You may find it difficult to find the time to measure your blood sugar levels on a regular basis, but if testing has been recommended by your doctor, it is beneficial to know you glucose readings to avoid diabetes. Blood sugar targets can vary under different conditions, such as age, HBP or low blood sugar levels so if the test results aren't as you expected, work with your doctor towards finding a balanced lifestyle for your health and diet.
Present home testing meters usually requires a drop of blood on a test strip paper from a lancet prick that is inserted into the test meter which gives you the results in about 15 seconds. Most monitors have features for memory, recall and charting and some systems do not need test strips. A normal blood glucose target in a non-diabetic person is 70-100 mg/dl, but for many diabetic people blood glucose levels fluctuate dramatically from 70-220 mg/dl before depending on activity and meals.
The impaired glucose tolerance test requires you to consume a dose of concentrated glucose and take a glucose test reading after two hours. A reading of 7.9 ? 11.1 mmol/l (141 ? 200 mg/dl) would indicate a pre-diabetes or an impaired glucose tolerance condition and a reading of more than 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl) would point to diabetes. A simple lab test, called Haemoglobin A1c, will show your average amount of blood sugar over the last three months. The test results will show if your blood sugar levels are normal or too high.
Fasting blood glucose before breakfast
Done on an empty stomach, this test will indicate how well your body reacts to any long-acting insulin you may be taking, with readings between 5-7 mmol/l.
Pre-meal blood glucose (before lunch and dinner)
From these readings, you can tell how effective your insulin doses were at lunch and breakfast. The readings should continue to be 5-7 mmol/l.
Two hours after eating
The peak reading of your blood glucose should be less than 10 mmol/l a few hours after you finish eating and will indicate if you have taken a sufficient dose of insulin for the amount of carbohydrates you consumed during your meal.
Just Before Bedtime
At the end of the day, a diabetic person should be looking for a target of 6-8 mmol/l. Your blood glucose levels shouldn't be too low when going to bed, lest you have a serious low blood sugar attack in the night.