What is a Blood Glucose Monitor?

Blood sugar is the amount of sugar in your blood at a given time. It’s important to check your blood sugar level, because it will:

  • determine if you have a high or low blood sugar level at a given time
  • show you how your lifestyle and medication affect your blood sugar levels
  • help you and your diabetes health-care team make lifestyle and medication changes to improve your blood sugar levels

The effects of your stroke depend on the type of stroke, the part of the brain that was damaged and the amount of damage.

Local Endocrinologist

Dr. Dina Prus

Dr. Dina Prus

Endocrinologist
Belleville, NJ
Dr. Roshney Jacob-Issac

Dr. Roshney Jacob-Issac

Endocrinologist
Belleville, NJ
Dr. Swaminathan Giridharan

Dr. Swaminathan Giridharan

Endocrinologist
Brooklyn, NY

Dr. Peter Lin, MD, CCFP, Family Physician, talks about Diabetes symptoms and the importance of good blood sugar control.

Quiz: Do You Understand Blood Glucose Monitoring?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:

Questions
True
False
1

You don't need to monitor your blood glucose levels if you have type 2 diabetes.

Explanation:
Blood glucose monitoring is an important part of any type 1 or type 2 diabetes management plan. If you have diabetes, it’s important to check your blood sugar levels as prescribed by your doctor. This will determine if you have low or high blood sugar and show you how your medication and lifestyle are affecting your blood sugar levels.
2

A traditional blood glucose meter uses lancets to puncture your skin.

Explanation:
You’ll need to get a blood glucose meter from your pharmacist or diabetes educator and learn how to use it. A traditional blood glucose meter uses lancets to puncture your skin, drawing a drop of blood that you then test on a blood glucose strip.
3

A flash glucose meter (FGM) requires you to prick your finger.

Explanation:
A flash glucose meter (FGM) is a newer device that doesn’t require you to prick your finger – it uses sensor scans. Some people use a sensor inserted under the skin, called a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), to check blood sugar levels.
4

Some people with type 2 diabetes require insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

Explanation:
All people with type 1 diabetes and some with type 2 diabetes require insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. People with diabetes take insulin by a syringe, injection pen or an insulin pump.
5

Your age does not affect your diabetes treatment plan.

Explanation:
Your diabetes treatment plan, including blood glucose monitoring and insulin, depends on factors such as your age, risk factors, current health and other conditions.
(Answer all questions to activate)
Lori Berard, RN, CDE, Diabetes Educator, discusses the best time to test blood glucose levels.

 

Glycemic Index and Blood Glucose Levels

The glycemic index was a concept that was introduced by Dr. David Jenkins out of the University of Toronto.

It’s a concept that categorizes food on how quickly it causes a rise in blood sugar once ingested. They categorize foods whether they are high glycemic or low glycemic, and it’s interesting to note that foods like white bread or potatoes actually cause a faster blood sugar rise than a food like regular table sugar.

So when you’re choosing your meals, for example if you wanted rice for dinner, try to choose wild rice over white, and when it comes to fruit, choose blueberries over watermelon.

If somebody has more questions about the glycemic index they should speak with a local dietitian, certified diabetes educator or a diabetes specialist.

If somebody has more questions about the glycemic index, they should speak with a local dietitian, certified diabetes educator or a diabetes specialist. Blood Glucose Monitoring Patient Communication System

Presenter: Ms. Sarah Ware, Registered Dietitian, North Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian

Sarah Ware, B.Sc.(Hons), RD, CDE, discusses Glycemic Index and Blood Glucose Levels

Best Time to Test Blood Glucose Levels

For people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who are using insulin to control their blood sugars, we suggest that they test their blood glucose levels as frequently as they’re taking insulin.

Often, you need that information to be able to make an adjustment to your insulin dosage. So that’s really the easy one. Where it gets a bit more difficult is when you’re using oral medications to manage your diabetes.

Some of those medications put you at absolutely no risk for having a low blood sugar, but other medications can actually put you at risk of having a low blood sugar.

So for people who use oral medications to manage their diabetes, we really want to determine, should they be testing because they’re going to make some changes to their diet or their activity, or should they be testing their blood glucose levels because they’re at risk of hypoglycemia?

And it’s important to understand that hypoglycemia is a risk for people living with diabetes. So anytime that you suspect that you may be having a low blood sugar, you should test your blood sugar to see what it is, or check your blood sugar.

And also, any time that you’re at risk of having a low blood sugar, such as unusual activity, less food than usual, or a mistake in your medication, you should always be testing to make sure whether or not your blood sugar is too low.

The appropriate use of blood glucose monitoring is around the world a very important question. Many associations have addressed this in their guidelines for those caring for people with diabetes. What’s important to remember is that how you use self-monitoring of blood glucose should be individualized to your diabetes and what you’re trying to achieve.

And so, for example, for people whose blood sugars are out of control, you may be asked to monitor more frequently to be able to identify patterns of areas where your blood glucoses are not controlled.

For people who are using insulin, you may feel the need to test more frequently to adjust; you might feel your highs and lows. So you may be testing more frequently than you’re taking insulin.

What’s important to know as well is that for some people, they may have episodes of overnight low blood sugars. So sometimes, we’re asking them to get up in the middle of the night and to test their blood sugar. Why would we do that?

Well, there are certain medications that can cause you to go low overnight, and the symptoms of being low overnight are very different than the symptoms of being low during the day.

What are they? Often, if you’ve had a low blood sugar overnight, you’ll wake up with a headache. Often, if you’ve had a low blood sugar overnight, you might have had a nightmare, or perhaps you’re having night sweats.

And for women who are in the menopausal state, “Am I having night sweats because I’m menopausal or am I having a night sweat because I’m low?”  So the way that we validate that information is by asking people to test in the middle of the night. Blood Glucose Monitoring Patient Communication System

Presenter: Lori Berard, Nurse, Winnipeg, MB

Local Practitioners: Nurse

Sarah Ware, BSc (Hons), RD, CDE, discusses blood glucose control and diabetes diet.

Local Registered Dietitian

Victoria Middleton

Victoria Middleton

RD
Registered Dietitian
New York City, NY
Yumna Khan

Yumna Khan

RD
Registered Dietitian
Burlington, ON
Margarita deGraaf

Margarita deGraaf

RD
Registered Dietitian
Burlington, ON
Alexis Williams

Alexis Williams

RD
Registered Dietitian
Burlington, ON

Diabetes Now

Diabetes Now

QA Chat
Ask us a health question on
diagnosis/treatment options...