When you’ve gotten diabetes, you might use a blood glucose check to test the extent of your blood glucose, or blood sugar.

Should you take insulin, you might use a blood glucose tester, or glucometer, a number of instances a day. Should you take non-insulin medication, you might solely want an A1c test, which is completed at your physician’s workplace, each 3-6 months. An A1c check is a blood check that reveals your physician the common of your blood glucose ranges over 3 months.

Blood Glucose Checks as You Age

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

“The targets your physician desires you to goal 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 a better threat of getting low blood glucose with sure drugs, comparable to insulin and sulfonylureas,” says Jocelyne Karam, MD, director of the Division of Endocrinology at Maimonides Medical Heart in Brooklyn, NY.

You may additionally have a better threat of low blood glucose when you’ve got sure circumstances, like kidney, liver, or heart issues, or in case your urge for food will get smaller.

To forestall low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, your physician will need you to observe 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 gives you a goal vary in your blood glucose degree. If it goes too low, you may have issues functioning and considering effectively. In the event that they go too excessive, it might trigger issues in your physique over time.

Through the use of a glucometer, you may test your ranges and make changes to maintain them in a wholesome vary.

Kinds of Blood Glucose Checks

There are several types of blood glucose exams.

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 set 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 will probably measure and transmit glucose readings each 5 minutes, 24 hours a day,” says Karam. You could exchange the sensor each 7-14 days.

“The advantage of CGM is you may 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 when you’ve got a number of insulin photographs throughout the day or in case your ranges fluctuate quite a bit.

How one can Select the Proper Check for You

The very best check will be 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 greater numbers for these with restricted vision,” says Conrad. Some have backlighting, to make them simpler to learn. Others retailer your readings so you may share them along with your physician by downloading them.

“Older sufferers who’ve issue sticking their fingers, however nonetheless must 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.

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

When to Verify Your Blood Sugar

Your physician will inform you how usually to check your blood glucose ranges, and if you’ll want to make modifications as you age.

“Should you’re on insulin, they’ll usually need you to test earlier than meals and bedtime,” says Conrad. “In the event that they’ve been operating excessive or low, they’ll need no less than that many, if no more, exams.”

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

“Sufferers with type 2 diabetes handled with diet alone, or drugs that don’t trigger low blood glucose, may solely must test with a fingerstick a number of instances every week,” Karam says.

When you have modifications in drugs, medical circumstances, or urge for food, your physician could advocate adjusting your testing schedule to keep away from low blood sugar.


Preserve Your Numbers on Goal as You Age

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

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

  • Eat wholesome more often than not.
  • Be as energetic as you may.
  • Handle your stress one of the best which you can.

  • Check your blood sugar ranges as usually as your physician recommends.
  • Take your treatment 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 Heart, Brooklyn, NY.

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

Well being In Ageing: “Diabetes Care & Therapy,” “Diabetes Distinctive to Older Adults.”

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

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