are of the non invasive type. Infrared technology is being seen as a great alternative to develop non invasive blood glucose meters. These meters like GlucoWatch are doing a great job at alerting patients to impending dangers and that too during sleep hours. However, efforts are on to make them more accurate as some inaccuracy is seen in night time results. Yet these meters are good to provide timely results to avoid complications.

There are many new things being designed and introduced to your blood glucose testing kits. It has made testing easier and safer with high accuracy and speed. You just need to explore a bit to find what is new and what would be suitable to your needs.

How to test blood glucose easily.

Regular blood glucose testing is an integral part of diabetes management. Diabetics are aware of the need for tests at stipulated times as advised by the doctors or diabetes instructors. These tests done at the labs are with the assistance of the nurse. However, if your are required to do the tests more than once a day you may rather prefer to buy the home monitoring kits that include the glucose testers and test strips. These are easy to use and if you precisely follow the procedure on how to test blood glucose you can do them accurately without any assistance.

There are several blood glucose meters available like Accu-chek, Ascencia, Abotts etc. The design of these meters is extremely easy and simple for anyone to use. Depending upon what the doctor instructs you, you should make a proper schedule or plan for your tests for the entire day. Make sure you have the necessary kit at hand. Normally all you would require is the meter which shows the results, a lancet to prick your fingertip for blood sample and test strips. The test strips are usually for one time use and you would have only that as a recurring expense. Check the expiration date of the test strips and make sure the code numbers on it match with those on your meter. If they don’t it may give you inaccurate results. At regular intervals check the accuracy of the meters. Over a period of time there may be some ups and downs that need to be checked and brought to the notice of manufacturers. Ensure that you take good care of your monitoring equipment and follow the instructions properly.

How to test blood glucose?

When you check the glucose levels you need to be careful and make sure you follow the instruction properly.

* Before you test wash your hands, preferably with an antibacterial soap. You do not want any external components or traces of sugar from your food to affect the readings.

* Ensure that your hands are completely dry before you use the monitor.

* Place the monitor on a flat surface such as a table. Insert the test strip and ensure it is properly calibrated. You would have to use a separate strip every time you test.

* Once you have the strip in place use the lancet to collect the blood sample. It is mostly a finger prick. Now there are alternative site testing meters available as well. Prick the point with the lancet and press to get a small drop of blood.

* Apply the proper amount of blood on the strip. Some meters show error message if enough amount of blood is not placed.

* Wait for the results; it usually takes 3 to 60 seconds depending upon your monitor.

Once done, record the results in a log book or on a spread sheet on you PC. About 500 to 1000 results can be stored in the meter memory. However proper analysis you may prefer to transfer them to your spreadsheet. Now that you know how to test blood glucose, do it regularly and carefully as per your plan.

Glucose blood test

The glucose blood test is extremely important to diabetes management plan. Regular checks of the blood glucose levels can help evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts. The doctor may advice you to take a certain glucose blood test either to check if you are in control of your diabetes or to diagnose the reason causing high or low levels of glucose in your blood like diabetes, kidney disease or any other ailments. There are some standard blood glucose tests that are done at the pathology lab or you may also check the levels using self monitoring meters.

Glucose blood test

* Fasting blood glucose test: This test is the most common and highly reliable glucose test. The sample for the test is taken after fasting for at least 8 hours. You are allowed to only have water during the period. Thus it is preferably done in the morning. Studies indicate that the results of this test done in the morning are more accurate than those done in afternoon. It is mostly the first test to diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes.

* 2-hour postprandial glucose test: The test is done exactly 2 hours after you have had food. Normally the glucose levels rise immediately after you eat and come back to normal after 2-3 hours yet they should be in specific range. Any problem in glucose levels can thus be recorded for further analysis.

* Random blood sugar (RBS): This test done at any time throughout the day regardless of when you last ate. Multiple random tests may be conducted throughout the day. Results showing 11.1mmol/L readings indicate diabetes or other problems.

