The main problem in diabetes is that there’s too much sugar in the blood. Which is why it’s important to understand your blood sugar levels.
The body uses sugar as its main source of energy. The food that you eat is broken down by your gut, and changed into sugar. This is a specific sugar called glucose. The sugar goes into the blood. All of the different parts of the body get their energy by taking sugar out of the blood. They might use the sugar right away, or store it for later.
In people with diabetes, there’s too much sugar in the blood. This happens because the body doesn’t take the sugar from the blood. The health problems of diabetes are caused by the extra sugar.
A blood sugar level measures how much sugar is in the blood at a certain moment. You test this with a tiny drop of blood. To get it, you prick yourself with a special little pin. Most people prick a finger, but you may be able to use another part of the body.
People with diabetes use a small device to check their blood sugar called a glucose meter. There are special test strips that are used with each glucose meter. You place a new test strip into the device, then prick yourself. Then you dab a drop of blood onto the test strip. The device will tell you your blood sugar level. It’s a good idea to write this number down in a small notebook, along with the time and day, so you have a record.
You will have goals for your blood sugar levels. To stay healthy, you will need to keep it from going too high. You will test your blood sugar first thing in the morning. You may also test a few more times during the day, including after meals.
Your blood sugar level may tell you how much insulin you need to take, if you’re taking insulin. It may also help to adjust your medicines.
The problems of diabetes (like blindness and losing your feet) are all caused by the high blood sugar. If you keep your blood sugar from going too high, then you will avoid these health problems, even though you have diabetes. Testing your blood sugar levels every day allows you to keep your blood sugar under control. Also, once you know what’s working for you, you may need to test less often, leaving you with extra test strips. If you know you’re not going to use your extra test strips, you can sell them here.