It would be unfeasible for people with diabetes to visit a lab or doctor each day to get routine testing. While lab tests are an essential part of any diabetes self-management program, it is also important to monitor your blood glucose levels each day. Discover the advantages of home test kits for people with diabetes.
- Home test kits let people know more about their blood glucose control and each one has its own unique advantages. Keep a logbook or spread sheet and share the results with your health care team to help them determine what is working and what may need to be changed. This can make it easier to improve your diabetes self-management plan to help keep your blood sugar levels under control. Home tests are easy to use, provide fast results and usually involve drawing a drop of blood with a lancet to be analyzed. Some home testing kits use strips and others have an electronic meter. It is important to follow the exact instructions of each test kit to ensure accurate results. You should also wash your hands and conduct the tests in the most sterile conditions possible.
- A daily home blood glucose monitoring kit lets you know what your blood sugar level is at the moment you take the test. This helps you and your doctor customize your medication needs, exercise program and daily eating requirements. Using a home blood glucose monitoring kit can also let you know if you are experiencing hypoglycemia so you can treat the problem immediately. Monitoring your blood sugar each day can show how certain foods, exercise and other activities are affecting your daily levels. Additionally, when you are sick or have a drastic schedule change, a home blood glucose monitoring kit can show when adjustments to your medication might need to be made.
- A hemoglobin A1C home testing kit provides a profile of how your blood sugar level has been for a period of two to three months. Taking this test at home provides an assessment of your long-term blood sugar control. Your health care team may also schedule you to take this test in a lab setting, based on the results of your home test. It is a good idea to use a hemoglobin A1C home testing kit before routine medical appointments. The results can show your doctor whether there have been fluctuations in your blood sugar over the past three months and if additional testing or changes may be required. If your A1C is over 7, it could mean changes may need to be made to your diabetes self-management plan.
- If recent adjustments were made to your treatment plan, your doctor may recommend using a home fructosamine test. This test pinpoints blood glucose fluctuations over the past three weeks. It can indicate whether your self-management plan is working or if additional modifications need to be made.
- Cholesterol home test kits are used to check your cholesterol levels between appointments with your health care team. Knowing your cholesterol levels is important because people with diabetes have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Home cholesterol tests determine your LDL or “bad” cholesterol and HDL or “good” cholesterol levels. Sharing the results with your health care team can help them determine if changes should be made.
Home test kits help you gain better control over your health and can indicate to your doctors when modifications should be made in your diabetes treatment plan. They also help you maintain better blood glucose levels, communicate with your health care team more effectively and stay motivated. Knowing these results can encourage you to eat a healthier diet, exercise more regularly and take better care of yourself each and every day.