Local Practices in Blood Sugar Control Are So Bizarre That They Will Make Your Diabetic Life Easier
1. Taking Blood Sugar Tests in the Park
Many people with diabetes monitor their blood sugar at home, using a meter and test strips. Some devices can download the results to a computer, and some are now portable. It is important to keep a record of the readings, including date and time of testing and a description of meals and exercise. Having this information will help to explain fluctuations in glucose values. Some people with diabetes use alternative sites, such as the palm or forearm, to take a blood sample because fingertips are often sore.
3. Taking Blood Sugar Tests in the Pool
If you are a diabetic who goes swimming or to the beach, you need to make sure that you keep high-carbohydrate snacks in your locker or poolside. You will probably want to ask a lifeguard, pool manager, or water aerobics instructor if you can keep a resealable plastic bag of food by the side of the pool so that you can have it available if your blood sugar drops in the water. If they say no, you can try alternative site testing, which involves getting a blood drop from the palm or forearm instead of the fingertips.
4. Taking Blood Sugar Tests in the Shower
The body’s blood sugar is constantly changing and requires careful monitoring. People with diabetes take a small sample of their blood and put it in a glucose meter to get a reading of their blood sugar level. This meter can measure both fasting and post-meal blood sugars. Most meters require pricking the finger with a lancet to get a drop of blood that is placed on a test strip. This can be time consuming and painful for some people.
Another option is to use alternative site testing which involves placing a small amount of blood on other areas of the body like the palm or forearm. This is quicker and less painful than using the finger. However, it may be less accurate than using a fingertip test.
It’s important to know how your body responds to different activities and habits. For example, a hot shower can raise your blood sugar levels because it increases cortisol. Cortisol suppresses insulin and allows glucose to float around the body. This could explain why people with diabetes experience higher glucose readings after taking a shower.
5. Taking Blood Sugar Tests in the Bathroom
Some patients with diabetes use urinalysis, which measures glucose in the urine, to test their sugar. This is less reliable than blood tests but can be useful as a monitoring tool for those who cannot or prefer not to prick their fingers. Some people also try alternative site testing, which involves putting blood drops on other parts of the body, such as the palm or forearm. This can be more convenient, pain-free, and accurate than using the finger. However, some patients find it difficult to see their results because of limited blood flow to the alternatives sites. They may need to visit their doctor for advice.