Get tested for diabetes

Should You Get a Free Type 2 Diabetes Screening?

Free screenings for diabetes are sometimes available at pharmacies, and even in big-box stores, like Walmart. You may also be able to get a free blood sugar test at your local hospital. But before you go, it’s important to understand the limitations of this blood sugar test.

“In most cases, the diabetic test given at a free screening is a point-of-care blood sugar test,” says Shannon Knapp, RN, CDE, manager of diabetes education in the department of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. These tests measure blood sugar with a finger prick and a glucose monitor. “Free screenings for diabetes are beneficial but have a lower accuracy rate than lab tests done in a doctor’s office,” Knapp notes. “They may be given at health fairs, community centers, or local pharmacies, but they are not a substitute for your primary care doctor.”

There are reasons that free screenings for diabetes may be an early indicator of the disease but still don’t provide a complete picture on their own. “To diagnose diabetes, you generally need two elevated fasting blood sugars,” explains Knapp. “It’s important to know that if you have free screening for diabetes without fasting, the results are not very useful. Any abnormal diabetic test needs to be followed up with your doctor.”

Why Get a Free Diabetes Screening?

The purpose of this type of screening is to serve as an early alert, hopefully cutting down on the damage done by type 2 diabetes by uncovering it and addressing it early, before you have any complications of high blood sugar. Also, “These screenings have the potential to catch other types of diabetes,” adds Knapp. Since more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and another 86 million are at risk for the disease, early diagnosis is more important than ever.

Here are more reasons for getting a screening:

  • You can find out whether you might have a type of diabetes called prediabetes, which almost always starts before full-blown type 2 diabetes.
  • Early diagnosis enables you to start self-care with healthy lifestyle changes, like increasing exercise and losing weight.
  • For some people with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range.

Who Should Get Screened for Diabetes?

Anyone can benefit from a free screening, but there are recommendations for who is most likely to benefit. “Anyone age 45 or older should begin testing,” says Knapp. In addition, adults who are overweight or obese and have one additional risk factor for diabetes — including physical inactivity or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) — should be tested. And if you do have risk factors for diabetes, you should consider getting tested at an earlier age.

Screening guidelines include the following:

  • People age 45 or older should be screened by their doctor every three years.
  • Risk factors that should be considered for screening include being overweight, having high blood pressure, having abnormal blood lipids (low levels of HDL or a high level of triglycerides), having a close relative with diabetes, and being a woman who had diabetes during pregnancy.
  • Anyone with sustained blood pressure greater than 140/90 should be screened. Those on medication for high blood pressure, even if their blood pressure is lower than the guideline, should also be screened.

Still unsure whether you’re in a risk category? Take a type 2 diabetes risk test at the American Diabetes Association’s website.

Where to Find Free Screening for Diabetes

If you’re on Medicare, you can get a free screening at your local hospital or at your doctor’s office if you have any of these risk factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • History of abnormal blood lipids
  • History of high blood sugar

Free screenings for diabetes are often available at hospitals or medical centers. Other options include pharmacies and shopping centers. Here are some screening resources to check out; offerings vary from location to location and state to state, so check online or call before going in for a diabetes screening:

  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Sam’s Club
  • Costco

Remember that a free screening for diabetes is no substitute for a fasting blood sugar test at your doctor’s office. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes screening at health fairs and shopping malls often fails to be beneficial because people don’t follow up with an office visit. “Talk to your primary care doctor about your risk factors and find out what the best screening program is for you,” Knapp advises.

Were you recently diagnosed with diabetes? Or maybe you’ve had diabetes for years and are in need of a meter upgrade? Look no further. Most manufacturers give away blood glucose testing meters for free with the hope that you’ll continue to buy their brand of test strips. Many of them also have discounts or assistance programs to help you save on additional products.

Listed below are popular manufacturers of diabetes supplies and what they can offer you for free or at a low cost.

