Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels
Maintaining normal blood glucose levels greatly reduces the risk of
experiencing complications due to diabetes. Whether an individual has
Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, regular use of a glucose monitor to
determine blood sugar levels will help determine what adjustments to
diet, oral medications, or insulin injections may be necessary to
achieve good control.
Glucose is a simple form of sugar. Dextrose, fructose, sucrose and
other forms of sugar are broken down into glucose so the body can use
it for energy or store it for later use.
What Does Insulin Do?
In a normally functioning body, the intake of food triggers the
release of a corresponding amount of insulin. As food is digested, the
bloodstream carries the nutrients to the various cells where insulin
"unlocks" the door and allows the cells to use the glucose. With
diabetes, the body is unable to make or properly use insulin so sugar
remains in the bloodstream.
Chemistry involved in normal regulation of blood sugar.Normal Blood
Blood sugar levels are considered within the normal range when they
measure between 80 and 120 mg/dl after fasting.
The goal is to keep blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible.
Low blood sugar can occur suddenly. Its symptoms can include
dizziness, shakiness, weakness, sweating, nervousness, irritability
and hunger. Left untreated, low blood sugar can lead to convulsions
and unconsciousness. High blood sugar levels may lead to long-term
complications, including damage to eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood
vessels, or to a more immediate adverse event such as a diabetic coma.
Extensive research has shown that persons with either Type 1 or Type 2
diabetes can avoid or delay many of the long-term complications of the
disease by maintaining normal blood glucose levels. A variety of home
glucose testing products are available to help monitor blood sugar
Glucose monitors are now available with a variety of features. Most
commercially available glucose monitors are reliable and easy to use.
Some monitors have large data storage capacities and/or the ability to
interface with a computer to enhance data management. Some have audio
or large display faces to assist those with vision problems. Some have
cartridges or drums containing test strips to avoid having to load
individual strips for each test.
Choose a glucose monitor that fits your needs and lifestyle best and
use it often to help you maintain normal blood glucose levels
What is blood glucose level?
Blood glucose level is the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It
is also known as serum glucose level. The amount of glucose in the
blood is expressed as millimoles per litre (mmol/l).