Diabetes is a worrying health condition among Malaysians, with about 3.5 million or 17.5 per cent of adults aged 18 years and above being diagnosed with the disease. Worse, more than half of them (9.2 per cent) were unaware that they were diabetic, according to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015.
Since diabetes is a lifelong condition, it is important for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels on a day to day basis by doing a home blood glucose (blood sugar level) test. The test can be done at home or anywhere, using a small portable machine called a blood glucose meter. It’s an easy and simple procedure that anyone can slot in despite how busy their schedule is.
Benefits of Regular Self-Monitoring
- Prevents emergency situations from developing
- Decreases your chances of developing heart, blood vessel, and nerve complications from diabetes
- Helps you to learn about how your body reacts to foods, illness, stress, exercise, medicines, and other activities so you can adjust accordingly
- Provides immediate feedback on how your diabetes control programme is working
The blood sugar level test is not recommended for everyone during regular check-ups as the chance of finding the disease in most people is just too low. However, it is useful for people who has a high risk of developing the disease, including people with family members or relatives who have diabetes, people who are obese, has high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, and people over the age of 65.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, how often you need to check depends on your treatment plan, how well your diabetes is controlled, and your overall health. It’s critical to establish a routine for how often and when you should test your blood sugar with your doctor – whether while you’re fasting, before and after meals, or before bedtime – as each person’s situation is different.
The steps are similar for many meters available in the market. In general, you should:
- Wash and dry your hands.
- Turn on the meter and prepare a test strip as outlined in the user guide.
- Choose your spot. Don’t check from the same finger all the time. Using the side of the fingertip may be more comfortable than the pads. Massage the spot to increase blood flow.
- Place the lancing device against your finger tip and press the plunger all the way down to get a drop of blood.
- Place the end of the test strip against the drop of blood and let it fill until it has absorbed enough blood to begin the test.
- View your test result and take the proper steps if your blood sugar is high or low, based on your healthcare professionals’ recommendations.
- Record the results in a logbook, the meter’s memory or an app so you can review and analyse them later.
What Does Your Blood Sugar Level Result Mean?
|Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS)||Random Blood Sugar (RBS), which can be taken any time of the day:
|Normal range||70 – 99 mg/dL||70 – 140 mg/dL|
|Impaired glucose tolerance (pre-diabetes)||100 – 125 mg/dL
|140 – 200 mg/dL|
|Diabetes||Above 126 mg/dL on more than one testing occasion||Above 200 mg/dL|