OneTouch

  • The free meter: The current promotional offer is for the OneTouch Verio Flex. Check to see if you qualify here.
  • Which test strips can I use? Both the OneTouch Verio test strips and OneTouch Ultra test strips work with this meter.
  • Are OneTouch supplies covered by my insurance? Find out here.
  • What if I don’t have insurance? If you don’t have insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover the OneTouch test strips, check your eligibility for their Automatic Savings Program here. You may be able to get 100 test strips for $25.
  • Can I speak to a person? You can call 1-800-227-8862 for more information on any OneTouch program.

Accu-Chek

  • The free meter: You can get a free Accu-Chek Guide Me, Accu-Chek Guide, or Accu-Chek Aviva meter here.
  • Which test strips can I use? The Accu-Chek Guide test strips work with both the Accu-Chek Guide and Accu-Chek Guide Me meters. The Accu-Chek Aviva Plus test strips work with the Accu-Chek Aviva meter.
  • Are there other ways to save? If you’re eligible, the Accu-Chek Guide SimplePay program helps you save on Accu-Chek Guide test strip prescriptions and offers free shipping.
  • Can I speak to a person? You can call 1-800-858-8072 for more information on any Accu-Chek program.

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FreeStyle

  • The free meter: Get any FreeStyle meter and test strips free when you register for the FreeStyle Promise Program.
  • What if I don’t have insurance? The FreeStyle Precision Neo meter and test strips are available over the counter with no prescription. Learn more about pricing and options here.
  • Which test strips can I use? FreeStyle Lite, FreeStyle Insulinx, and FreeStyle Neo all must be used with the meter of the same name.
  • Can I speak to a person? You can call 1-888-522-5226 for more information on any FreeStyle program.

Contour Next

  • The free meter: If you are privately insured, you can apply to get a free Contour Next One or Contour Next EZ glucose meter.
  • What if I don’t have insurance or I’m covered by Medicare? This free glucose meter is only available to people who are privately insured. If you’re covered by Medicare, check your coverage and savings options here.
  • Which test strips can I use? You can use Contour Next strips on both of these meters.
  • Are there other ways to save? Whether you have insurance or not, you can get the Contour Choice Card here and can save up to $105 per month on test strips.
  • Can I speak to a person? You can call 1-800-348-8100 for more information on the Contour Next free glucose meter program.

The bottom line

With several choices for a free meter, you’ll want to compare the cost and effectiveness of the test strips over time to be sure you get the best option for you. If you don’t qualify for a discount on test strips with your meter, be sure to shop around. Try buying online as you may save a lot over buying off the shelf at a brick and mortar pharmacy.

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  • U.S. regulators have approved the first continuous blood sugar monitor for diabetics that doesn’t need backup finger prick tests.

    Current models require users to test a drop of blood twice daily to calibrate, or adjust, the monitor.

    The pain of finger sticks and the cost of testing supplies discourage many people from keeping close tabs on their blood sugar, which is needed to manage insulin use and adjust what they eat.

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    Abbott’s new FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, approved Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration, uses a small sensor attached to the upper arm. Patients wave a reader device over it to see the current blood sugar level and changes over the past eight hours.

    Most of the 30 million Americans with diabetes use standard glucose meters, which require multiple finger pricks each day and only show current sugar level. More-accurate continuous glucose monitoring devices are used by about 345,000 Americans.

    But most don’t do the finger pricks to calibrate them and may get inaccurate readings, said Dr. Timothy Bailey, who helped test FreeStyle Libre.

    “We’re able to lower blood sugar safely” with this technology, said Bailey, director of the Advanced Metabolic Care and Research Institute in California. He receives consulting fees from various diabetes device makers.

    Too-high blood sugar levels can damage organs and lead to heart attacks, strokes, blindness and amputations. Very low blood sugar can cause seizures, confusion and loss of consciousness.

    Abbott’s device was approved for adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and should be available in pharmacies within months. The company, based near Chicago, did not disclose the price of the reader or the sensors.

    Abbott’s system can’t be used with an insulin pump, a device worn against the skin that allows users to inject insulin as needed, but the company is planning improvements to eventually enable that.

