Your body sources most of its energy from glucose, which is found in most carbohydrate rich foods. Under normal conditions, your body can effectively control the glucose content in the blood by using insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. To help monitor the glycemic content of your blood, blood glucose monitoring aids can be used at home. If the process of glucose production and control is disrupted the body can no longer convert food effectively, a chain reaction of health problems, primarily the occurrence of diabetes arises.
Who needs to check blood glucose levels?
Your healthcare provider may ask you to self-monitor your blood glucose levels and bring your results in for regular evaluation if you are categorized as high risk for diabetes, due to genetic patterns or obesity. A diabetic person may need a different diet or medication such as insulin, to help them regulate glucose levels. Some individuals with ketoses, resulting from too high a level of blood glucose, may be advised to track their actual glucose levels. Checking blood glucose levels is not only for diabetics, including those with juvenile and gestational diabetes, who need better glucose control, but also those experiencing low sugar levels, who need glucose values in their blood monitored.
Blood Glucose Monitoring Devices
The blood glucose meter is the primary instrument in use for effective diabetes home management today, giving instant and accurate readings of your current blood glucose values. A blood sample, taken from a fingertip pin prick, is placed on a test strip which is inserted into a mobile system device that reads your current glycemic levels, both high and low. The readings can then be recorded on the meter itself or with some brands like the Accu-Chek, transferred to a computer.
A new device that is gaining popularity, although it is not yet stable enough to be widely used, is the CGM device. A minute sensor is implanted under the skin to measure glucose levels found in tissue fluids, a radio wave transmitter then sends the information to a wireless receiver over the course of a week, like a pager, providing accurate data of the individuals' glucose cycles once it is programmed.
If you are sick or your diabetes is beyond your control, a urine test that measures the ketones in your urine can be used as an alternative glucose monitor. It is necessary to keep an accurate log of the test results for your health care provider, to help them assess your reaction to your current diabetes treatments.