For Diabetic patients, a glucose meter is godsend for you must be well aware that complications in the disease arise when disbalance in blood sugar levels goes unnoticed. A glucometer averts just that by keeping you in the know of your sugar levels.
How they can help you
Apart from alerting you of high glucose levels ..
- Since they store your previous readings in their memory, a blood glucose meter serves as a record of your results, allowing you to develop a pattern.
- You will know how your body is responding to certain medicines, exercise and food items
- The pattern of your readings will help your doctor determine a picture of how your treatment is working out
How does a glucometer work?
The test strips that come with the device are made up of an enzyme called glucose oxidase. This enzyme oxidizes glucose. After you place a drop of blood on the test strip, the enzyme reacts with the glucose in the blood, producing an electrical signal on the meter. The higher the strength of the signal, higher is the level of glucose.
Before you take your test ..
Your hands have to be free of bacteria before you take the test; wash them thoroughly with soap. But remember to wait until they are completely dry before you take blood from them. Wet hands can dilute the blood resulting in wrong numbers.
Best times to test
- Before lunch/dinner
- Before you eat anything for the day
- Before bed
- Two hours after a meal
- When you don’t feel well
- Before and after rigorous exercise
Other cases that warrant a blood sugar test
- Changes to your routine while travelling
- Changing or adjusting your medication or insulin
- When you are experiencing low or high blood sugar symptoms
- Pregnant/trying to get pregnant
- Before and after any kind of surgery
- After dental procedures
- During any illness
- While taking medicines for an illness
- On premenstrual days
Keep note of special circumstances during test results
There are some activities that can lower or increase your glucose level. When you take a test, make a note of what was happening before you took the test. These events could include:
- Consuming alcohol
- Eating a big meal
- Sleeping too much or experiencing insomnia
- Being in extreme temperatures, hot or cold
- Being ill
- Testing at high altitudes
- Feeling stressed or anxious
Taking care of your glucometer
- Always keep your blood sugar meter and the strips in a clean and dry place. Avoid keeping them in extreme temperatures like in your car with the AC on or on top of a heater.
- Expired strips can lead to inaccurate results.
- Keep the strips in their original container. The cap should be sealed well to keep humidity at bay
Please consult your doctor to understand how many times and when you should be taking your tests.