    Rival Medtronic this spring launched a device in which the insulin pump automatically responds to blood sugar changes recorded by the sensor and either withholds or injects insulin as needed.

    — Linda A. Johnson

    The A1C, a Glycated hemoglobin, is a form of hemoglobin that is measured primarily to identify the three-month average blood glucose concentration.
    The A1C test is limited to a three-month average because the lifespan of a red blood cell is only four months. In other words, it’s the indication of your blood sugar level for a three-month period.
    Typically, your doctor will test your A1C levels every 90 to 180 days depending on how well your blood sugar levels have been managed.

    In basic terms, the A1C test checks to see how much glucose is attaching to your red blood cells. You can work to keep your A1C within your target range using a recommended diabetes management regimen along with a well-managed diet, exercise routine and other healthy lifestyle .

    Normal a1C Prediabetes a1C Diabetic a1c
    Under 5.7 5.7 to 6.4 6.5 and above

    A1C Test Features and Pricing

    While most hospital conducted A1C tests cost around $86 per test (depending on your co-pay), you can now buy the A1C self-check home kit for around $40.

    Each kit includes one test with two strips, but you can buy a double test kit as well. The kits are not reusable so once you use your two lancets, you must buy another kit.

    Use

    Most people use this test every 30 days instead of waiting 90 days to be seen by the doctor. This helps patients have a more accurate reading on where their levels fall throughout the month.

    Insurance Coverage

    Most insurances will cover 1 or 2 tests per year and some hospitals will have a sample take-home A1C test that you can ask for. However, not all hospitals do so you may still need to buy over the counter kits depending on how many results a year you want to have or how many your doctor requires.

    Pros and Cons of Home Testing

    The A1C at home kit needs four large drops of blood which is easier than the amount they draw from your arm at the hospital. However, if you don’t get an adequate amount of blood on the test strip, the meter will read an error on your result and you will have to use the second test strip.

    Make sure you have pricked your finger well enough to have a good amount of blood on the strip so you don’t waste any of the test. Be sure to keep the test kit at room temperature after buying and not leave it in a hot place. Drastic changes in temperature can affect your kit and make it unusable.

    If your results differ greatly from your last doctor’s appointment, it is recommended you retake the test to see how far apart they are. You must wait at least one hour before taking another test or you will not get an accurate result. The wait time for each test is around five minutes. While most people prefer to take the at home tests, not everyone gets the best results.

    The test can vary from .5 in results to an entire point or more off. Make sure when buying a test, you check the expiration date on the box. If it is expired, your results will not be accurate.

    Available Kits

    There are a few different types of at home A1C testing kits available. You can check a list here.

    They include:

    • CVS Health A1C Home Test Kit
    • Walgreens A1C Test Kit
    • ReliOn A1C Test Kit
    • Bayer A1C Now Self Check Test Kit

    You can also mail in your test results if you are using the Relion kit. It comes with a prepaid envelope at no additional cost so you can wait for them to be mailed back or they can email you with the results. If you only use one test strip at a time, the other must be refrigerated if it won’t be used within 120 days (not all brands require refrigeration so be sure to read the care instructions).

    All kits come with instructions on how to operate the meter and get your best results. Some kits even come with a dvd or tutorial on how to operate your device. If your kit does not come with a dvd and you would like a visual to ensure you are using your device properly, there are many YouTube videos with instructions to help you get your best results.

    Where to Buy

    You can buy your A1C kits here or, Walgreens, CVS, or anywhere with a pharmacy. Walgreens carries their own A1C test kit and it costs about $40 and comes with two tests. There is a very high accuracy rate for the Walgreens test.

    Most customers are very pleased with their results and 72% of customers said they will continue to buy Walgreens brand. CVS pharmacy carries their own brand of A1C test kits like Walgreens which run for about $29.99 for two tests. The results have been very good for customers as they are pleased that the readings have been close to or exactly what the doctor’s labs read.

    Relion is another A1C brand you can try which can be purchased at any pharmacy and is typically only $32 to $40 dollars for two tests. Bayer also makes an A1C at home test kit which is around $19.99 to $25 dollars for one test, so it is the cheapest of the test kits.

