Diabetes: Regular glucose monitoring needed at home in time of COVID-19
How often blood glucose should be monitored?
For type 1 diabetes (requires insulin):
- Four times a day(before meals & before bedtime) at first
- At least two times per day- first before breakfast & second two hours after a meal
- May settle for 1-2 times/week(if good control)
For type 2 diabetes (usually controlled by diet & OHAs):
- Twice a day (fasting & 2-3 hours post prandial)
- If good control once a week or every two weeks
In case of illness or under a lot of stress or exercising
more than usual, you may need to check your blood glucose
level more often than usual because
- Stress, illness or too much food push the bloodglucose up
- Exercise and medications pull the blood glucose down
- Blood glucose levels are likely to be low before meals
- High for 2 hours after meals
What are the ideal levels of blood glucose?
- Blood glucose levels should be 6.1 to 8.1 mmol/L before meals & 6.0 to 10.0 mmol/L 2 hours after meals.
- There is poor control of glucose when it is over 8.1 mmol/L before meals and over 11 mmol/L after meals.
Steps to check blood glucose levels at home?
It is important to follow the instructions on the bottle or meter carefully before checking blood glucose
1. Take the items needed for checking blood glucose
2. See the expiry dates of test strips on the bottle
3. Calibration of glucose meter should be done beforehand by
- Inserting the code key into the test strip slot
- Checking the number which appears on the screen is same as that on the box of test strips
5. Preparation of the lancet device
- First remove the lancet cover & put the needle in
- Now remove the needle cap by twisting it but do not touch the needle
- Carefully replace the lancet cover & adjust the depth of lancet cover according to the skin thickness
- Now do the priming of lancet device by pressing the release button/pull & release the lever (for some products)
6. Preparation of glucose meter
- Remove the test strip from container & insert it into the test strip slot. This will tern the meter on automatically
7. Take the alcohol swab & wipe the index/middle/ring finger and let it dry
8. Now press the lancet device firmly against side of the finger
9. Push the button to release the needle & squeeze your finger to get a drop of blood
10. Now touch the end of test strip to the drop of blood
11. Puncture site should be cleaned by applying a dry swab
12. Wait for some time to see the result on the screen. This is your blood glucose level
13. Open your blood glucose diary & record the results
14. Keep the items safely
- Remove the lancet cover.
- First recap the needle then remove it. Throw the used needle into the plastic container & screw on the cap.
- Store the needle container away from children and pets.
- Replace lancet cover and store away the glucose meter.
- Wash your hands again with soap and water.
Key points to keep in mind?
- Blood glucose should be checked regularly and recording should be done with date and time of the test.
- Be careful & follow the instructions accurately.
- Ideal blood glucose levels are between 6.1 and 8 mmol/L before meals.
- If you are ill or under stress, your blood glucose level is likely to go up.
- Blood glucose should be checked more often than usual, and see your doctor if it goes up.
- Don’t forget to record the date, time and result of your blood tests and take your record book with you to the doctor’s appointments.
- Take your medications on time & regularly.
- Wear mask, maintain social distancing, practice proper hand washing with soap & water and Stay at home to prevent COVID-19 infection.
- John M. Murtaghs Patient Education. of 6th revised ed edition. North Ryde NSW: McGraw-Hill Australia. 2012