* Oral glucose tolerance test (OGT): The OGT records the response of the body to glucose. Generally you are given a sugary drink and blood glucose measurements are done after 2 hours and 3 hours. The readings are indicative of pre-diabetes and diabetes. The OGT is commonly prescribed to diagnose gestational diabetes.

* The HbA1c blood test: The HbA1c test is done to check how much you are in control of your diabetes. It records the amount of sugar found sticking to hemoglobin. It can be done every 2-6 months by your doctor or nurse. The levels are the average blood glucose level generally for the period of 3 months which is the life span of red blood cells. The target levels should be between 6.5% and 7.5%. Anything higher requires changes to diabetes control plan.

* Home glucose monitors: Lab tests are considered more reliable and accurate if done properly. Diabetics who need to monitor glucose levels several times a day may not find other tests easy. Now-a-days different types of glucose meters are available that allow you to easily undertake glucose blood test without an assistant or nurse. The meters are easy to use, reliable and give you immediate readings. There is so much variety on offer that you can choose one that suits your needs. A major advantage is that their size and portability enables you to take it to office, school or even while traveling. You can even store test results. It can be later reviewed by scrolling or even transferred to your PC. The printed reports can be taken to the doctor who reviews it and advices the needful.

Regular glucose blood test helps you to find if you need to make any changes to your diabetes control plan. You can thus ensure stringent control that would help avoid future complications.

Fasting blood glucose test is the easiest, simplest and reliable test

There are a variety of blood glucose tests that can be done to find out the concentration of glucose in your blood. Among the most reliable and easy test is the fasting blood glucose test that is usually the first one that is prescribed by doctors to diagnose diabetes. It is also called as the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test and exposes the problems related to insulin functioning.

What is fasting blood glucose test?

The FBG test is a carbohydrate metabolism test that measures the glucose levels after at least eight hours of fasting. Fasting triggers a hormone called glucagons produced by pancreas. This causes the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream. Among the non diabetics, their body reacts by producing insulin which prevents hyperglycemia. However, the inability to generate insulin may lead to high glucose levels. This is usually the best test for screening for diabetes. It helps evaluate the effectiveness of medication as well as your dietary therapy which may be a part of your diabetes control plan.

The American Diabetes Association recommends the fasting blood glucose test be preferably done in the morning. It has been seen that if done in the afternoon the readings are lower. The test is done after at least eight hours of fasting. If done overnight when it is easier to go without food, the results are more accurate. You cannot have any food or fluids, only water can be consumed. It is more reliable as results are not affected by age or any exercise you undertake. Fasting blood glucose test is considered as a better indicator of the sugar levels as the system is clear of sugar intake prior to the test. The healthcare provider can take a sample in a few minutes and send it for analysis. It is easy, fast and inexpensive.

Fasting blood glucose test results

The doctors would study the results of the test and advice you whether they are in the normal range of not. Normally for the test the readings of 70 to 100mg/dL are normal levels with no risk involved. However, if the readings are between 100mg/dL to 125mg/dL your doctor may ask you to conduct another blood test. These are levels higher than normal and are considered as pre-diabetes condition. When the glucose readings for the test show 126mg/dL or higher the doctors may order a second test to be taken on another day. If the results of that too are more than 126mg/dL then you have diabetes.

The readings of the test may not always be diabetes only. They may be the result of pancreatitis, Cushing’s syndrome, liver or kidney disease, eclampsia or other acute illness like sepsis or myocardial infarction. Similarly lab results below the normal range indicate problems such as reactive hypoglycemia, renal insufficiency, hypopituitarism etc and further diagnosis would be necessary. A lab result which measures below the normal range can indicate problems such as reactive hypoglycemia, renal or hepatic insufficiency, hypopituitarism, or malabsorption syndrome, and will usually require further diagnostic testing.

