As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is true more so than ever when it comes to diabetes, which can lead to a number of chronic, life-threatening conditions. While there are a number of ways in which diabetes can be managed, the use of a glucose meter is considered by most experts to be crucial. Those who have been encouraged to use this product should have a basic understanding of its function, when, and how it should be used.
What is a Glucose Meter?
As mentioned above, having a basic understanding of glucose meter functionality is essential for individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. As suggested by the name, these devices measure the amount of glucose—a simple sugar—in the blood stream. Diabetic patients who wish to measure their glucose levels are typically required to apply a small droplet of blood, often obtained through a fingerstick, to the machine in question. By measuring glucose levels on a regular basis, diabetics and pre-diabetics can ensure the optimal management of their condition.
Who Should Use a Glucose Meter?
So who, exactly, should use a glucose meter? Is there a specific population that can obtain the greatest benefit from the use of this product? As mentioned previously, patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes should be provided with a glucose meter as soon as possible to ensure the best results with their condition. In addition, individuals who have a family history of diabetes—or who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy—may also want tot consider the use of the machine. Finally, people with other health conditions that affect blood sugar levels may want to consider using a glucose meter on a regular basis.
When Should a Glucose Meter Be Used?
Deciding how often a glucose meter should be used is often a difficult process. While some diabetic patients choose to measure blood sugar levels several times a day, others obtain measurements only once or twice a week. According to the Mayo Clinic, the frequency of glucose checks often depends on the specific type of diabetes, as well as its severity. In most cases, the better the control a patient has over his or her blood sugar levels, the less often glucose meters will need to be used. In addition, patients with type II diabetes generally require fewer blood sugar checks that those diagnosed with other forms of the condition.
Diabetes is often described as a chronic condition—one must live with it for a lifetime. It should come as no surprise, then, that diabetics and pre-diabetics often require extensive assistance from friends, family members, and healthcare providers. Those who have questions about the use of their glucose meter should be sure to consult with their primary care physician. In addition, registered dietitians and nurses who are experienced in the field of diabetes management may be able to provide some assistance when it comes to the use of this device.