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Blood glucose monitoring

One of the main aims of diabetes treatment is to keep blood glucose levels within a specified target range. The key is balancing your food with your activity, lifestyle and diabetes medicines. Blood glucose monitoring can help you understand the link between blood glucose, food, exercise and insulin.

hubmob weekly matterOver time your readings will provide you and your health professionals with the information required to determine the best management strategy for your diabetes. Keeping blood glucose levels within a target range can help reduce a person''t sound right?

If you’re not convinced that a result is correct, here’s a suggested check list:

  • Have the strips expired?
  • Is the strip the right one for the meter?
  • Is there enough blood on the strip?
  • Has the strip been put into the meter the right way?
  • Have the strips been affected by climate, heat or light?
  • Did you wash and thoroughly dry your hands before doing a check? (handling sweet foods such as jam or fruit can give higher results)
  • Is the meter clean?
  • Is the meter too hot or too cold?
  • Is the calibration code correct?
  • Is the battery low or flat?

All meters will give a different result with a different drop of blood. As long as there is not a big difference (more than 2mmol/L) there is not usually cause for concern.

The accuracy of all meters can be checked with meter-specific liquid drops called control solutions. If you are concerned, you can arrange to have your meter checked with a control solution. Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator or pharmacist can help you with this.

Caring for strips

It is important to care for your strips so that you get an accurate reading. To do this, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. It will include recommendations like:

  • Storing them in a dry place
  • Replacing the cap immediately after use
  • Checking the expiry date is valid.

What is a glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) check?

The HbA1c check shows an average of your blood glucose level over the past 10–12 weeks and should be arranged by your doctor every 3–6 months.

Does the HbA1c replace checking my own BGLs?

No, the HbA1c check doesn’t show the highs and lows that your home blood glucose checking can demonstrate. Therefore it does not replace the checks you do yourself but is an added tool in giving the overall picture of your blood glucose management.

What HbA1c do I aim for?

The goal for most people with diabetes will be in the 6.5-7 percent (48-53mmol/mol) range however this may need to be higher for some people including children and the elderly. Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you decide on a target that is both appropriate and realistic for your individual circumstances.

More information

Many hospitals have a diabetes clinic where you can find out more about blood glucose monitoring. Contact your:

  • Local hospital for your nearest diabetes clinic or
  • State or Territory Diabetes Organisation on 1300 136 588
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