Diabetes Testing

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Diabetes Testing

Type 1 and type 2 diabetics are usually required to perform diabetes testing on a regular basis. There are a few different diabetes tests available to help diabetics control their blood glucose levels. The tests are necessary to measure blood glucose levels, which affects insulin and dietary changes.

Diabetes Testing and Blood Glucose Meters

The most common types of diabetes testing are performed using a blood glucose meter. The blood glucose meter requires a very small sample of blood that is usually collected from the tip of a finger using a lancet. This diabetes test provides immediate feedback on the patient's current blood glucose level. This diabetes test is usually performed in the mornings and before and sometimes after meals. It will be important to discuss frequency of diabetes testing with the doctor treating you.

Many people think that eating too much sugar can actually cause diabetes. This is not true. Eating too much sugar and becoming obese is a contributing factor for the current epidemic of type 2 diabetes in the United States. However, sugar itself does not cause diabetes. If you are diabetic, you probably understand the role of sugar in your diet and the importance of controlling foods with a high glycemic index.

Hemoglobin A1C test and Diabetes Testing

Hemoglobin A1C is a measurement of blood glucose levels reflecting the average blood glucose for the last 60-90 days. The hemoglobin A1C test is an important part of measuring the success of your diabetes treatment plan. This type of diabetes testing will usually be performed at your doctor's office. However, there are some home hemoglobin A1C tests kits available now.

One of the most common questions we get at "Life with Diabetes" is "If I am testing daily with a blood glucose monitor, why does my doctor need to perform a hemoglobin A1C test?" The answer is pretty simple. Think of the testing you are doing at home as a snap shot of how your diet, exercise, and medications are working that day. The daily results allow you to adjust your sugar intake and diet based on that particular day. The hemoglobin A1C test allows your doctor to monitor how your diabetes treatment is doing overall. This test provides your doctor a global picture of your diabetes treatment regimen.

Hemoglobin A1C Testing Frequency

Diabetes testing using hemoglobin A1C is usually performed four times per year if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and are taking insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes and are not taking insulin this type of diabetes testing is usually performed twice a year.

As with all diabetes testing, it is important to work with the doctor treating you to determine testing frequency. The amount of daily diabetes testing will vary by patient.

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