Glucose is a type of sugar we get from foods, and as it travels through the bloodstream to the cells, it’s called blood sugar or blood glucose. Glucose is found mainly in foods rich in carbohydrates, like fruit, bread and pasta.
Insulin is a hormone that moves the glucose from your blood into the cells. However, if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you either can’t produce insulin or can’t use it properly, and glucose builds up in the blood.
Diabetes complications occur when blood sugar builds up. If it builds up in the blood vessels in the back of your eye, you can develop diabetic retinopathy. If it builds up in your kidneys, you nay develop kidney disease.
Other diabetes complications include stroke, heart attack and nerve problems. In addition to blood glucose monitoring, your primary care provider or endocrinologist will regularly measure the A1C levels in your blood to prevent complications.
Blood glucose monitoring is an important part of any diabetes management plan. Traditionally, you prick your finger, put a drop of blood on a test strip, and insert it into a blood glucose meter.
Some people use a sensor inserted under the skin, called a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Others use flash glucose monitoring, a touchscreen reader device and a sensor patch you wear, which allows you to get a blood glucose reading without sticking your finger.
The goal of blood glucose monitoring in diabetes is to keep your blood sugar as close to target range as possible. To do so, you need to eat healthy foods and stay active. Some patients also require diabetes medications.
Talk to an endocrinologist to learn more about blood glucose management.
Lori Berard is Diabetes Educator with an expertise in diabetes education, management and clinical research. As a certified diabetes educator,…