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Understanding Diabetes, The Right Time & The Right Way to Test Your Blood Sugar

As many as 42.5 crore people are living with diabetes globally. According to the International Diabetes Federation this number is expected to grow to a staggering 62.9 crores by 2045.

Not just the elderly, even kids as young as 6 months old are getting diagnosed with the disease. It can all be related to our lifestyle and eating habits. While strict diet control and regular exercise might help you prevent it, let’s understand more about diabetes and how you can live with it if you or any of your family members have it.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.

Types of Diabetes: –

There are three main types of diabetes – type 1, type 2 and gestational.

  • Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but occurs most frequently in children and adolescents. When you have type 1 diabetes, your body produces very little or no insulin, which means that you need daily insulin injections to maintain blood glucose levels under control.
  • Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make good use of the insulin that it produces. The cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment is healthy lifestyle, including increased physical activity and healthy diet. However, over time most people with type 2 diabetes will require oral drugs and/or insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control.
  • Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a type of diabetes that consists of high blood glucose during pregnancy and is associated with complications to both mother and child. GDM usually disappears after pregnancy but women affected and their children are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Complications That Might Arise Due to Diabetes: –

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing a number of serious health problems. Consistently high blood glucose levels can lead to serious diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves and teeth. In addition, people with diabetes also have a higher risk of developing infections. In almost all high-income countries, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation.

Maintaining blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol at or close to normal can help delay or prevent diabetes complications. Therefore, people with diabetes need regular monitoring.

Why Should You Test Your Blood Sugar Level?

Testing the blood sugar levels regularly helps one understand how food, physical activity, medication and other factors are affecting your blood glucose levels.

​The Right Time to Check Your Blood Sugar Levels: –

The perfect time to check the fasting glucose levels is right after your wakeup. And the right time to check postprandial (post-meal) glucose levels is two hours after you have had your meals.

A gap of two hours after a meal must be maintained to get the correct reading. This helps you choose the right foods and medication. When you test before your meal, it tells you how much medication you need and when you test two hours after eating, you know if your medicines are working fine for you.

  • When Your Medication is Changed

    When your doctor prescribes you a new medicine for diabetes, it’s important to check if it’s working fine for you. The best way to do that is to check your blood sugar levels before taking the test and an hour after you take the medication.

  • ·
  • ​Different Times When You Should Check Your Blood Sugar Levels

    If you are someone who is newly diagnosed with high blood sugar, it’s important for you to take the blood sugar test more often. Note down this data and share with the doctor, it will help him shape an appropriate treatment plan for you.

    If you take insulin, doctors will recommend you to take three or more blood sugar readings throughout the day.

  • The Right Way to Test Your Blood Sugar Levels: –

    • Wash your hands and dry them properly with the help of a clean cotton towel (food and dirt on a finger can give an inaccurate reading).
    • Do not put too little or too much blood on the test strip.
    • Try to prick the side of the fingertip.
    • Follow a consistent schedule to test your blood sugar levels.

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