When you could have diabetes, chances are you’ll use a blood glucose take a look at to examine the extent of your blood glucose, or blood sugar.

In the event you take insulin, chances are you’ll use a blood glucose tester, or glucometer, a couple of occasions a day. In the event you take non-insulin medication, chances are you’ll solely want an A1c test, which is completed at your physician’s workplace, each 3-6 months. An A1c take a look at is a blood take a look at that reveals your physician the common of your blood glucose ranges over 3 months.

Blood Glucose Exams as You Age

As you grow old, your physician might change the way you monitor your blood sugar.

“The targets your physician needs you to goal for might change based mostly in your age or different well being elements,” says Patrice Conrad, a senior diabetes specialist at Precedence Well being in Grand Rapids, MI.

“Older sufferers are at the next threat of getting low blood glucose with sure drugs, reminiscent of insulin and sulfonylureas,” says Jocelyne Karam, MD, director of the Division of Endocrinology at Maimonides Medical Heart in Brooklyn, NY.

You might also have the next threat of low blood glucose when you have 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 watch your ranges intently with a blood glucose take a look at.

What Blood Glucose Exams Do

Your blood glucose ranges go up and down all through the day. They could rise after you eat, then fall after you go a very long time with out consuming.

Your physician provides you with a goal vary to your blood glucose stage. If it goes too low, you’ll be able to have issues functioning and considering effectively. In the event that they go too excessive, it could trigger issues to your physique over time.

By utilizing a glucometer, you’ll be able to examine your ranges and make changes to maintain them in a wholesome vary.

Kinds of Blood Glucose Exams

There are several types of blood glucose assessments.

Fingerstick blood glucose take a look at. With this take a look at, you poke your finger with a lancet to get a small drop of blood. You place the blood on a strip, then the glucometer tells you what your blood sugar stage is at that second.


Steady glucose monitoring machine (CGM). With a CGM take a look at, 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 possibly measure and transmit glucose readings each 5 minutes, 24 hours a day,” says Karam. You could change the sensor each 7-14 days.

“The good thing about CGM is you’ll be able to 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 have a number of insulin pictures in the course of the day or in case your ranges range rather a lot.

The way to Select the Proper Check for You

The perfect take a look at will be the one which’s best so that you can use.

“There are speaking meters for individuals who might not see effectively, and a few might have larger numbers for these with restricted vision,” says Conrad. Some have backlighting, to make them simpler to learn. Others retailer your readings so you’ll be able to share them along with your physician by downloading them.

“Older sufferers who’ve problem sticking their fingers, however nonetheless must have frequent glucose readings, can profit from glucose sensors,” says Karam. However you want some technical talent to make use of a CGM machine, so that they might not be proper for everybody.

Speak to your physician or pharmacist about which take a look at could also be finest for you.

When to Test Your Blood Sugar

Your physician will let you know how usually to check your blood glucose ranges, and if it’s essential make modifications as you age.

“In the event you’re on insulin, they’ll usually need you to examine earlier than meals and bedtime,” says Conrad. “In the event that they’ve been operating excessive or low, they’ll need not less than that many, if no more, assessments.”

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 might advocate testing much less usually.

“Sufferers with type 2 diabetes handled with diet alone, or drugs that don’t trigger low blood glucose, would possibly solely must examine with a fingerstick a couple of occasions every week,” Karam says.

You probably have modifications in drugs, medical circumstances, or urge for food, your physician might 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 ensure your blood glucose ranges keep at a wholesome goal vary. “A lot of issues have an effect on your blood sugar. Some you could have 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 lively as you’ll be able to.
  • Handle your stress the perfect that you would be able to.

  • Check your blood sugar ranges as usually as your physician recommends.
  • Take your remedy 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 Large Image: Checking Your Blood Glucose.”

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

Johns Hopkins Drugs: “Diabetes: What You Have to Know as You Age.”

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