For patients with diabetes, checking your blood sugar is a matter of life and death. However, you may wonder how often should you get a blood test and the answer depends on what type of diabetes you have. Diabetes affects 30 million Americans today or 9.4 percent of the U.S. population. In fact, 1 in 4 adults aged 65 and over have diabetes. Before we delve into the frequency of blood tests, let’s discuss what they measure and how diabetes is managed. If you have a loved one with diabetes, it’s important that you understand what the disease is, how it’s managed, and its impact.
What is diabetes
Diabetes is a very serious illness that is a result of high levels of blood glucose, also known as blood sugar. Blood glucose is a sugar in the bloodstream responsible for the amount of energy a patient has. The word glucose is Greek for “sweet” and is moved throughout the body by a hormone called insulin. For those patients with diabetes and higher than normal levels of blood glucose, they may not have enough insulin or their bodies simply don’t respond to it properly.
Your body makes glucose by processing foods rich in carbohydrates like bread, fruit, pasta, and potatoes. When these foods are broken down in the stomach, glucose is released and absorbed into your intestines. This glucose is then released into the bloodstream. Your pancreas is designed to monitor the levels of blood sugar every few seconds and is the main source of fuel for your brain. When your body has used up all it needs, the extra glucose is stored in the liver and muscles. It is broken down once more and released until you eat again. When you haven’t eaten in a while, your glucose levels drop and so does your energy.
How often should you get a blood test
There are different types of diabetes. In patients with Type I diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin. The immune system attacks the pancreas that monitors glucose levels. Those with Type II diabetes have cells that don’t respond to insulin, causing the pancreas to make more and more until it breaks down and affects 90 to 95 percent of adults with diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes develop the illness while pregnant and it often goes away over time. However, women who’ve developed gestational diabetes have a greater chance of developing Type II later in life. Diabetes can be inherited, also known as Monogenic diabetes. The type of diabetes will determine how often should you check your blood sugar. Developing a blood sugar monitoring routine should be a priority. However, certain times are best for monitoring sugar:
- Before every meal
- Before night time snack
- 1 or 2 hours after every meal
- Before, during, and after physical activity
- When you’re stressed or feeling ill
- If your blood sugar may be too high or low
Oftentimes, patients use glucose meters with test strips or blood drawn from fingertips for instant results. Other patients use CGMs or continuous glucose monitors that are implanted or attached. Structured blood glucose testing provides more in-depth and targeted results that compliment a patient’s routine testing. Regardless of how it is tested, the American Diabetes Association recommends that blood sugar is tested routinely to manage the illness effectively.
What is a normal blood sugar range
The American Diabetes Association recommendations for normal blood sugar ranges are the following:
- Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
- Less than 180 mg/dL after meals
These ranges vary based on a patient’s health, energy levels, age, levels of activity and numerous other factors. It’s important to note that it is not unusual to see numbers out of these ranges every once in a while. Still, it’s important to notice and identify patterns that may signify a negative impact on blood sugar levels. When making lifestyle changes such as taking other medication, experiencing stress, trying new foods, or drinking alcohol, a patient may see numbers outside of their normal range.
Book an appointment today
Now that you know what diabetes is, it’s time to book an appointment with MyCare Health Partners today. Our combined expertise in general and preventative health includes diabetes assessment and management. We provide thorough consultations, accurate diagnosis, attentive analysis, and consistent treatment. You will have access to experienced medical professionals, excellent doctors, and medical facilities that will improve your overall health.
So, go ahead. Take a look at our website today and book your appointment. You deserve great healthcare.