A lot of people with diabetes do not have symptoms in the early stage which is why this chronic disease often gets neglected and remains undiagnosed.
Diabetes is a chronic disease which can severely damage major organs such as nerves, kidneys, eyes, blood vessels and even the heart. So, it is essential to get a simple blood glucose test done to determine your risk. Various factors like family history of type 2 diabetes in a first or second degree relative i.e., parents or siblings, being obese, etc.
Diabetes is of 2 types:
- Type 1 diabetes: mostly found in children and young adults.
- Type 2 diabetes: commonly found in adults who are of age 45 or older. Children can also develop type 2 diabetes.
What does blood sugar test measures?
- Blood sugar level tests provide data that can be useful for managing diabetes
- It helps to determine the effects of diabetes medications on your blood sugar
- It also aims to assess the treatment status
- Blood sugar check-up can also measure the effects of diet, exercise or stress on your blood sugar levels
What is the frequency of blood sugar level tests per day?
Usually, blood sugar levels of a diabetes patient suffering from type 1 are recommended for test at least four times a day. It can be done after or before meal. If type 1 diabetes patients are taking new medications then they may need to check their blood sugar more frequently. Type 2 diabetics who take insulin for their treatment need to test their blood sugar level at least once a day after fasting for 8 hours or before meals. Daily blood sugar testing may not be necessary for type 2 diabetes patient if not on insulin.
Why it is important to get a blood glucose test for diabetic patients?
Diabetic patients may suffer from low or high blood sugar levels. Hence, to keep a check on the sugar levels it is important to have a healthy diet, exercise and timely medication. Let’s see the consequences of low, and high blood sugar levels.
Low blood sugar levels
Low blood sugar level(hypoglycaemia) occur when people with diabetes take medications that increase the insulin level in the body. Exercising more than usual or eating less than normal can also lead to low blood sugar level. When the blood sugar level is too low it can cause symptoms such as:
- shaking and sweating
- jittery feeling
- difficulty concentrating
- lack of energy
- pale skin
- fatigueor tiredness
- headachesor muscle aches
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- lack of coordination
In severe cases, low blood sugar level can trigger seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, and the inability to eat or drink.
High blood sugar levels
High blood sugar level (hyperglycaemia) occurs due to overconsumption of carbohydrates (a form of sugar). When the blood sugar level is too high it can cause the following symptoms:
- increased hunger or thirst
- blurred vision
- excessive urination
Even High blood sugar level can also trigger a seizure or may cause loss of consciousness if the patient is not treated early or the condition is left untreated. Persistent high blood sugar levels can increase the risk of serious complications that can lead to occurrence of other diseases.
A diabetic patient must keep a regular check and monitor the blood sugar levels to avoid serious complications. The importance of blood sugar check-up should not be undermined as it is a part of diabetes care and also reveals a lot of information about your health.
You would not know whether the medications are working properly or not, whether your precautionary steps are serving the purpose or not. Therefore, it is advisable to get the tests done and consult a doctor from time to time to lead a healthy life.