Tips for Health

What Diabetes Tests Should You Have at Home

By on March 15, 2013 in Health with 0 Comments

Unless you have reason to think that you may be diabetic, there is no need to have any diabetes tests at home.  However, if you are overweight and underactive and show any of the classic diabetes symptoms, you may want to monitor your blood sugar levels at home.  Combined with the recommended life-style changes, frequent monitoring may be all that is needed to keep you healthy.  If symptoms persist or get worse, and your home test results fall outside the normal range, you must seek medical help.

The symptoms to watch for are first and foremost excessive thirst coupled with frequent urination. Unexplained weight loss is always cause for concern as it can indicate many different illnesses including diabetes. Fatigue, rapid breathing,blurred vision and nausea are other warning signs.

UrineTestStrips

Urine test strips are a good place to start checking for high blood glucose levels.  The come in bottles of 100 and can cost anything from $12.50 – $97, the more expensive ones not necessarily being more accurate than the others.Theserapid action reagent strips measure up to ten different parameters.  The levels are determined by comparing the colors on the strips to a chart.  While not very precise, they are a good way to be aware of changes over time.

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A more invasive test requires taking a blood sample by piercing your finger with a lancet and measuring glucose levels with a blood sugar meter.  These range in price from as little as $10 to as much as $80.  Always wash your hands before testing to avoid possible contamination which could affect the reading, and follow directions for when you should test.  A normal fasting blood sugar level is in the range of 70-130 mg/dl.  Within two hours of eating, the result should be no more than 180 mg/dl.

Results are dependent on the amount of carbohydrate consumed with the meal, and comparisons are most meaningful when the test is done after similar meals.  One high reading is not in itself cause for alarm, one is looking for a trend.  But when in doubt, go to the doctor.

 

 

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