    However, the reviews for this product have not been as good as they have been for Walgreens or the Relion brand with only a 42% customer review for satisfaction. It seems these results are the farthest form the doctor’s office or customers have the hardest time getting results and the customer service is not as helpful as they could be.

    If you plan on buying the Bayer brand, be sure to read the instructions carefully and make sure you have an adequate amount of blood before testing so you are not receiving an error on your screen.

    If you don’t want to buy an at home test kits in the store, you can also order them online. They can be shipped to you for a shipping cost or for free depending on where you purchase them from.

    Some benefits for buying the at home test kits include: not having to drive to the doctors, paying only half of what it would cost in most doctor’s offices, only having to wait about five minutes for your results and having much less blood taken than at the hospital.

    Accuracy

    The down side to the kits is that the accuracy is not always 100%. The kits come in small packs so if the results get messed up or there is an error, you must re-buy another kit which would ultimately cost about the same as it would have at the doctor’s office.

    You do not have to fast to take an at home kit like you typically would when you visit your doctor. Because the hospital is usually running more than one test on your blood, you are required to fast for your hospital A1C test.

    Conclusion

    Ultimately, the A1c test kits can be prove to be a very helpful tool for both you and your doctor in monitoring your A1C levels. It is important for people to understand that these tests will not always have the same results as in the doctor’s office as diet and exercise have a large role in how well you are managing your diabetes on a day to day basis.

    Overall, the A1C test kits are easy and convenient to use. They are also reasonably priced. Additionally, they are small and compact which makes them easy to take and use anywhere. If you’re regularly tracking your A1C levels, this might be a beneficial home system for you to have in your diabetes toolbox.

    TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Sergii Vasyliuk MD on September 15, 2018

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    Last Updated: Saturday, September 15, 2018 Last Reviewed: Saturday, September 15, 2018

    Walgreens At-Home A1C Test Kit1.0 ea

    New

    This Kit is for Home Use Monitoring of Glycemic Control in Patients with Diabetes

    • Diabetes Friendly
    • Monitors Glycemic Control in Patients with Diabetes
    • Accurate & Easy to Use
    • 2-Test Kit
    • Walgreens Pharmacist Recommended†
    • For In Vitro Diagnostic Use

    What does your A1C number tell you?

    • A1C is an indication of your average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months.
    • For most people with diabetes. the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that your A1C should be under 7%1.
    • A 1% point reduction in A1C may lower the risk of complications by up to 40%2*.
    • Remember that your A1C is your “big picture” measurement. Don’t use it for daily blood glucose measurement.
    • If you have any questions about your A1C results, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider. Do not adjust your medications unless instructed to do so by your doctor or healthcare provider.

    The lower limit of the A1C target may vary. Talk to your healthcare provider about what the right target is for you.

    The following conditions may affect the accuracy of your A1C result: Hemoglobin variants (HbS, HbC), elevated HbF, anemia, recent significant blood loss, a recent blood transfusion or high amounts or rheumatoid factor.

    Recommended A1C targets for non-pregnant adults with diabetes, according to the following references:

    • American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes-2011. Diabetes Care 2011; 34(1):S11-S61
    • American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. AACE medical guidance for clinical practice for developing a diabetes mellitus comprehensive care place. Endocrine Practice 2011; 17 (Suppl 2): 1-53
    • IDF Clinical Guidelines Task Force. Global guideline for Type 2 diabetes. Brussels: International Diabetes Federation, 2005.

    Includes:

    • 1 – A1C Monitor
    • 2 – Cartridge Pouches
    • 2 – Shaker Pouches
    • 1 – Quick Reference Guide
    • 1 – Overview & Helpful Hints

    Questions or comments? 1-800-925-4733

    Made in Singapore, Malaysia, & USA

    † Walgreens Pharmacist Survey Study 2012, November 2012

    1American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes-2011. Diabetes Care 2011; 34(1):S11-S61

    2Stratton IM, Adler AI, Neil HA, et al. Association of glycaemia with macrovascular and microvascular complications of type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 35): Prospective observational study. BMJ 2000; 321: 405-412.

