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A guide to glucose testing

Glucose testing is a part of everyday life for type 1 diabetics, type 2 diabetics, and hypoglycaemics. Blood glucose readings show the amount of control the person’s insulin is having in keeping sugar levels down. In those without diabetes, insulin increases or decreases as the amount of sugar changes, and for those with diabetes, the insulin either is not produced or isn’t produced in the correct amounts. Diet, exercise, and insulin shots are typically needed.

Blood sugar

Glucose monitors test the amount of blood glucose, or blood sugar, in the blood stream. Normal glucose levels are 80 mg/dL to 120 mg/dL before meals and upon waking, under 160 mg/dL two hours after eating, and between 100 mg/dL to 140 mg/dL at bedtime. Diabetes is where the levels are higher than normal and hypoglycaemia is where they are much less than normal. Depending on which of these you have, you will need food or insulin to correct it.

Glucose monitors

Diabetic meters, or glucose monitoring kits, are used to keep tabs on the blood sugar readings. These are done by taking a small pinprick of blood and putting it on a specially designed strip for the monitor. These testing strips pull the blood into the reader to test the levels of sugar. After a few seconds, the diabetes test kit will tell a number and the diabetic can adjust their insulin or food intake accordingly.

Brands of monitors

There are many different brands of blood monitors for diabetes sugar testing. Some of these are the Ultra One Touch, the Accu-chek Aviva, the Bayer Contour, and the True Track Smart System. The type and brand of monitor that you will need is usually up to your own choice. Some people with specific health insurance companies will be able to get glucose strips and kits cheaper if they are a certain brand. Look for the best deal before committing to a monitoring system.

Gluco Watch

The newest glucose testing device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the Gluco Watch, designed to test sugar secretions three times an hour up to 12 hours a day. This is the closest to having the continuous monitoring of the artificial pancreas or the pump. This type of glucose testing device is the newest to the market, and is currently for prescription use only.

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