How often you should monitor your sugar levels
How often you should monitor your sugar levels
How often you should monitor your sugar levels

How often should you monitor your glucose levels?

Everyone with type 1 and type 2 diabetes knows that to stay as healthy as possible, one needs to always be on top of their blood sugar levels. This can only happen when you test these levels frequently using a glucometer, one variety of many under the umbrella of sugar testing machines. If you’re wondering whether tracking your glucose is important at all, know that glucose monitoring devices are an essential part of living with diabetes.

By allowing you to track your sugar levels at any point in the day, they provide more accurate measurements that can help you make informed food and exercise choices.

What are the other reasons why testing sugar levels is important?

Testing your sugar levels provides essential information needed for diabètes management and can therefore make your life noticeably simpler. It can help you do the following things:

  • Identify highs or lows of your glucose level.
  • Make informed choices for food, exercise, and medication.
  • Track your progress to see where you have reached in your overall treatment goals.
  • Learn how diet and exercise affect your body and health.
  • Understand other factors, such as illness or stress, and how they affect your diabetes.

How and when should I check my glucose levels?

The frequency of testing usually depends on the type of diabetes you have, your treatment plan, and the advisable time in range given by your doctor. When you’re trying to figure out your testing schedule, consider the following factors specific to your particular case:

  1. Type of diabetes - Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes will affect your testing schedule. Consult your doctor for recommended daily glucose monitory schedule.
  2. Your treatment plans - The plan laid out by your doctor for diabetes management.
  3. Advisable time in range given by the doctor - Specific sugar level goals that you might have to reach within a stipulated time as per the plan laid out by your doctor.
  4. Whether you have a more sedentary or active lifestyle - How active you are daily.

Testing through BGM or CGM devices

If you’re confused about whether to test using a blood glucose monitoring device (BGM) or a continuous glucose monitoring device known as CGM, here is some key information to keep in mind—both to learn the difference between the two and to see which one suits your lifestyle seamlessly.

  • A CGM device shows you three stages of your sugar levels. This includes where they used to be, where they currently are, and the rough direction that they’re headed. It also lets you see the impact of food, medicine, physical activity on these levels so that you can make healthier choices.
  • CGM devices use a small sensor paired with your smartphone or a reader, instead of finger pricks, making it a much easier and pain-free device to use daily.
  • CGM is clinically proven to significantly reduce hypoglycemia, during the day and night, while also lowering A1c levels*. Some CGM devices even have optional alarms or notifications that warn you when your glucose levels are outside of their target range. This results in increased safety and a more secure understanding of your diabetes.
  • Instead of taking glucose readings from your blood, CGM devices take glucose readings from your interstitial fluid, a thin layer of fluid that surrounds the cells of the tissues below your skin.

On the other hand, a BGM device works differently and involves the process of blood sampling. To use a BGM device, you prick your finger using a lancet and apply a drop of blood to a test strip. The device then measures your glucose level to show a reading. It differs from a CGM device figure as it only shows the sugar level at point in time testing instead of past and future readings. In other words, BGM devices don’t show the pattern and trends of your glucose levels.

How to test through CGM devices

  • Continuous glucose monitoring, a CGM devices have a small sensor applied on your skin, usually on your arm, a process made easy through an applicator.
  • The sensor in the device measures glucose levels through the interstitial fluid under your skin, usually in real-time.
  • The sensor will need to be changed based on your usage of the device and for most CGMs, you’ll need to change sensors at home every 14 days. However, for long-term implantable devices, your doctor will change the sensor a few times each year.
  • Depending on the type of CGM system, glucose data from the sensor is sent to either a handheld device called a reader, an app on your smartphone or an insulin pump.

Why test A1c level

If you didn’t know, the A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes. If you're currently living with diabetes, it is also used to monitor how well you're managing your sugar levels. Other names for the A1C test include glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C, or the HbA1c test—information that can help you navigate diabetes research**.

An A1C test result reflects your average glucose or sugar levels for the past two to three months and measures what percentage of hemoglobin proteins responsible for transporting oxygen in your blood, are coated with sugar. A higher A1C level indicates substandard glucose control and increases your risk of health issues in the future.

It is also advisable to use CGMs that have shown effective results in reducing A1C levels to make sure that you have the best technology*. For further assistance on diabetes management and to learn more about this condition and the methods of living with it consult your doctor.

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Disclaimer - Images are for illustration purpose only. No actual patient data. Any person depicted in the photos is a model

The information mentioned in this document is only suggestive/for patient education and shall not be considered as a substitute for doctor’s advice or recommendations from Abbott. Please consult your doctor for more information