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Taking Care of Your Diabetes Every Day

Other Tests for Your Diabetes continued...

The Hemoglobin A1c Test

Another test for blood sugar, the hemoglobin A1c test, shows what your average blood sugar was for the past 3 months. It shows how much sugar is sticking to your red blood cells. The doctor does this test to see what level your blood sugar is most of the time.

See your doctor for a hemoglobin A1c test every three months. To do the test, the doctor or nurse takes a sample of your blood. The blood is tested in a laboratory. The laboratory sends the results to your doctor.

If most of the blood sugar tests you do yourself show that your blood sugar is around 150, the hemoglobin A1c test should be almost near optimal levels. If most of your tests show high levels of blood sugar, then the hemoglobin Alc test is usually high. Ask your doctor what your hemoglobin A1c test showed.

Keep Daily Records

Write down the results of your blood tests every day in a record book. You can use a small notebook or ask your doctor for a blood testing record book. You may also want to write down what you eat, how you feel, and how much you have exercised.

By keeping daily records of your blood and urine tests, you can tell how well you are taking care of your diabetes. Show your book to your doctor. The doctor can use your records to see if you need to make changes in your insulin shots or diabetes pills, or in your eating plan. Ask your doctor or nurse if you don't know what your test results mean.

Things to write down every day in your notebook are:

  • if you had very low blood sugar
  • if you ate more or less food than you usually do
  • if you felt sick or very tired
  • what kind of exercise you did and for how long
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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on March 15, 2014

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If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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