When you’ve gotten diabetes, it’s possible you’ll use a blood glucose take a look at to examine the extent of your blood glucose, or blood sugar.

For those who take insulin, it’s possible you’ll use a blood glucose tester, or glucometer, a couple of occasions a day. For those who take non-insulin medication, it’s possible you’ll solely want an A1c test, which is finished at your physician’s workplace, each 3-6 months. An A1c take a look at is a blood take a look at that exhibits your physician the common of your blood glucose ranges over 3 months.

Blood Glucose Assessments as You Age

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

“The targets your physician desires you to intention for might change primarily based 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 the next threat of getting low blood glucose with sure medicines, 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 the next 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 intently with a blood glucose take a look at.

What Blood Glucose Assessments 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 provides you with a goal vary on your blood glucose degree. If it goes too low, you’ll be able to have issues functioning and pondering properly. In the event that they go too excessive, it could trigger issues on 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.

Varieties of Blood Glucose Assessments

There are several types of blood glucose checks.

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 degree is at that second.


Steady glucose monitoring gadget (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 gadget like an insulin pump. “It could 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’ve got a number of insulin pictures through the day or in case your ranges fluctuate so much.

The way to Select the Proper Take a look at for You

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

“There are speaking meters for individuals who might not see properly, and a few might 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’ll be able to share them together 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 gadget, in order that they is probably not proper for everybody.

Speak to your physician or pharmacist about which take a look at 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 should make modifications as you age.

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

In case your numbers have been working 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 medicines that don’t trigger low blood glucose, would possibly solely must examine with a fingerstick a couple of occasions every week,” Karam says.

When you’ve got modifications in medicines, medical circumstances, or urge for food, your physician might advocate adjusting your testing schedule to keep away from low blood sugar.


Hold Your Numbers on Goal as You Age

You possibly can take steps to ensure 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 monitor.

  • Eat wholesome more often than not.
  • Be as lively as you’ll be able to.
  • Handle your stress the very best that you could.

  • 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 Getting old: “Diabetes Care & Remedy,” “Diabetes Distinctive to Older Adults.”

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

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