Coping With Checking Blood Sugar
If you, or the person you care for, were recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, regular blood sugar checks may still be an adjustment. And it may take a while to get blood sugar levels to the target range. This may be stressful at first, but here are a few tips for coping with the situation:
- No one else needs to know that you are checking blood sugar, either for yourself or the person you care for. It’s only natural to want to keep health issues private. Try to find a quiet place where you can be alone to use a meter outside of the home. Fortunately, most meters are very small, quick, and quiet
- Check blood sugar levels as often as the diabetes care team recommends. This may be several times a day. Most people with type 1 diabetes should do a minimum of 4 to 6 checks per day, with more checks needed for special situations, such as illness or after doing intense physical activity
- Ask the diabetes care team to help you choose a meter and to show you and/or the person you care for how to use it. There are many different meters available. Health insurance may limit your choice of meter, however. Before purchasing a meter, check with the health plan as well as the diabetes care team and also check the cost of testing strips that can be used with that meter. Often, the meters are inexpensive or free, but the test strips are very expensive!
Stay on track with tracking
With today’s meters, keeping track of blood sugar should be quick and easy. But some people don’t check it as often as they should. It’s important to stay with it, because frequent blood sugar checks make it possible to manage diabetes much more effectively. And blood sugar checks provide a good indication of how eating, activity plans, and insulin affect blood sugar.
Here are a few more tips for staying on track:
- Remember, it’s a reading, not an exam. There is no pass/fail grade attached to blood sugar readings. They are just information. The meter does not judge. It is not an enemy. It is just a tool that can help identify blood sugar patterns to better manage diabetes. That’s why thinking of monitoring your blood sugar as doing “blood sugar checks” rather than “testing your blood sugar” may be a more helpful way to look at things
- Use reminders. If you find that you forget to check your blood sugar levels (or those of the person you care for), make it as easy as possible to remember. Try setting alarms on your phone or writing yourself notes to remind you when it is time to check. You can also set up text reminders through the Cornerstones4Care® Diabetes Health Coach