Diabetes is a disease in which the blood glucose or sugar levels in our system are too high. The main source of glucose is in the foods we eat: starchy foods such as bread, rice and potatoes or from sugary foods. Our blood transports the glucose to all the cells of the body providing it with energy. Normally insulin, a hormone manufactured by the pancreas, triggers the cells in the liver, muscle and fat tissue to absorb the glucose from the blood and store it in the liver and muscles. If the body does not manufacture enough insulin, or if the insulin does not perform the way it ought to, glucose cannot get into your cells, instead it stays in the blood. This leads to an increase in your blood glucose level, resulting in pre-diabetes or diabetes.
Blood Glucose Monitoring is highly recommended for anyone suffering with the disease regardless of it’s done by a caregiver or oneself. Monitoring highlights patterns of blood glucose changes. The information gathered can subsequently be used to determine the most efficient way of managing your illness. This may entail dietary adjustments, exercise and scheduling of your insulin dosages. In addition testing indicates when emergency measures need to be taken in response to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) levels.
The primary tools designed for monitoring blood sugar levels are the Blood Glucose Meter in conjunction with a glucose chart (log). The chart is an essential part of the monitoring requirements, its purpose being to keep a daily record of your blood sugar levels. The chart can be an invaluable to you, your doctor and/or healthcare professional. There are numerous blood glucose meters available to the diabetic but the operating principle is almost the same for all. A sample of blood is drawn through the use of a lancet (quantities vary depending on the meter) and placed on a blood glucose strip, the strip is then inserted into the meter. Within a short time the meter provides a digital record along with readout of your blood glucose level.
Due to the wealth of available meters, choosing one can be a daunting task, here are various tips which can assist you in finding the best meter to meet your needs. Price may possibly be a factor in your choice but this should not be the principal criteria for your final selection.
1. You will need a meter which can be read effortlessly, particularly if you are experiencing problems with your eyesight. A meter with a sizeable digital readout will be adequate in this situation.
2. The amount of blood necessary for testing also varies it would be wise to select a meter which requires the minimum amount of blood and still provides accurate readings. In addition a meter which offers multi-site testing is also be recommended.
3. Some meters require programming if you are in doubt of your ability to do this, you must choose one which is preprogrammed.
4. A major attribute of the new blood glucose meters are their memory capacity. Some meters save merely the most recent blood test while others can save up to five hundred (500) previous results. This capability does affect the cost so you must decide what is appropriate for your personal needs.
5. Blood Glucose Meters vary in size. They can be as small as a cell phone but your manual dexterity must be taken into consideration when making a purchase, in addition it will also affect the display size. Depending on your circumstances the size of the meter could be an issue.
6. Consider the cost of the testing strips for whichever meter you choose. Depending on the frequency of your testing this can be an enormously expensive proposition.
Any person suffering with a chronic illness is aware that controlling or overcoming the affliction can be exceedingly costly. Diabetes is no exception. Your well-being comes first but with prudence it is possible to lessen the cost while still maintaining and improving ones quality of life. Self monitoring increases patient involvement in self-care but can only be helpful if done accurately and in parallel with your health-care provider or doctor. Added suggestions for persons living with diabetes are to participate in a diabetes education program, keep fit and keep to a strict diet as recommended by your doctor.
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