Fasting blood glucose test is the easiest, simplest and reliable test which gives you pretty accurate blood glucose level readings. Seek the doctor’s advice if you experience symptoms that may be caused due to blood glucose level fluctuations.

Do a comparison of bedside blood glucose testing system before your choose which to use.

Regular blood glucose monitoring is a vital part of diabetes management. Often complications have been seen due to the lack of timely information on the blood glucose levels of those experiencing high or low blood glucose levels. Kidney diseases, nerve damage etc are caused due to lack of regular and continuous control of diabetes. This is why bedside glucose meter have become popular in the last few years. There have been major improvements in accuracy of both hospital as well as consumer meters. Let’s see a comparison of bedside blood glucose testing systems.

Bedside blood glucose meters

Home monitoring proves vital when the doctor advises regular blood glucose measurements. You either may do it yourself or may need a nurse assistant to do it correctly to get accurate results. If you rely only on the lab tests for your glucose tests then it may prove to be highly time consuming. A major drawback of this system is that you normally do not get the results immediately. If you are suffering from high or low blood glucose levels they may not be found immediately. The time lag between the test and results may lead to more complication. Lack of immediate medication may cause your glucose levels to become harmful. Bedside blood glucose monitoring system on the other hand enables you to get immediate results. The information that is provided immediately can be utilized for urgent treatment and medication. These tests require only a little amount of blood. The meals and insulin dose can be properly coordinated if you have trends before you.

Bedside blood glucose monitoring systems enable nurse assistants at hospitals to keep track of effect of insulin and diet on glucose levels. They can bring it to the notice of the doctor and make changes to your diet and medication accordingly. At hospitals trained nurses perform tests, but when at home you may do them or someone related to you may do it for you. Lack of training may cause erroneous testing. This may lead to less accurate results. However, with proper training and experience you may also do these tests properly. There is an argument that the readings differ to some extent from the laboratory results. There is often a difference in the results depending upon where the blood is obtained from, venous, capillary or arterial. However, manufacturers have been making improvements to ensure that you get accurate results. Most modern hospitals now take capillary blood glucose for bedside monitoring which are pretty much accurate than the previous meters.

Among the meters popularly used the Precision Xceed Pro is a hand held capillary glucose and ketone monitor that can provide you with accurate test results. About 2500 test results may be stored. The data from the unit can be downloaded to data management server for further analysis. Another good meter is the OneTouchFlexx, usually found with healthcare professionals. It comes with two 25 strip vials. Generally it is the whole blood or capillary blood that is taken for the test.

You can study yourself or understand the bedside blood glucose testing systems from the nurse assistant at the hospital. You can carry out comparison of bedside glucose testing system and decide which suits your needs the best.

Do not forget to blood test glucose levels to keep track of your diabetes management plan.

Blood glucose test are extremely important part of diabetes management. The readings can help you to evaluate trends of blood glucose levels at regular intervals. If you undertake to blood test regularly, you can ensure that your efforts are working and make necessary changes to keep glucose levels under control. You can get it done from the lab or undertake home blood glucose test. These tests measure the glucose levels in your blood at the time when the sample has been taken.

Blood glucose tests

* Fasting blood glucose test: Fasting blood glucose test is done after you have gone without eating for at least 8 hours. You can only have water during the period. Thus it is usually done in the early morning. It is considered the most reliable test as with fasting there is a lesser chance of sugar stains in your sample. It is the first test that is done to find whether you have diabetes. Other tests may be done as well to diagnose diabetes.

* 2-hour postprandial glucose test: The 2 hour postprandial test is done exactly 2 hours after you eat anything.

* Random blood sugar (RBS): The RBS as the name suggests is done randomly at any time regardless of when you last ate. Several random tests may be done in the day. Normally among the non diabetics glucose levels do not vary widely. If the test results are in a wide range then it may indicate a problem.

