How Can I Test for Diabetes at Home?

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Best ways to test for diabetes at home: Diabetes is a serious medical condition, so you may worry. While it is better to get a medical check-up from your doctor for early diabetes, you can also control your symptoms and your self-diagnosis at home.

In 2015, more than 1 in 4 of the 30.3 million people in the United States, with the disease were oblivious of the fact that they had it. However, you can check your blood sugar levels at home using a glucose meter or an A1C test. It is also necessary you see your doctor if you suspect you have diabetes or if your test results show you have high blood sugar.


Notwithstanding in this article, we’ll take you through on all detailed information about how to test for Diabetes at home.

What is Diabetes

If your blood sugar is over 200 mg/dl (11.1 mmol/L) at any time you tested, you just registered a diabetic blood sugar level and should seek the consent of a doctor as soon as possible.  Random tests results of  200 mg/dl or higher are considered diagnostic of diabetes according to the Diagnostic Criteria for Diabetes Mellitus published by the highly conservative American Diabetes Association

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What are the Symptoms of diabetes?

Many people with diabetes have no signs of the disease. However, the lack of symptoms does not necessarily mean the absence of diabetes.


When symptoms occur, many of the effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the same because both affect the regulation of blood sugar in the body. Symptoms include:

  • increased hunger and thirst
  • increased urination, particularly at night
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unexplainable tiredness
  • blurred vision
  • slow-healing sores, or wounds that appear to heal and then reopen
    high blood pressure.

Pregnant women who have experienced these symptoms should suddenly think about the possibility of developing diabetes.

The placenta releases hormones during pregnancy, which can make it difficult to control blood sugar. Without treatment, gestational diabetes can cause a variety of pregnancy complications.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and can cause a number of complications. These includes:

  • cardiovascular problems, such as stroke, heart attack, and blood clots
  • wounds, numbness, tingling
  • loss of feet or limbs
  • kidney failure
  • nerve damage
  • chronic headaches
  • vision and hearing loss

Early interventions and regular glucose monitoring can reduce the risk of serious or fatal diabetes complications.


The right combination of medications and lifestyle changes can help reverse some cases of diabetes.

What are diabetes home tests?

A blood glucose (sugar) test is an essential part of your diabetes care plan. Depending on your current condition, you may need to see your doctor several times a year for a formal test.

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You may also need to see your doctor for preventive tests, such as cholesterol and vision tests.

While keeping in touch with your doctor is important to be aware of your treatment plan, you can and should evaluate your blood sugar level on your own whenever your health care team recommends it.

The self-control of blood glucose can also be vital in your treatment. Testing your own levels lets you know how to control your blood sugar level, regardless of the time of day or where you are.


Who should use diabetes home tests?

Your doctor will help you decide if you need a blood sugar test at home. If you do, they will determine how often to test at what time of the day. They will also inform you about your blood sugar goals. You can think of home diabetes tests if you have:

  • type 1 diabetes
  • type 2 diabetes
  • prediabetes
  • symptoms of diabetes

By keeping track of blood glucose, you can discover problems in your current diabetes care.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), normal blood glucose ranges between 70 and 140 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is below 70 mg/dL, and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) is well above 140 mg/dL.

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By keeping glucose in the normal range, it can help prevent diabetes complications such as:

  • diabetic coma
  • eye disease
  • gum disease
  • kidney damage
  • nerve damage

When should testing occur?

Your doctor may recommend the test at three different times, often for several days:

  • Morning fasting reading: This provides information on blood sugar levels before a person eats or drinks anything. Taking blood glucose readings before eating provides a key number. This figure provides evidence of glucose processes during the day.
  • Before a meal: blood sugar before a meal tends to decrease, so the high blood glucose level at this time indicates difficulties in controlling blood sugar.
  • After a meal: the post-meal test gives a good idea of how the body reacts to food and if sugar can reach cells efficiently. Blood glucose readings after a meal can help diagnose gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy. Most doctors recommend taking the exam approximately two hours after a meal.

How can I perform the test?

Blood glucose tests come in different forms, but they all have the same purpose: to inform you of your blood sugar level at that time. Most home tests needs

  • a lancet (small needle) and a lancing or lancet device (to hold the needle)
  • test strips
  • a glucose meter
  • portable cases
  • cords to download data (if needed)

Home testing follows these general steps:

The results should generally appear in seconds. With some meters, you must ensure that the bar code matches the counter code.

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Also, be sure to check the date on your slides once per period to make sure they are out of date.


Finally, most accountants now have a way of using an alternative test site, such as their forearm. Talk to your doctor to decide what is best for you.

How can I Interpret the results

For people with diabetes, blood sugar readings should be as follows:

  • Fasting (morning testing or before a meal): 80–130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
  • Before meals: 70–130 mg/dl
  • Two hours after starting meals: Below 180 mg/dl
  • At bedtime: Under 120 mg/dl
    HbA1c: 7.0 percent or lower

Before starting a home test, it is important that people get clear and specific numbers from the doctor.

Target numbers may vary from person to person and may change over time, depending on the health, age, weight, and other factors of an individual. For people without diabetes, blood sugar levels should be within the following ranges:

A person cannot diagnose diabetes using home testing alone. People who have unusual readings will need further testing by a doctor.


