Testing blood sugar levels

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:46 pm
If you're diabetic (die-uh-BET-ic), it's important to test your blood sugar level on a regular basis. This may be once a day, or several times daily, depending on the doctor's instructions. Testing helps evaluate if your medication and lifestyle changes are keeping your diabetes (die-uh-BEE-tees) under control. In general, doctors recommend maintaining a blood sugar level that's between 70 and 150, as measured before a meal. One common self-test uses a small needle called a lancet (LAN-set), and blood testing strips. After sticking the end of your finger with the lancet, put a drop of blood on the testing strip. Wait until the strip changes color. Then, compare this shade with the color chart on the package, to determine your blood sugar range. For more precise results, you can use a device called a meter. Here, the strip with the blood is inserted into the meter, which gives you a specific number reading. You'll find meters, lancets, and testing strips at most drugstores. Other tests are done at a doctor's office, such as the hemoglobin (HEE-moe-glow-bin) A-1-c test. This method is used to find your average blood sugar number for the prior three months. To find out more about blood sugar tests, speak with a health care professional.
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