Diabetes, the most common disease found in the Elders of India and can be life-threatening if the right steps are not taken within the first stage. Diabetes is known as a chronic condition where the body isn't capable of making enough insulin or using insulin properly. This can lead to a higher than normal blood sugar level which can cause severe complications. So to prevent that, one must check their sugar levels from a machine and keep it on track. In fact, it is an integral step in routine care at home for elderly.
You can test your sugar level safely at home with a Glucometer, specially designed to check sugar levels in the blood. For diabetic patients, it is necessary to check sugar level regularly to keep them on track. So the Glucometer is the best and the most affordable option to track blood sugar on a regular basis, as it is easily available in the market.
How to use a Glucometer?
It is the easiest way to check the blood sugar level. This method requires a finger prick. To use this device, you have to insert a test strip into the meter. You have to prick your finger to retrieve a sample of blood, and then place the sample on the edge of the test strip to check your blood sugar. Glucometers are small and portable that makes them convenient and also allows you to use them anywhere. Furthermore, your glucose results are correct and instant when you use these.
Why is it important to test your sugar level?
Blood sugar testing is very important for diabetic patients because high or low blood sugar can cause severe complications. If there is too much blood sugar in your bloodstream, you can experience major complications such as:
● Heart Disease
● Kidney Damage
● Nerve Damage
There are many other ways by which you can test your blood sugar level like Continuous Glucose Monitor(CGM) which is different from the glucometer. CGM provides real-time blood sugar level readings every few minutes. This includes a tiny sensor that will be inserted under your skin. The other way is Freestyle Libre which is similar to CGM and a meter but doesn’t require a finger prick. The tiny sensor underneath your skin will test the level whenever you want, unlike CGM which gives continuous readings. Last, but not least is a Urine test. This process involves the reading of the urine through test strips and there are chances that the results will not be accurate.
When to Test?
It is advisable to test pre and post meals, especially when you know your sugar level will be higher. The frequency of monitoring your sugar levels depends on the type of diabetes you have.
Type 1 Diabetes
In the case of Type-1 diabetes, one might have to check their sugar levels between four to ten days. This has to be done throughout the day, like, before taking your meals, after having your meals, after exercising or doing some heavy lifting, before sleeping, etc or as your doctor suggests. In Type-1 diabetes, patients level usually fluctuates frequently because the body is unable to produce insulin. It is necessary to check your glucose frequently.
Type 2 Diabetes
In the case of Type 2 Diabetes, people might have to check their blood sugar levels 2-4 times a day, that too depending on their pre-existing body conditions. Although, taking additional insulin also plays a pivotal role in checking blood sugar levels at home. In general, the preferred timings are pre and post meals, exercising, and before sleeping.
Common Problems to Avoid while Testing
It is important to maintain your Glucometer regularly to avoid potential problems. Follow these tips to maintain your device’s functioning and to keep it in a good condition:
● Ensure that you have extra batteries in stock that fits your glucometer.
● Do not use expired test strips, as expired test strips can provide an inaccurate result.
● After pulling a test strip out from the box, make sure that you close the lid tightly. As too much light or moisture can damage the strip.
● Clean your device at regular intervals and run quality-control checks as indicated.
● Dispose of the used test strips as soon as you are done testing.
Signs of High and Low Blood Sugar
Signs of high blood sugar:
2. Dry Mouth
3. Frequent Urination
4. Shortness of Breath
6. Extreme Thirst
Signs of low blood sugar:
1. Difficulty in Speaking
Diabetes can lead to serious medical complications, but only you can maintain the condition with medications and lifestyle changes.
At Emoha, we are facilitating a wide range of eldercare services and empowering our elders with a plethora of ways right from home nurse services to community engagement activities that build a sense of inclusive living and enhance their overall quality of life. It is a constant endeavour that inspires us. For us, it is always #EldersFirst