When you’ve got diabetes, you could use a blood glucose take a look at to examine the extent of your blood glucose, or blood sugar.

If you happen to take insulin, you could use a blood glucose tester, or glucometer, just a few occasions a day. If you happen to take non-insulin medication, you could solely want an A1c test, which is finished at your physician’s workplace, each 3-6 months. An A1c take a look at is a blood take a look at that reveals your physician the typical of your blood glucose ranges over 3 months.

Blood Glucose Checks 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 purpose for could change primarily based in your age or different well being elements,” says Patrice Conrad, a senior diabetes specialist at Precedence Well being in Grand Rapids, MI.

“Older sufferers are at a better danger 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.

You may additionally have a better danger of low blood glucose in case you have sure circumstances, like kidney, liver, or heart issues, or in case your urge for food will get smaller.

To stop low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, your physician will need you to observe your ranges intently with a blood glucose take a look at.

What Blood Glucose Checks Do

Your blood glucose ranges go up and down all through the day. They might 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 possibly can have issues functioning and considering nicely. In the event that they go too excessive, it might trigger issues to your physique over time.

By utilizing a glucometer, you possibly can examine your ranges and make changes to maintain them in a wholesome vary.

Sorts of Blood Glucose Checks

There are several types of blood glucose assessments.

Fingerstick blood glucose take a look at. With this take a look at, 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 take a look at, you set a sticker-like patch, or glucose sensor, in your skin. It provides you a readout in your smartphone or one other machine like an insulin pump. “It could possibly measure and transmit glucose readings each 5 minutes, 24 hours a day,” says Karam. Chances are you’ll exchange the sensor each 7-14 days.

“The good thing about CGM is you possibly can 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 range quite a bit.

How one can Select the Proper Take a look at for You

The most effective take a look at would be the one which’s best so that you can use.

“There are speaking meters for individuals who could not see nicely, 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 possibly can share them along with your physician by downloading them.

“Older sufferers who’ve problem sticking their fingers, however nonetheless must have frequent glucose readings, can profit from glucose sensors,” says Karam. However you want some technical ability to make use of a CGM machine, in order that they might not be proper for everybody.

Discuss to your physician or pharmacist about which take a look at could also be greatest for you.

When to Test Your Blood Sugar

Your physician will let you know how usually to check your blood glucose ranges, and if you have to make modifications as you age.

“If you happen to’re on insulin, they’ll usually need you to examine earlier than meals and bedtime,” says Conrad. “In the event that they’ve been operating excessive or low, they’ll need not less than that many, if no more, assessments.”

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 must examine with a fingerstick just a few occasions per week,” Karam says.

When you 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.


Hold Your Numbers on Goal as You Age

You’ll be able to take steps to ensure your blood glucose ranges keep at a wholesome goal vary. “A lot of issues have an effect on your blood sugar. Some you’ve got 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 energetic as you possibly can.
  • Handle your stress one of the best that you would be able to.

  • Check your blood sugar ranges as usually as your physician recommends.
  • Take your remedy on time, each time.



Patrice Conrad, registered nurse; senior diabetes specialist, Precedence Well being, Grand Rapids, MI.

Jocelyne Karam, MD, director, Division of Endocrinology, Maimonides Medical Middle, Brooklyn, NY.

American Diabetes Affiliation: “The Large Image: Checking Your Blood Glucose.”

Well being In Growing older: “Diabetes Care & Therapy,” “Diabetes Distinctive to Older Adults.”

Johns Hopkins Medication: “Diabetes: What You Have to Know as You Age.”

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