Diabetes is one of the most common chronic health conditions that affects how our body turns food into energy. It has two main types: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Type one diabetes is an autoimmune condition that causes your body to attack the pancreatic cells that produce insulin (a hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy). On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is a two-part struggle: first, the pancreatic cells do not produce enough insulin, and second, the cells of the body become resistant to insulin.
Regular diabetes testing is of paramount importance for individuals who are at risk for diabetes or have already been diagnosed with diabetes. It plays a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels and preventing complications.
Let’s discuss the importance of regular diabetes testing, methods for monitoring blood sugar levels, and how regular monitoring helps prevent complications.
Importance of Regular Diabetes Testing
Regular blood sugar testing provides useful information for managing diabetes and preventing its complications. It allows individuals with diabetes to monitor the effect of insulin or diabetes medications on their blood sugar levels. It also helps individuals identify hyperglycemia (a blood sugar level higher than the upper limit of the normal range) and hypoglycemia (a blood sugar level lower than the lower limit of the normal range).
Regular blood sugar level monitoring also allows individuals to track their progress in reaching their overall treatment goals. With regular diabetes testing, you can learn how diet, exercise, and other factors, such as stress and illnesses, affect the blood sugar levels in the body.
Ways to Monitor Blood Sugar Level
People with diabetes can monitor their blood sugar level at home in two ways:
- With our glucose meter and finger stick
- With a continuous glucose monitoring device
You can choose either or both methods of blood sugar level testing based on the type of diabetes you have, your overall health, the frequency of checking your blood sugar levels, and the cost of each method.
Typically, it is recommended to check your blood sugar level several times a day: upon waking up, before meals, two hours after meals, before and after exercise, and before you go to sleep.
Diabetes Complications: How Blood Sugar Monitoring Prevents Them?
Uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of disabling or even life-threatening complications. Uncontrollably high level of blood sugar level in the body increases the risk for many heart problems, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries). Moreover, excess sugar in the blood can also injure the walls of the blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish the nerves, especially nerves of the legs, leading to numbness, tingling, and burning pain in the fingertips or at the tips of the toes.
The detrimental effect of high blood sugar levels is not only limited to periphery blood vessels, but it also affects the blood vessels of the eyes as well as the clusters of tiny blood vessels that filter waste from the blood in the kidney. Problems with feet, oral health, vision and hearing, and mental health are also common in people living with diabetes.
In addition to these chronic complications, diabetes can also result in acute complications such as hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, and diabetic ketoacidosis (a life-threatening emergency condition in which the lack of insulin and the high levels of sugar in the blood lead to a buildup of ketones in the body).
Regular blood sugar level monitoring can prevent diabetes complications in many ways, some of which are as follows.
Maintain Blood Sugar level within the Target Range
Regularly monitoring blood sugar levels helps an individual maintain their sugar level in the target range, reducing the risk for complications that occur when there is an irregular blood sugar level in the body.
Early Detection of Hyperglycemia or Hypoglycemia
People who regularly monitor their blood sugar levels are more likely to detect acute complications of diabetes, such as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. Early detection allows them to address their low or high blood sugar levels promptly.
Regular blood sugar level monitoring is also highly effective at preventing severe hypoglycemia-induced unconsciousness and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Adjust Medications and Insulin
When you regularly monitor your blood sugar levels before and after taking your medications or insulin, you make informed decisions about adjusting your medications and insulin dosage to maintain your blood sugar level within the normal range.
Eat Healthy Diet
Without a doubt, diet has profound effects on our blood sugar levels. Regular blood sugar monitoring allows individuals to identify foods and drinks that help keep their blood sugar level in the normal range.
Diabetes Treatment in Washington, D.C.
Regular blood sugar testing is not only crucial to managing blood sugar levels within the normal range but also preventing disabling and sometimes life-threatening complications of diabetes.
If you are at risk for diabetes or have diabetes and are seeking comprehensive evaluation and treatment of diabetes, visit us here at Community Concierge Care (C3 Care). At our nurse-led clinic, we provide a comprehensive range of high-quality medical services to people of all ages, particularly under-sourced and under-privileged people, at a public housing site in Washington, D.C.
Our qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced healthcare providers are committed to teaching patients about their condition and informing them of the resources that can help them build a healthy lifestyle and keep their health conditions under control.