There are several types of diabetes. When you have this condition, it is imperative to always know your blood sugar levels so that you can make adjustments to ensure that they do not get too high. One of the most important diabetic tools is the Accu-Chek Active. With the Accu-Chek Active, you can determine your glucose levels in under a minute so that you know if you need to make diet adjustments, take as needed medicines or consume sugar if your levels are low.
HEALTHY BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS FOR DIABETICS
When you are diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will provide you with target glucose levels that you should strive for. The healthy blood sugar range is slightly different for diabetics compared to non-diabetics. When you check your blood sugar about two hours after eating, it should be no higher than 180 mg/dL. If you have fasted for several hours, such as when you check your levels upon waking in the morning, your level should not exceed 125 mg/dL.
If at any time you check your glucose levels and they are 600 mg/dL or higher, you should seek immediate medical attention. The same is true if your level is below 54 mg/dL. While high blood sugar is often the focus for diabetics, you also want to check your levels regularly to make sure that they do not get below 70 mg/dL because low blood sugar can be just as problematic as high blood sugar.
HOW TO PROPERLY CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
It is important that your blood sugar readings are accurate so that you can keep them under control. Improper use of your glucose monitor or not preparing correctly can cause inaccurate readings that could lead to your blood sugar getting too low or high. The following are the general steps you should take when you are using your blood sugar monitor:
• Use soap and water to wash your hands thoroughly and then make sure to dry them completely
• Turn on your blood sugar monitor
• Put your blood sugar test strip into the proper area on your glucose monitor
• Use the lancet on the side of one of your fingertips to prick it
• Massage or squeeze your finger gently to encourage a drop of blood to form on your finger
• Put the drop of blood that has formed onto the side of the test strip that you have inserted into your monitor
• Let the meter go to work to provide you with a blood sugar reading
• Use an alcohol swab to wipe away the excess blood on your finger
• If it continues to bleed after approximately one minute, you can apply a bandage to the area to protect the puncture
Some glucose monitors allow you to use alternative blood sugar testing sites, such as your palm or forearm. However, a blood sample from your fingertips will almost always be the most accurate. It is best to avoid using alternative testing sites unless you cannot get a good sample from one of your fingertips. Following exercise or a meal, you should always use your fingertips since these activities can result in a more frequent change in your glucose levels, so you need to ensure the most accurate result.
HOW OFTEN YOU SHOULD CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
Your doctor will provide you with instructions regarding how often you need to use your blood sugar meter each day. It is important that you follow these guidelines exactly to stay on top of your blood sugar levels. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you will check your levels an average of four to 10 times daily, depending on how well the insulin is controlling your condition. It is generally recommended that you check it when you wake up, before going to sleep, after and before exercise and after and before snacks and meals.
If you have Type 2 diabetes and you take oral medications, checking it about three to four times a day is the general recommendation. However, if it has been high or low recently, you may need to check it more often. If you are taking insulin for this type of diabetes, you may need to check it more often, especially if one of the insulin types that you are taking is a fast-acting one. For Type 2 diabetics who are controlling their blood sugar well with exercise and diet only, checking it about once a day may be all that is needed unless your blood sugar levels start to rise.
PICKING THE RIGHT GLUCOSE MONITOR
The Accu-Chek Active has a large display so that it is easier to see your blood sugar readings on the screen. It only has two buttons, making it convenient and easy to use. If the test strips that you are using with the meter are expired, the meter will give you an alert so that you know that it is time to get new ones. When you are applying blood to the strips, you can do so once they are in the meter or before inserting them, so that you can collect your sample in the way that is easiest for you. This meter will maintain up to 90 days of readings so that you can monitor your glucose levels over time.
Since you will be using the Accu-Chek Active regularly, it is important to pick one that is easy to use and accurate. While cost and insurance coverage are important things to consider, you also have to think about the features of the monitor, such as buttons that you can operate with ease, if it has audio for those with impaired vision, if the test strips are convenient to use and if you can see the display without an issue in various light conditions. You also need to consider how long it will store your readings for long-term tracking and if the meter is easy for you to maintain.
TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR MONITOR
To make sure that you are always getting the most accurate readings, you have to maintain your blood sugar meter and use it properly. Take the time to read the manual and take note of the maintenance tasks and schedule that are provided. The following tips will help to ensure that your monitor is always ready to use and that the readings you are getting are accurate:
• Ensure that your blood sample is adequate because if it is too small the reading may be inaccurate, or your meter might not be able to provide a reading at all
• Make sure that you are storing your test strips properly
• Run all meter quality-control checks as recommended, and perform all cleaning on schedule
• Only use test strips that are designed to work with your blood sugar monitor
• Never use test strips that are expired
As a diabetic, you should be checking your blood sugar levels according to your doctor’s recommendations. This means that some people will need to check theirs more often than others. Every time you check it, keep a log of your levels with the time and date so that you can track your glucose levels. You should also make sure that in addition to your monitor that you always have plenty of Accu-Chek Active test strips and alcohol swabs available. If you found this article helpful, please share on social media and post a link to it on your website.