When you might have diabetes, chances are you’ll use a blood glucose check to verify the extent of your blood glucose, or blood sugar.

If you happen to take insulin, chances are you’ll use a blood glucose tester, or glucometer, a couple of instances a day. If you happen to take non-insulin medication, chances are you’ll solely want an A1c test, which is finished at your physician’s workplace, each 3-6 months. An A1c check is a blood check that exhibits your physician the typical of your blood glucose ranges over 3 months.

Blood Glucose Checks as You Age

As you become old, your physician could change the way you monitor your blood sugar.

“The targets your physician desires you to intention for could change based mostly in your age or different well being components,” says Patrice Conrad, a senior diabetes specialist at Precedence Well being in Grand Rapids, MI.

“Older sufferers are at the next danger of getting low blood glucose with sure drugs, reminiscent of insulin and sulfonylureas,” says Jocelyne Karam, MD, director of the Division of Endocrinology at Maimonides Medical Middle in Brooklyn, NY.

You might also have the next danger of low blood glucose in case you have sure situations, like kidney, liver, or heart issues, or in case your urge for food will get smaller.

To stop low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, your physician will need you to watch your ranges carefully with a blood glucose check.

What Blood Glucose Checks Do

Your blood glucose ranges go up and down all through the day. They might rise after you eat, then fall after you go a very long time with out consuming.

Your physician offers you a goal vary to your blood glucose degree. If it goes too low, you’ll be able to have issues functioning and pondering effectively. In the event that they go too excessive, it could trigger issues to your physique over time.

By utilizing a glucometer, you’ll be able to verify your ranges and make changes to maintain them in a wholesome vary.

Kinds of Blood Glucose Checks

There are various kinds of blood glucose checks.

Fingerstick blood glucose check. With this check, you poke your finger with a lancet to get a small drop of blood. You set the blood on a strip, then the glucometer tells you what your blood sugar degree is at that second.


Steady glucose monitoring machine (CGM). With a CGM check, you place a sticker-like patch, or glucose sensor, in your skin. It offers you a readout in your smartphone or one other machine like an insulin pump. “It may possibly measure and transmit glucose readings each 5 minutes, 24 hours a day,” says Karam. It’s possible you’ll exchange the sensor each 7-14 days.

“The advantage of CGM is you’ll be able to see what your blood sugars are on a regular basis, better of all, with out poking,” says Conrad, a registered nurse. A CGM is useful in case you have a number of insulin pictures through the day or in case your ranges range loads.

How one can Select the Proper Check for You

The perfect check often is the one which’s best so that you can use.

“There are speaking meters for individuals who could not see effectively, and a few could have larger numbers for these with restricted vision,” says Conrad. Some have backlighting, to make them simpler to learn. Others retailer your readings so you’ll be able to share them along with your physician by downloading them.

“Older sufferers who’ve issue sticking their fingers, however nonetheless have to have frequent glucose readings, can profit from glucose sensors,” says Karam. However you want some technical ability to make use of a CGM machine, so that they will not be proper for everybody.

Speak to your physician or pharmacist about which check could also be greatest for you.

When to Test Your Blood Sugar

Your physician will let you know how typically to check your blood glucose ranges, and if you have to make adjustments as you age.

“If you happen to’re on insulin, they’ll typically need you to verify earlier than meals and bedtime,” says Conrad. “In the event that they’ve been working excessive or low, they’ll need not less than that many, if no more, checks.”

In case your numbers have been working at or close to your goal more often than not and also you’re not taking insulin with meals, your physician could suggest testing much less typically.

“Sufferers with type 2 diabetes handled with diet alone, or drugs that don’t trigger low blood glucose, may solely have to verify with a fingerstick a couple of instances per week,” Karam says.

If in case you have adjustments in drugs, medical situations, or urge for food, your physician could suggest adjusting your testing schedule to keep away from low blood sugar.


Hold Your Numbers on Goal as You Age

You’ll be able to take steps to ensure your blood glucose ranges keep at a wholesome goal vary. “A number of issues have an effect on your blood sugar. Some you might have management over, some you don’t,” Conrad says.

Right here’s what you are able to do to maintain your ranges on monitor.

  • Eat wholesome more often than not.
  • Be as lively as you’ll be able to.
  • Handle your stress the very best that you could.

  • Check your blood sugar ranges as typically as your physician recommends.
  • Take your medicine on time, each time.



Patrice Conrad, registered nurse; senior diabetes specialist, Precedence Well being, Grand Rapids, MI.

Jocelyne Karam, MD, director, Division of Endocrinology, Maimonides Medical Middle, Brooklyn, NY.

American Diabetes Affiliation: “The Massive Image: Checking Your Blood Glucose.”

Well being In Getting older: “Diabetes Care & Remedy,” “Diabetes Distinctive to Older Adults.”

Johns Hopkins Medication: “Diabetes: What You Have to Know as You Age.”

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