    *In non-pregnant adults with type 2 diabetes.

    100% Satisfaction guaranteed with all Walgreens products or your money back.

    100% satisfaction guaranteed

    Important: Store and use at room temperature (64°F- 77°F) and out of direct sunlight. Do not use if dot is red or if the product is past the expiration date.

    © 2014 Walgreen Co.

    A1c test misses many cases of diabetes

    “Based on our findings, A1c should not be solely used to determine the prevalence of diabetes,” said lead researcher Maria Mercedes Chang Villacreses, M.D., of City of Hope’s Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute in Duarte, Calif. “It should be used in conjunction with the oral glucose test for increased accuracy.”

    The hemoglobin A1c is a test that shows the average level of blood sugar over the past two to three months. People who have diabetes usually have this test to see whether their blood sugar levels have been staying within a target range. This test is also used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is often used to diagnose diabetes because no fasting or any preparation is required.

    A glucose tolerance test, also known as the oral glucose tolerance test, measures the body’s response to sugar (glucose). In this test, a person’s blood is taken after an overnight fast, and then again two hours after they drink a sugary drink. The glucose tolerance test can be used to screen for type 2 diabetes.

    The new study included 9,000 adults without a diabetes diagnosis. The participants got both an A1c test and an oral tolerance glucose test, and the researchers compared the results. The researchers found the A1c test didn’t catch 73 percent of diabetes cases that were detected by the oral glucose test. “The A1c test said these people had normal glucose levels when they didn’t,” Chang Villacreses said.

    The researchers also found race and ethnicity had a significant impact on the accuracy of A1c. It was more likely to detect abnormal glucose levels in non-Hispanic whites than in non-Hispanic blacks or Hispanics.

    “Our results indicated that the prevalence of diabetes and normal glucose tolerance defined solely by A1c is highly unreliable, with a significant tendency for underestimation of the prevalence of diabetes and overestimation of normal glucose tolerance,” Chang Villacreses said.

    Diabetes Screening & Counseling

    What is diabetes?

    Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. It is a health condition that affects how the body uses glucose, the main type of sugar in the blood. The glucose level in the blood rises after eating a meal and causes the pancreas to make the hormone insulin and release it into the blood stream. For patients with diabetes, the body either can’t make or respond to insulin properly, causing glucose to build up in the blood instead of going into cells as it should. As a result, blood sugar levels in the blood are higher than normal and can lead to damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.

    While the exact cause of diabetes is not known, obesity and lack of physical activity are two of the most common risk factors for the disease. People with type 2 diabetes often have no symptoms for many years. Early symptoms of diabetes may include blurred vision, erectile dysfunction, pain or numbness in the feet or hands, infections that are more frequent or heal slowly, fatigue, hunger, increased thirst and urination. Blood tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.

    What is diabetes screening & counseling?

    Diabetes screening & counseling is a service designed to measure a patient’s risk for diabetes. For most accurate results, it is recommended that you fast for 9-12 hours before testing. During this visit, a healthcare provider will record the patient’s age, height, weight and waist circumference, as well as medical, family, and social history information. After this, a blood test may be performed by obtaining a small blood sample from the patient’s finger to measure blood sugar levels.

    Based on the results of these screenings, a healthcare provider will counsel the patient on their risk factors and recommend lifestyle changes to help the patient lead a healthier life. Further testing and evaluation may be required.

    Who is diabetes screening & counseling recommended for?

    This service is recommended for patients who may be at risk for diabetes and who are interested in better understanding their health so they can take steps to lead a healthier life. Patients receiving this service are encouraged to share their results with their primary care provider.

    Alert

    If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.

