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Blood Glucose Montoring

Checking blood glucose levels by using a blood glucose meter or blood glucose test strips that change color when touched by a blood sample in order to manage diabetes. NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

About Blood Glucose Monitoring

There are two types of tests that tell you your blood sugar level:

Doctors use a special blood test, called an A1C test, to check how high your blood sugar level was during the past 3 months. Having an A1C level of 7 percent or below means that your blood sugar has been well controlled over the past 3 months.

When taking insulin, you need to use a different type of test called a blood sugar test—often done with a fingerstick—to help you adjust the amount of insulin you take during the day. This test measures the amount of sugar in your blood at any one time. This measurement is given in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

The normal blood sugar levels for people who do not have diabetes are:

  • Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
  • Less than 180 mg/dL at 2 hours after meals...

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What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

The effectiveness of active blood glucose management on the prevention of further CVA complications within 24 hours in adult patients: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Gyi A A.  The effectiveness of active blood glucose management on the prevention of further CVA complications within 24 hours in adult patients: a systematic review. Adelaide, S. Australia, Australia: Joanna Briggs Institute for Evidence Based Nursing and Midwifery. Health Care Reports; 2(6). 2004

[The qigong effect on blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis]

Bibliographic details: Huang JP, Yeh ML.  [The qigong effect on blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis]. Journal of Nursing and Healthcare Research 2013; 9(3): 199-209

Clinical effects of strict control versus conventional control of blood glucose on perioperative cardiac surgery: a meta-analysis

Bibliographic details: Song BH, Jiang PJ, Wang ZH.  Clinical effects of strict control versus conventional control of blood glucose on perioperative cardiac surgery: a meta-analysis. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2012; 12(10): 1229-1234 Available from: http://www.cjebm.org.cn/en/oa/DArticle.aspx?type=view&id=20121012

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Summaries for consumers

Chinese herbal medicines for people with impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting blood glucose

Around 308 million people worldwide are reported to have 'impaired glucose tolerance'. These individuals show higher than normal blood sugar (glucose) levels, but do not meet diagnostic criteria for having type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This may provide a window in which to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and its complications like cardiovascular disease. Within a decade of the initial diagnosis 'impared glucose tolerance' 25% to 75% are estimated to progress to diabetes.

Alpha‐glucosidase inhibitors for people with impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting blood glucose

Alpha‐glucosidase inhibitors (acarbose, miglitol, voglibose) are drugs that delay the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut, and consequently slow down the absorption of sugars. Patients with type 2 diabetes may use it therapeutically. People with a raised blood glucose level (without being a diabetes patient) may use this drug in order to prevent developing type 2 diabetes and diabetes related morbidity such as cardiovascular diseases. To find evidence for these assumptions, we searched the medical literature for randomised controlled trials of at least one‐year duration, investigating alpha‐glucosidase inhibitors for patients with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting blood glucose (IFBG). Patients with IGT or IFBG have raised blood glucose levels, but do not meet the criteria for having type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Methods for monitoring blood glucose in pregnant women with diabetes to improve outcomes

Pregnancy profoundly affects the management of diabetes and having diabetes can lead to complications in pregnancy. The most common complications are early births, large babies, difficult births and the need for caesarean section. Increased risks for the infants at birth include bleeding in the brain (intracranial haemorrhage), the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck (shoulder dystocia), neonatal low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia), jaundice and respiratory distress. The babies are more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit, and the growing child has an increased risk of having diabetes. Women with existing diabetes that is not well controlled at the time of conception and in the first trimester are at increased risk of miscarriage, having a baby with malformations or a stillbirth.

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Terms to know

Blood Glucose
The main sugar found in the blood and the body's main source of energy. Also called blood sugar.
Glucagon
A hormone produced by the pancreas that increases the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
Hyperglycemia
Higher than normal amount of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. Hyperglycemia can be a sign of diabetes or other conditions. Also called high blood sugar.
Hypoglycemia
Also called low blood glucose, a condition that occurs when one's blood glucose is lower than normal, usually below 70 mg/dL. Signs include hunger, nervousness, shakiness, perspiration, dizziness or light-headedness, sleepiness, and confusion.
Insulin
A hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. The beta cells of the pancreas make insulin. When the body cannot make enough insulin, insulin is taken by injection or other means.

More about Blood Glucose Montoring

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Also called: Blood glucose testing

See Also: Diabetes Mellitus

Other terms to know: See all 5
Blood Glucose, Glucagon, Hyperglycemia

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