So, you just found out that you have diabetes. Now you have to do that pesky little thing called checking your blood sugar multiple times each day. Don’t panic! Once you get the hang of it, this vital part of managing your life as a person with diabetes will become second nature. Here are a few helpful steps to start you on your way
You will need a glucometer, glucometer strip, and a one time use needle. These items can be purchased at your local drugstore or Walmart. Be sure that the strips match your glucometer!
Insert the strip into the glucometer with the chip facing up. Once it’s in securely it should beep, this indicates that it is turned on and ready to go. Twist off the one-time use needle cap (be sure to wash your hands or clean them with an alcohol prep pad) and prick the tip of your finger. A small drop of blood will well up; you may have to squeeze your finger a little bit to get enough. Tap the strip against the blood; it will beep, and in just a few seconds you will have your blood sugar reading. This process is so quick and super simple. You will be a pro in no time!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you check your blood sugar
- The optimal time to check your blood sugar is 1 ½ to 2 hours after eating.
- Set an alarm to remind you to take your blood sugar reading
- Keep track of your blood sugar numbers. (Use a journal or a handy smartphone app)
- Be sure to drink lots of water!
- Eat a whole food, plant-based diet.
- Avoid processed foods as much as possible
- Remember, one serving of meat is only 3oz, which is about the size of a deck of cards.
- Get plenty of sleep
- Exercise daily, even a brisk twenty-minute walk has tremendous impact on blood sugar and overall health
- Manage stress