Diabetes and Diabetic Care: Importance of Blood Glucose Monitoring
Since your doctor already told bad news that you have diabetes, then it’s time to make few changes to your habits and overall lifestyle, and you probably have to use a small device called blood glucose meter. But, why is it important to regularly check your blood glucose levels? Let us talk about it.
Diabetes is a chronic disease affecting the metabolism of glucose wherein either the pancreas cannot produce insulin or produces an insufficient amount of insulin causing inappropriate sugar metabolism. Diabetes requires a lifelong blood glucose monitoring, medication, and healthy lifestyle such as having healthy eating habits, weight loss and increased physical activity. In type 1 diabetes, the patient needs to take insulin injections for life, and for type 2 diabetes, you will be required to eventually have to take oral medication and via insulin injection in some situations.
The signs and symptoms of diabetes are often unnoticed, after a patient experiences hyperglycemia or too high blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia or too low blood sugar levels. High levels of blood glucose or hyperglycemia may lead to several complications of diabetes such as myocardial infarction or heart attack, stroke, kidney problems that may require dialysis, eye problems like blindness, erectile dysfunction and problems with blood circulation, which may lead to amputation. Thus, it is important to avoid these complications, and patients need to monitor and control their blood glucose levels with reliable blood glucose meter to minimize the serious risk of hyperglycemia. Self-testing using a blood glucose meter is a vital part of diabetes management, allowing you to see and integrate the impact of different measures you do to control your diabetes such as losing weight, changing diet plans, doing exercise and medication intake.
There are many types of blood glucose meters available in the market today, ranging from basic models that merely reads blood glucose levels, to more advanced versions, offering various features such as memory for storing information. The cost of blood glucose meter and blood test differs, and your insurance may not always cover these, so there are things you must take into consideration before buying your own blood glucose meter, to get your money’s worth. In choosing the best glucose meter for you, you need to consider the cost, your doctor’s suggestion, ease of use, length of time to read and show the result, maintenance, and special features. There are many brands available in the market today, with special features like audio capability for patients with visual impairment, back lit screens to aid low-light visibility, memory to store readings, different handling capabilities such as having a USB meter or strips stored in meters, and ability to test blood ketone levels along with blood glucose levels.