Diabetes and Diabetic Care: Understanding the Importance of Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels
Since you already heard from your doctor that you have diabetes, it is about 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. Patients with type 1 diabetes need 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 cases.
Diabetes signs and symptoms may not be apparent, not until a patient experiences hyperglycemia or too high blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia or too low blood sugar levels. Hyperglycemia can lead to diabetic complications such as myocardial infarction or heart attack, stroke, kidney problems that may require dialysis, blindness, erectile dysfunction and problems with blood circulation, which may lead to amputation. So it is advisable to monitor and control your blood glucose levels using a reliable and good quality blood glucose meter to minimize the serious risk of hyperglycemia. Blood glucose test using a blood glucose meter is an important part of diabetes management, allowing you to study and integrate the impact of different measures you do in controlling 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, from basic models to more advanced versions, offering various features such as memory for storing information. The cost of blood glucose meter and blood test varies, and insurance companies may not always provide coverage for these, so there are things you must take into consideration before buying your own blood glucose meter, to get your money’s worth. In selecting the perfect blood glucose meter for you, consider the cost, your doctor’s suggestion, ease of use, length of time to read and show the result, maintenance, and special features you need. Some of the special features offered by some brands of blood glucose meter includes audio capability for people with visual impairment, back lit screens to assist with low-light visibility, memory to store readings, various handling capabilities like having a USB meter or strips stored in meters, and ability to test blood ketone levels.