Blood sugar checks are designed to:
- Determine whether blood sugar levels are high or low
- Diagnose diabetes
- Monitor a medication’s effects on blood sugar levels
- Track whether treatments for blood sugar levels are effective
- Help determine how exercise and diet influence blood sugar levels in an individual
- Look for signs of illness or stress
Two methods are used to check blood sugar levels:
- “Finger prick” test where a small sample of blood is taken from a fingertip and then analyzed by a small machine called a glucometer.
- Laboratory test where blood is drawn from a vein and then sent to a lab for analysis.
Blood sugar tests can be used to diagnose diabetes, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and more. Medical providers may also order fasting blood sugar tests, or a test called a hemoglobin A1C Fasting blood sugar tests help ensure that recent food ingestion is not impacting results. Hemoglobin A1C tests are used to evaluate average blood sugar levels over the past 90 days.
When to check blood sugar levels?
Your medical provider will come up with a plan to determine the need for blood glucose testing as well as how often it needs to be performed. A type 1 diabetic may need to check blood sugar more frequently than a type 2 diabetic, for example. Sometimes “spot checks” are done if a person is having symptoms of hyper or hypoglycemia.
Most commonly a blood sugar meter, called a glucometer, is used to check blood glucose levels. The glucometer measures blood sugar amount using a very small blood sample. This sample is obtained by getting a drop of blood from a fingertip. This drop of blood is then placed on a disposable test strip, which is analyzed by the glucometer. The procedure works as follows:
- Before the test, wash hands to get the most accurate results.
- Prick the fingertip with the help of the lancet provided with the test kit.
- Touch the pricked finger edge with a test strip so that blood can be put on it.
- Insert the disposable strip into the glucometer.
The measurements of blood sugar levels will be taken immediately on the meter and will be displayed on the screen.
CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor)
People with type 1 diabetes may use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM.) With a CGM, a sensor is used to measure blood sugar levels every few minutes. CGMs are used with mobile applications that show glucose data including averages over time. Some devices give alarms on smartphone apps if glucose levels go up or down too quickly. Research has shown that patients with Type 1 diabetes have better blood glucose control when they use a CGM.
In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.
When to visit a doctor:
If you are diabetic, you should see a medical provider in order to avoid possible serious complications.
Blood sugar checks are available at AfterOurs Urgent Care.
For more information regarding blood sugar checks, see the following website: