Did you know that diabetes is the world’s 7th leading cause of death? Diabetes is a long-term health condition that affects the body’s capacity to convert food into energy.
What Is The Best Time To Check Blood Sugar In The Morning?
A portion of the food you consume is converted into sugar and then released into your system. The right information and tools are needed to prevent it! Here you will learn how to test for diabetes at home.
✅ Get A Test Kit At The Pharmacy
To get a test kit for the first time, you will need a prescription from your doctor. If you would like to buy a test kit at the pharmacy without a prescription, choose one on a date that best suits your needs.
✅ Look For Your Glucometer In The Testing Supplies
Gather all your materials before you begin. Take them out of the box and ensure you have everything you need. Find your glucometer in the supplies and locate the directions that came with it. The directions will help guide you through exactly how to use your glucometer, but most models share some general instructions.
First, look at the expiration date on your test strips and lancets. They will come in a bottle or box, which advises how long they can be used after opening. If either has expired or is nearly expired, throw them away and get new ones from your pharmacy or doctor’s office.
You don’t want to waste these items! You’ll only be able to use each test strip once, so try not to waste any of them (the use-by date can vary between brands). If you’re using a blood glucose meter with pre-loaded test strips (such as those manufactured by Bayer), ensure there are enough for the month.
✅ Gather the necessary supplies
To test for diabetes at home, gather the necessary supplies. You’ll need a blood glucose meter, test strips, and a lancet to draw your blood. A lancing device helps ensure you don’t draw too much blood from your finger. Also, get rubbing alcohol, band-aids, and something to write with.
Though this list may seem long, it’s all very inexpensive and available at most pharmacies or online retailers like Amazon.
✅ Prepare to take a fasting test
- Fasting tests should be taken on an empty stomach. You shouldn’t eat or drink anything other than water for at least eight hours before the test. (If you take medication, ask your doctor if and how you should take it before having a fasting blood glucose test.)
- Also, avoid exercising during those eight hours; instead, go about your normal daily activities until the time comes to get tested.
✅ Obtain a blood sample from your finger
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, making sure you clean the inside of your fingers too.
- If you want to test at a different site than the finger you normally use for testing, choose another fingertip that is clean and dry. Rub it vigorously for about 10 seconds to warm up the skin.
- Wipe the lancet tip with alcohol to disinfect it before using it on yourself or someone else.
- Hold the lancing device firmly against your fingertip and click it quickly so that you only feel a quick pinch instead of a long string.
- Make sure to wipe away all of the blood after you get enough blood on the strip without squeezing too much blood onto it, which would cause an error message and make you have to repeat steps 1 through 4 again (ugh).
- Dispose of the lancing device by putting it into some sharps container preferably one made specifically for this purpose to prevent accidental injuries in trash handling or recycling processes later on.
✅ Use code strip if needed
If you’re testing with a code strip, insert it into the glucometer first to calibrate it. Once you’ve inserted the blood glucose test strip into the glucometer and followed the instructions to draw blood from your lancing site, you can use the lancet on this site three times before moving to another area. (If there are no instructions, wait until all command prompts have disappeared.)
✅ Wait to read the results
For the glucose test, wait until the recommended time for your results to show. Often this is five minutes, but always read and follow the directions on your particular test kit package. Results that fall outside of the normal ranges are an indication of diabetes. The A1C test takes longer your healthcare provider will tell you when to expect results and what they mean.
Regardless of how you learn your results, you must take them to a healthcare professional who can help you understand what they mean and make plans for further testing or treatment. Also, remember that regular testing is essential because some people have no symptoms associated with diabetes at all!
✅ Take steps to lower your fasting glucose level if it is high
- Think about your diet and exercise: If your fasting glucose level is high, you should take steps to lower it. Eat foods that are low in carbohydrates, and exercise daily.
- Maintain a healthy weight: In general, maintaining a healthy body weight reduces the risk of diabetes. Limiting processed foods and sugary drinks can help you lose weight if you need to.
- Monitor blood glucose levels: Any person with diabetes should monitor blood sugar levels regularly. Some people do this at home using a finger prick test and a glucometer; however, your doctor may recommend other ways to monitor blood sugar levels (such as continuous glucose monitoring). Talk to your doctor about what type of monitoring is best for you, especially if you take insulin or another medication that lowers blood glucose levels.
✅ Use a post-meal testing plan if you were diagnosed with diabetes
You should also test your blood glucose levels after meals, at least 2 hours after you eat. This is important because if you eat more carbohydrates (carbs) than you usually do, it may cause your blood glucose level to rise higher than usual. Your doctor may want to see that you keep the same amount of carbs in each meal when creating a testing plan.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or are concerned that you may be at risk, a simple home blood glucose test could give you the answer you need.