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Monitoring your blood sugar can be an important part of understanding how well your body is keeping up with its glycemic control. A healthy body should be able to keep its glucose levels in balance with little effort from the person living with it, but sometimes this process goes awry. Monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly can give you an idea of what’s happening inside your body, and it can also help you figure out if you need to make any adjustments to your medication or lifestyle in order to stay healthy. You can even get an at home HGB test. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Glycemic Control?
Glycemic control is the ability to maintain blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Blood sugar levels are affected by things like food intake and physical activity, but also by medication and disease. Obesity is a factor as well for how bodies maintain blood sugar. If your blood sugar is consistently outside of the normal range it may indicate a need for medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both.
What Causes Diabetes and Blood Sugar Issues?
There are multiple factors that cause blood sugar issues and diabetes. Infections can cause your pancreas to stop functioning properly, but it can also be impacted by insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, genetics, and obesity—especially if someone has a lot of fat around the midsection.
What is Insulin’s Role in the Body?
Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. When you eat, insulin is released into the bloodstream, where it lowers your blood glucose levels by helping cells use it for energy. Insulin also works with other hormones to release stored glucose from the liver.
Insulin sensitivity refers to how well your body responds to insulin. More specifically, how well your cells take the glucose in to use it for fuel.
Should You Monitor Your Blood Sugar if You Don’t Have Diabetes?
Modern technology makes it far easier to monitor your blood sugar affordably. Many people can get access to a glucometer and testing strips at the local pharmacy. There isn’t any harm in monitoring your blood sugar levels. You may want to monitor your blood sugar if you don’t have diabetes but want to learn more about how it affects your body. This can be useful for making changes in diet and lifestyle, or even learning how to manage diabetes. For people at risk of diabetes, monitoring can help put their minds at ease if they don’t have it yet.
The nice thing is that you can monitor your blood sugar levels easily at home or on the go whether your doctor told you to or not. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider to learn what a healthy and optimal blood sugar level is for you. This can help you know when to reach out to your doctor if they get outside of the optimal range.
Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose
To monitor your blood glucose levels, you need a glucose meter. There are different types of meters available depending on how often you want to test and what type of results you want. You can get results for fasting or for right after a meal. Both of these numbers provide you with important information about your health.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring CGM
Another form of glucose monitoring is continuous glucose monitoring. This is not for the casual or curious person. This is for those who need their levels monitored around the clock. It’s typically used by people with diabetes who take insulin to control their blood sugar levels. CGM measures the amount of glucose in your system every 5 minutes and sends the information to a transmitter device. Newer technology can alert a caregiver if these levels get out of range. It can indicate that a child or adult needs to eat more because their levels are too low or that they need insulin.
Glucose Strips and Test Strips
Glucose strips are used to measure your blood sugar levels. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, but they’re all very small. These strips are important to use alongside a glucose meter to ensure that you can check your blood sugar levels correctly. Make sure to get the right strips for your meter.
You may think of blood sugar as something you watch out for when you eat too much candy or drink soda, but it’s so much more than that. Properly regulated blood sugar levels can help keep you from developing serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, it can help prevent diabetic complications like amputation.