If I Have Type 2 Diabetes, How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar?

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Posted: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 12:00 am

If I Have Type 2 Diabetes, How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar?

by Dr. Roy Barco


This week I will speak about a query I typically get from patients in which there’s not an easy one-size-fits-all answer, which is how typically should blood sugar be monitored at residence in anyone with sort 2 diabetes.  Lots will depend on your medical historical past, whether or not your blood sugars are nicely controlled or not, whether or not you’re on insulin and whether you endure from bouts of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).  In addition to that, totally different physicians and medical teams have robust opinions on the most effective practices for checking blood sugar and they don’t all the time necessarily agree.  Subsequently, what I’ll supply at present is simply my opinion on how blood sugar ought to be monitored, recognizing that every case is totally different and that you need to all the time consult your healthcare provider relating to diabetes administration.  With that in mind, let me first speak about hypoglycemia.  When any person develops low blood sugar, the most typical reasons for this are that the individual ate little or no or by no means just lately, that they are consuming much less carbohydrates of their food plan than normal, that inadvertent overmedication with the blood sugar-lowering drugs occurred, or that this can be a response to a current change to a new or stronger dosage of a diabetes drugs.  Typically we wrestle to elucidate what the cause was in the first place.  The most typical signs of hypoglycemia famous will embrace dizziness, fatigue, confusion, sweating, shakiness, palpitations and in worse case situations, coma and dying.  Because hypoglycemia can result in such dangerous outcomes, we advocate that each one diabetic sufferers have a blood sugar meter and strips in order that they will verify their sugar on demand ought to they get signs concerning for low blood sugar.  

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In addition to checking for low blood sugar, monitoring blood sugar could be very helpful in your general diabetes care.  In case you are only on medicines by mouth and your sugars have been beneath good management, it is affordable to examine your sugars no more than as soon as day by day, often fasting whenever you first rise up.  In case your sugars have been doing properly for a very long time, it is even affordable to area it less regularly than that.  I often advise sufferers in these situations to not utterly surrender checking their blood sugar at residence because if it begins rising, it gained’t be observed till your next docs’ visit, which might be months away.  In case you are on oral drugs and the sugars aren’t on underneath good control, then I do ask that the patient monitor their sugar each day.  Not only do I need to know what fasting sugars are operating, however I’m also keen on seeing how their blood sugar modifications after a meal.  It may give me information about how nicely you’re doing in your diabetic eating regimen in addition to how the oral drugs is working. Subsequently, I will typically ask for blood sugar readings 2 hours after a number of meals every day when blood sugars aren’t nicely managed on oral drugs.  

It is extremely helpful to verify your blood sugar extra often if you find yourself on insulin, whether or not you’re taking a once-a-day lengthy appearing insulin alone, whether or not you’re taking a long-acting insulin day by day mixed with short-acting insulin at each meal or whether you’re taking an insulin mixture like 70/30 or 75/25 insulin.  Checking your morning sugar every day before breakfast whereas on insulin remedy lets me know if your longer appearing insulin is doing its job, or if its dosage must be adjusted.  Along with that, in the event you additionally take a short-acting insulin together with your meals, checking your sugar earlier than lunch and dinner additionally lets me know whether the short-acting insulins are doing their job at protecting the sugars down out of your earlier meal.  Subsequently, at minimal, I sometimes advocate checking sugars 3 times every day when on each a brief and long-acting insulin.  Once again, when your blood sugar just isn’t nicely managed I will often need to understand how your sugar modifications after you eat a meal.  In these instances, I’ll typically ask sufferers to examine their sugars a couple of hours after one or more meals.  As you possibly can see, deciding on how typically to verify sugars can get quite difficult and ought to be individualized to every patient.

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Dr. Roy Barco welcomes your questions concerning health and wellness. Please Facebook him at the place you’ll be able to submit questions for the column, or write to:

True Medical Group

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