We often forget that we are an indispensable aspect of treating our diabetes. Self-testing your blood sugar and HBA1C is extremely important in managing your diabetes and preventing long-term complications. A portable electronic device called the glucose meter is used to measure blood glucose levels. Testing should be done as advised by your doctor, but one should generally test twice a month at least. The frequency of testing your blood sugars also depends on the type of diabetes.
Blood sugar and HbA1C for Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system destroys the beta cells of the pancreas, cells which are responsible for the production of insulin. According to 2005 NICE guidelines, it is recommended that people who have type 1 diabetes must check their insulin level every 4 hours, at the least. Besides, if they are undergoing heavy exercises or any activity that can fluctuate their blood pressure, they must check blood sugar levels more frequently. For example, in the following cases:
- When traveling or driving for long distances check sugar levels every 2 hours
- Check before and after performing the exercise
- If you are suffering from chronic diseases, it is highly recommended to have routine tests every two months
- Undergo schedule tests as advised by your doctor when pregnant
- Test before breastfeeding
- Test before and after taking part in high-risk physical activities
- Test if you are not able to achieve the target HbA1c of 48 mmol/mol (6.5%)
- Test if you are experiencing regular hypoglycemia episodes, he/she must regularly test for their blood sugar level.
Blood sugar and HbA1C for Type 2 Diabetes
The same should be followed by people who have type 2 diabetes. However, if you are on medication that can cause hypoglycemia, you must test your glucose level whenever you experience any symptoms. Further, you should test, before and after meals, especially if you have type 2 diabetes.
Apart from this, you can also opt for structured testing. In this, you need to check your blood glucose level at specified times. This will not only help you monitor your blood glucose level but also help you recognize patterns of how your glucose level fluctuates during day-to-day activities. This is extremely helpful in maintaining a record and solving problems related to daily activities.
Combining structured testing and routine blood testing can give you a better view of how your self-care program is working so that you can tailor your plans to achieve your goals.