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What You Ought to Know About Blood Glucose Exams as You Age


When you may have diabetes, you could use a blood glucose take a look at to verify the extent of your blood glucose, or blood sugar.

In case you take insulin, you could use a blood glucose tester, or glucometer, just a few occasions a day. In case you take non-insulin medication, you could solely want an A1c test, which is completed at your physician’s workplace, each 3-6 months. An A1c take a look at is a blood take a look at that exhibits your physician the common of your blood glucose ranges over 3 months.

Blood Glucose Exams as You Age

As you grow old, your physician could change the way you monitor your blood sugar.

“The targets your physician desires you to purpose for could change primarily based in your age or different well being elements,” says Patrice Conrad, a senior diabetes specialist at Precedence Well being in Grand Rapids, MI.

“Older sufferers are at the next threat of getting low blood glucose with sure drugs, corresponding to insulin and sulfonylureas,” says Jocelyne Karam, MD, director of the Division of Endocrinology at Maimonides Medical Heart in Brooklyn, NY.

You may additionally have the next threat of low blood glucose when you have sure situations, like kidney, liver, or heart issues, or in case your urge for food will get smaller.

To forestall low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, your physician will need you to watch your ranges intently with a blood glucose take a look at.

What Blood Glucose Exams Do

Your blood glucose ranges go up and down all through the day. They could rise after you eat, then fall after you go a very long time with out consuming.

Your physician offers you a goal vary in your blood glucose degree. If it goes too low, you’ll be able to have issues functioning and pondering properly. In the event that they go too excessive, it might trigger issues in your physique over time.

Through the use of a glucometer, you’ll be able to verify your ranges and make changes to maintain them in a wholesome vary.

Forms of Blood Glucose Exams

There are several types of blood glucose exams.

Fingerstick blood glucose take a look at. With this take a look at, you poke your finger with a lancet to get a small drop of blood. You set the blood on a strip, then the glucometer tells you what your blood sugar degree is at that second.


Steady glucose monitoring gadget (CGM). With a CGM take a look at, you set a sticker-like patch, or glucose sensor, in your skin. It offers you a readout in your smartphone or one other gadget like an insulin pump. “It will possibly measure and transmit glucose readings each 5 minutes, 24 hours a day,” says Karam. It’s possible you’ll change the sensor each 7-14 days.

“The advantage of CGM is you’ll be able to see what your blood sugars are on a regular basis, better of all, with out poking,” says Conrad, a registered nurse. A CGM is useful when you have a number of insulin pictures through the day or in case your ranges fluctuate so much.

Easy methods to Select the Proper Check for You

The most effective take a look at often is the one which’s best so that you can use.

“There are speaking meters for individuals who could not see properly, and a few could have larger numbers for these with restricted vision,” says Conrad. Some have backlighting, to make them simpler to learn. Others retailer your readings so you’ll be able to share them along with your physician by downloading them.

“Older sufferers who’ve problem sticking their fingers, however nonetheless have to have frequent glucose readings, can profit from glucose sensors,” says Karam. However you want some technical talent to make use of a CGM gadget, in order that they is probably not proper for everybody.

Speak to your physician or pharmacist about which take a look at could also be greatest for you.

When to Verify Your Blood Sugar

Your physician will inform you how typically to check your blood glucose ranges, and if you should make adjustments as you age.

“In case you’re on insulin, they’ll typically need you to verify earlier than meals and bedtime,” says Conrad. “In the event that they’ve been working excessive or low, they’ll need not less than that many, if no more, exams.”

In case your numbers have been working at or close to your goal more often than not and also you’re not taking insulin with meals, your physician could suggest testing much less typically.

“Sufferers with type 2 diabetes handled with diet alone, or drugs that don’t trigger low blood glucose, would possibly solely have to verify with a fingerstick just a few occasions every week,” Karam says.

In case you have adjustments in drugs, medical situations, or urge for food, your physician could suggest adjusting your testing schedule to keep away from low blood sugar.


Maintain Your Numbers on Goal as You Age

You’ll be able to take steps to ensure your blood glucose ranges keep at a wholesome goal vary. “A lot of issues have an effect on your blood sugar. Some you may have management over, some you don’t,” Conrad says.

Right here’s what you are able to do to maintain your ranges on monitor.

  • Eat wholesome more often than not.
  • Be as energetic as you’ll be able to.
  • Handle your stress the perfect that you would be able to.

  • Check your blood sugar ranges as typically as your physician recommends.
  • Take your remedy on time, each time.



Patrice Conrad, registered nurse; senior diabetes specialist, Precedence Well being, Grand Rapids, MI.

Jocelyne Karam, MD, director, Division of Endocrinology, Maimonides Medical Heart, Brooklyn, NY.

American Diabetes Affiliation: “The Large Image: Checking Your Blood Glucose.”

Well being In Growing old: “Diabetes Care & Therapy,” “Diabetes Distinctive to Older Adults.”

Johns Hopkins Medication: “Diabetes: What You Have to Know as You Age.”

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