Monitoring of Diabetes essentially consists of the following:
- Controlling and monitoring of blood glucose levels to target levels arrived at by your doctor
- Monitoring kidney function
- Monitoring and maintaining blood cholesterol levels.
- Monitoring heart function
- Monitoring neuropathy (diabetic neuropathy) or nerve damage.
- Monitoring for condition of blood vessels (peripheral vascular disease)
Monitoring of blood glucose levels
Understanding Target blood glucose levels
- For a non diabetic person the fasting blood sugar (fasting blood glucose) is ideally less than 100 mg / dl and 2 hours after eating (post prandial blood glucose) is less than 140 mg / dl.
- For a diabetic person, doctors aim at fasting blood glucose level 70–130 mg/dl. The same figure is recommended for pre-meal blood glucose levels. The post meal levels (post prandial blood glucose levels) should be less than 180 mg/dl.
- To get an idea about your average blood glucose levels, the doctors recommend a test called HBA1C level (A1C level or Glycated Hemoglobin level or Glycosylated Hemoglobinlevel). It is expressed as a percentage. For a non diabetic person, this level is expected to be <5.5%. For a person with diabetes, doctors aim for a level (Target A1C or Target HBA1C) of <7% ( American Diabetes Association or ADA Guidelines) or <6.5%( European Association For Study of Diabetes or EASD Guidelines).Doctors do not aim at a normal level of <5.5% as an attempt at a very tight blood glucose control may result in episodes of dangerous hypoglycemia or low blood glucose.
Normal and Target Blood Glucose Ranges
Normal Blood Glucose levels in people who DO NOT have diabetes
Upon Waking - Fasting 70-99 mg/dl After meals 70-140 mg/dl
Target Blood glucose levels in people who have diabetes
Before meals 70-130 mg/dl 1 to 2 hrs after the start of a meal below 180 mg/dl
Source: American Diabetes Association
4.Discuss with your doctor whether you should be checking your blood glucose at home and how often.. People who may require to check blood glucose at home may are:
- Those taking insulin
- Pregnant women who have diabetes or gestational diabetes
- Those having difficulty in controlling blood sugar (brittle diabetes)
- Those having frequent attacks of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Those having low blood glucose levels without the usual warning signs
- Kidney transplant recipients
- Those who are also taking medicines which may increase or decrease blood glucose
How to Check Blood glucose at home?
- After washing your hands, insert a test strip into your meter.
- Use your lancing device on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood.
- Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood, and wait for the result.
- Your blood glucose level will appear on the meter's display.