When you may have diabetes, you could use a blood glucose check to verify the extent of your blood glucose, or blood sugar.

For those who take insulin, you could use a blood glucose tester, or glucometer, a number of instances a day. For those who take non-insulin treatment, you could solely want an A1c check, which is finished at your physician’s workplace, each 3-6 months. An A1c check is a blood check that reveals your physician the common of your blood glucose ranges over 3 months.

Blood Glucose Checks as You Age

As you grow old, your physician might change the way you monitor your blood sugar.

“The targets your physician desires you to goal for might 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, corresponding to insulin and sulfonylureas,” says Jocelyne Karam, MD, director of the Division of Endocrinology at Maimonides Medical Heart in Brooklyn, NY.

You might also have a better danger of low blood glucose when you have sure situations, like kidney, liver, or coronary heart issues, or in case your urge for food will get smaller.

To forestall low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, your physician will need you to observe your ranges intently with a blood glucose check.

What Blood Glucose Checks 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 in 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 could trigger issues in your physique over time.

Through the use of a glucometer, you possibly can verify your ranges and make changes to maintain them in a wholesome vary.

Forms of Blood Glucose Checks

There are several types of blood glucose assessments.

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 set a sticker-like patch, or glucose sensor, in your pores and skin. It provides you a readout in your smartphone or one other machine like an insulin pump. “It might probably measure and transmit glucose readings each 5 minutes, 24 hours a day,” says Karam. It’s possible you’ll substitute 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 when you have a number of insulin photographs in the course of the day or in case your ranges range loads.

The right way to Select the Proper Check for You

The very best check often is the one which’s best so that you can use.

“There are speaking meters for individuals who might not see nicely, and a few might have larger numbers for these with restricted imaginative and prescient,” 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 have to have frequent glucose readings, can profit from glucose sensors,” says Karam. However you want some technical ability to make use of a CGM machine, so that they is probably not proper for everybody.

Discuss to your physician or pharmacist about which check could also be greatest for you.

When to Test Your Blood Sugar

Your physician will inform you how typically to check your blood glucose ranges, and if that you must make modifications as you age.

“For those who’re on insulin, they’ll typically need you to verify earlier than meals and bedtime,” says Conrad. “In the event that they’ve been operating excessive or low, they’ll need no 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 might advocate testing much less typically.

“Sufferers with sort 2 diabetes handled with food plan alone, or medicines that don’t trigger low blood glucose, may solely have to verify with a fingerstick a number of instances per week,” Karam says.

You probably have modifications in medicines, medical situations, or urge for food, your physician might advocate adjusting your testing schedule to keep away from low blood sugar.


Hold Your Numbers on Goal as You Age

You possibly can take steps to ensure your blood glucose ranges keep at a wholesome goal vary. “Plenty 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 possibly can.
  • Handle your stress the most effective which you can.

  • Test your blood sugar ranges as typically as your physician recommends.
  • Take your treatment 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 Heart, Brooklyn, NY.

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

Well being In Getting old: “Diabetes Care & Remedy,” “Diabetes Distinctive to Older Adults.”

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

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