Blood Sugar Basics You Should Know

Blood Sugar

Constant glucose monitoring is a vital part of keeping diabetes under control. Knowing how to make blood sugar testing a routine part of every day, no matter how tight your schedule.

Individuals living with type 2 diabetes have ready access to the best equipment ever made for home blood sugar testing. In fact, carrying out your own blood sugar reading has become a standard for diabetes management. Blood sugar testing helps you maintain safe blood glucose levels and avoid the systemic damage that comes from uncontrolled diabetes. The key is to make testing as easy as possible so that you’ll do it and feel like you’re in control, rather than feeling as though your diabetes is controlling you.

Why Is Blood Sugar Testing Important?

Perhaps you might think of blood sugar testing as a nuisance, its importance cannot be overstated. Obtaining regular blood sugar readings gives you a basic understanding of how diabetes is affecting your body and how you can best control it.

Using a blood sugar, or blood glucose, monitor daily — or several times a day as needed — can help you:

  • Predict how exercise or stress will affect your blood sugar
  • Understand how different foods affect your blood glucose levels
  • Make better choices regarding the type of insulin you use and the dosage you require
  • Prevent low blood sugar at night
  • Precisely control your blood glucose to prevent diabetes complications

If you don’t carry out blood sugar testing on a regular basis, you’re flying blind in your diabetes treatment. You will have to rely on physical symptoms to tell you when your blood sugar levels are too high or too low and, as a result, you will not be aware as soon as you could be that increased blood sugars are causing damage to your body.

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Blood Sugar Testing Burnout

Self-testing for blood glucose levels has been made easier as glucose monitoring device technology has improved. Of course, regular testing still requires a lot of effort on your part, and it may feel overwhelming at times. You have to:

  • Take time out of your busy day
  • Remember when you need to test
  • Stick yourself repeatedly with lancets
  • Respond to the test with medicine or food

This can cause diabetes burnout, a condition in which those with type 2 diabetes decide that controlling the disease is just too much effort. Signs of burnout include feeling out of control and powerless, losing interest in activities you usually enjoy, or being just plain unhappy.

Related: Weight Loss Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes in Some People, Study Suggests

Strategies for Better Blood Sugar Testing

You can cope with the demands placed on you by your type 2 diabetes. To help fit regular blood sugar testing into your daily life, try these ideas:

  • Set realistic goals. It’s good to be proactive about getting frequent blood sugar readings, but set a schedule that is realistic. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a reading. The key is to stay motivated, while also acknowledging that no one’s perfect
  • Keep Memos for testing. Memory aids can help you remember your blood sugar testing. Link the test to things you do at the same time every day, such as eating meals or brushing your teeth. You also can create rituals around your blood sugar tests by doing certain things in a set order every time. Or use a timer to remind you when your next test is due. You can even create a daily chart and check off boxes as you do each one.
  • Identify barriers to regular testing. If you find that keeping a set schedule is the best way to perform regular blood sugar testing, avoid situations that disrupt your schedule. For example, if you need to test following meals, be sure that you eat at about the same time every day.
  • Reach out for help. Those around you may not understand the importance of testing your blood glucose at specific times or after specific events like eating or exercise. Explain it to them and ask for their help remembering to perform the tests.
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Be conscious of the reason why test: Closely controlling your blood sugar allows you to protect your long-term health and get the most out of life. When your resolve falters, remembering this one fact can help you get back on track.

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