* Oral glucose tolerance test (OGT): The OGT is undertaken to find the tolerance or response of the body to glucose. A series of blood glucose measurements are done after you drink a sugary solution. The results may provide an indication to pre-diabetes and diabetes. It is often prescribed to diagnose gestational diabetes i.e. diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.

These labs tests are reliable and you can analyze the results with your doctor who can interpret them correctly. However, these tests may not be feasible or easily possible if you are working. If you have diabetes you need to monitor the glucose levels several times a day. In such situations the home blood glucose test meters can be really helpful. There are several companies who have developed glucose meters using latest technology. These meters are also reliable and you can use the ones that suit your needs. Your doctors may prescribe you the ones that may be better for you.
The advantage of these meters is the ease of use and quick results after the blood test for glucose. Moreover, you may not even need an assistant. A nurse need not be present to take the blood samples. It allows you the ease to test anytime or anywhere, home or office, as these meters are simple, small and portable. There is provision to store even 500 test results in the memory of these meters. You can review the stored data or transfer it to your PC. You can make use of different software or MS Excel to compare results, get graphs that show the trends over a period. These reports can be easily taken to the doctor for a review.
Remember to regularly test glucose when you are following a diabetes control plan. It helps make changes to the diet and exercise regime after knowing the trends from regular tests.

Blood glucose test meter; a must have in your home blood glucose monitoring kit

There are millions of people around the world suffering from diabetes. For the diabetics a regular measurement of the blood glucose levels is necessary. They may be advised by the doctors to take blood glucose tests 3-4 times a day. A diabetes management plan would be designed to help keep glucose levels in control. When blood glucose testing is to be done multiple times in a day you may prefer to have a handy blood glucose test meter. The home glucose testing meters are easy and compact and you can carry them to office, school, or check while traveling etc.

Blood glucose test meter

A blood glucose test meter or glucometer is easy and simple medical device used to measure amount of glucose in the blood at a given point of time. The glucometers are extremely handy and portable. Their functioning is simple; a tiny drop of blood is obtained by pricking the skin with a lancet. The drop is placed on a disposable test strip, which in turn is inserted in the given slot. The meter then reads and calculates the blood glucose levels and they are displayed on a screen. The reading may be in mg/dl or mmol/l depending upon the unit followed in the country. The levels are recorded and flashed to you on the screen.

Some of these meters may also indicate if levels are very high or low. The levels can be recorded in a log book. This makes it easier to analyze the trends in the readings. Similarly you may also record them on a spreadsheet on your PC which makes it even easier to retrieve graphs and trends. The readings beyond the normal range can give you a warning. You may make changes to the plan accordingly.

Types of blood glucose meters

The first glucose meter was developed and marketed in 1980s. Bayer and Roche were among the first blood glucose test meter manufacturers and have become synonymous to quality generic blood glucose meters. The blood glucose meters package comes with mainly a test strip to take sample blood, a battery powered palm sized meters with a screen to display readings, and clock and memory. The memory size may be about 400 to 1000 test results along with date and time. Generally an option is available that allows display of average of 7, 14, 30 readings.

These meters mostly have sophisticated data handling capability. You can transfer data to your PC using download software and store it. The data can be opened in a spreadsheet where you may analyze trends with graphs and charts. Some meters also allow alternate testing site like forearm, palm, thighs etc.

The test meters mentioned earlier require you to prick your finger or any other point which can be painful. Some non-invasive devices are being developed that would enable continuous monitoring. Research on technologies like infrared or near infrared light, ultrasound and electric currents is underway to build safe and accurate non-invasive devices. The non-invasive meters may replace these earlier meters with continuous glucose sensors which may further help reduce complications by timely information on hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. 2 CGMS are available right now, Medtronic’s Minimed Paradigm RTS and DexCom’s STS system.

Blood glucose test meters are integral part of the self monitoring kit. They play an important role in your diabetes management which can help prolong complication of diabetes.

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