The doctor is liable for carrying out fasting tests, oral glucose tolerance tests, HbA1c tests, or use a combination of these methods.

Choosing a blood glucose monitor

A blood glucose monitor, test strips and blood draw are all necessary for the test. Some offer all three test sets, while others require separate purchases for each piece.

People with diabetes use many test strips, so it may be wise to think carefully about the cost of test strips and the screen. Some other tips for buying a monitor include:

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  • Select one with automatic coding to avoid the need to code in results with every test.
  • Check insurance plans to see if an insurer only covers certain monitors.
  • Look at whether the unit stores previous data.
  • Consider portability, since larger units can be difficult to carry around.
  • Think about blood sample size, particularly for people who do not like pricking themselves.

Monitors that require a smaller blood sample may be more comfortable as the depth of the lancet can be less.


What are the tips to note for accurate testing?

Below is the list of tips to note for accurate testing. Explore carefully:

Use a branded meter instead of a generic one
Learn the ins and outs of your meters – and ask for help

Some meters come with additional bells and whistles that attract people with a technical mindset (for example, they can track their physical activity), while others are more obvious. If you have problems with ingenuity or vision, find a counter that is easy to accept or easy to see.


Don’t be afraid to ask for help if your screen looks overwhelming at first. This is one of the best ways to test for diabetes at home.

Make sure there’s enough blood to fill the landing section of each strip.

Otherwise, your meter may not be able to provide an accurate reading. Most devices require slightly more blood on the test strip than others. You might love to know more about Orthopedic surgeon: How to Become & Salary info.

Wash your hands before using the meter

If you have any food on your hands – say, you just peeled an orange and the juice is still present on your fingers – it can affect your reading.

Use the device on the sides of your fingers, not on the fingertips

“If you keep your finger, there are more nerve endings,” says Lucille Hughes, a certified diabetes professor and director of diabetes education at South Nassau Community Hospital in Oceanside, New York. It can cause a slight pinch. If you use the sides of your fingers, this is painless. Kelly also advises people to change the fingers they use regularly with their screen. “Don’t play my favourite things,” she says. This is also one of the best ways to test for diabetes at home.

Track your blood sugar readings

This can be a challenge for many people who suffer from diabetes. After all, who has time to write down all this information?

However, without these numbers, your health care team will have a hard time determining if your blood sugar levels are within a reasonable range or if you need any changes in the medication, says Hughes. Poor control of blood sugar can lead to serious health complications. “Diabetes is about self-management,” says Hughes. This is also one of the best ways to test for diabetes at home.

Check your blood sugar at different times of the day

Doctors often ask patients to check their blood sugar level for fasting, however, just sticking to this can prevent patients from discovering other times of day when readings can increase, says De Abbe. If you always measure your blood sugar level at the same time, the numbers may not accurately reflect what happens during the day. “We are trying to encourage doctors to go beyond fasting blood sugar level since everyone does not agree,” she says.

Keep your meter out of the freezing cold or extreme heat

“The meter should not be in direct sunlight,” says Kelly. One last point: the US Food and Drug Administration. UU., Which approves and monitors blood glucose devices, allows a slight variation in numbers when analyzing blood sugar. So, if you read twice in a few minutes and see some contrast, don’t panic. “This is always a teaching point for us,” says Kelly. This is among the best ways to test for diabetes at home.

Home Testing vs. Medical Testing

The self-control of your blood sugar level is important to determine how your diabetes performs daily.

It is not reasonable to assume that some annual tests at your doctor’s office can provide an accurate picture of your condition because glucose levels fluctuate throughout the day. However, this does not mean that home tests should replace the normal preventive test as well.

In addition to home control, your doctor will probably recommend an A1c test. Measure the average amount of blood glucose in the last two or three months. According to the American Society of Clinical Chemistry, A1c tests are performed up to four times a year.


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Getting regular laboratory tests can help you determine how well your diabetes is controlled. They and their health care team will help you determine how often you use your test at home, as well as what your reading goal should be.

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Know your numbers

Self-monitoring your blood sugar is vital to maintaining your health.

The CDC recommends that if your readings are unusually low (below 60 mg/dL) or high (above 300 mg/dL), you call your doctor right away or seek emergency medical attention.

When Can I see a doctor?

People who use blood glucose tests at home and who have achieved unusually high results, especially on more than one occasion, should consult a doctor.


People with diabetes who do not adequately control their blood sugar level or experience sudden changes in blood sugar should consult their doctor.

Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications or both. Anyone can control diabetes well by controlling carbohydrate intake and exercising regularly,

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People with diabetes or borderline diabetes are at risk of developing diabetes if they do not act quickly to control their blood sugar. They should talk to their doctors and continue to monitor their blood glucose regularly.

6 Trusted Sources

1) A1C: The test. (2014).
2) Diagnostic Criteria for Diabetes Mellitus
3) uncontrolled blood sugar
4) CDC recommends
5) Diabetes and prediabetes tests. (2014).
6)How to test your blood glucose. (n.d.).


Image Credit: Canva

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