    10 Diabetic Signs That Indicate You May Be in Danger of Diabetes

    There’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that diabetes is a major danger. This health condition occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin or is unable to process it properly. This causes blood sugar levels to spike and become much higher than normal. And having high blood sugar levels can lead to many serious health problems, such as heart disease, kidney damage, stroke, blindness, and others. Studies show that 24 million people in the U.S. suffer from diabetes, but nearly 6 million people have no idea that they have the condition. Yet there are many diabetic signs that can help you detect the disease. To help you be proactive and protect your family’s health, discover which diabetic symptoms may signal a possible problem.

    3 Types of Diabetes

    There are different kinds of diabetes and it’s important to know their differences to understand your risk. They fall into the following types:

    1. Type 1 Diabetes: This is an autoimmune disease that was previously called juvenile diabetes because its diabetic symptoms are often detected in childhood. It occurs when the immune system destroys the cells that produce insulin, which leaves the body with too little or no insulin.
    2. Type 2 Diabetes: This is the most common type of diabetes and it typically develops in adulthood. It either occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels or when the cells become unable to use insulin properly.
    3. Gestational Diabetes: This affects 5 to10 percent of women during or after pregnancy.

    10 Diabetic Symptoms That May Indicate a Problem

    Millions of people are struggling with diabetes and don’t even know it because many of its symptoms are simply overlooked. But by detecting signs of a problem, you can manage the disease before it leads to other conditions. The main diabetic signs include:

    1. Ongoing Fatigue: This is one of the most common diabetic signs. Since the body can’t properly respond to insulin, the cells don’t absorb the blood glucose you need for energy.
    2. Frequent Urination: The kidneys must work harder to eliminate extra glucose in the blood.
    3. Greater Thirst: You feel the need to drink more water because the body is dehydrated from frequent urination.
    4. Increased Hunger: The body isn’t processing insulin correctly, so it’s starving for energy.
    5. Blurry Vision: Ongoing high blood sugar levels can cause the lens of the eye to change its shape and affect vision.
    6. Dark Patches on the Skin: These frequently occur under the arms.
    7. Dry, Itchy Skin: Poor circulation leads to itchiness, while dysfunctional sweat glands cause skin to become irritated.
    8. Numbness: Another frequent diabetic symptom is a tingling sensation in the fingers, hands, legs, and feet. This is caused by high blood glucose levels that restrict the blood flow to these areas and harm their nerves.
    9. Numerous Infections: The body is not functioning properly so it’s harder for the immune system to fight off infections.
    10. Impaired Healing: Since blood circulation is restricted, wounds tend to take longer to heal.

    Get Immediate Medical Care at MD Now

    How to test for diabetes at home

    Share on PinterestPeople can test their blood glucose at home using a blood glucose monitor.

    Home blood glucose monitoring indicates how effectively the body is processing glucose.

    A home blood glucose kit reads glucose testing strips. These strips allow the machine to detect the level of glucose in a drop of blood.

    People obtain a sample of their blood with a lancet, or small, short needle.

    For the most accurate testing, people should keep a record or log of the food they eat and look for trends in their blood glucose readings.

    Whether consuming a high- or low-carbohydrate meal, a higher-than-normal blood sugar reading after a person has eaten suggests that their body is not reducing blood glucose successfully after mealtimes.

    Before testing, people will need to read the manual for the blood glucose monitor and testing strips. Many home glucose monitors work in different ways. In most cases, people should only insert testing strips into the monitor immediately before a reading.

    After consulting a doctor about the right testing schedule and frequency, a person can follow these steps:

    1. Wash and dry the hands before handling the testing kit.
    2. Some methods recommend cleansing the testing area with an alcohol swab. Others may merely advise washing with warm, soapy water. With either, make sure the area is dry before taking a sample.
    3. Some glucose monitors allow testing on the arm or another, less sensitive area of the body. Rapid changes in blood sugar may not present accurately in less sensitive areas. The finger is usually best when monitoring for rapid changes in blood sugar.
    4. When testing on the finger, use the side of the finger, and test different fingers on each occasion. Most lancets allow the user to set how deep they penetrate the skin. People with thicker or drier skin should set the penetration higher.
    5. Before lancing the finger, position it against a solid surface. Apply the lance firmly but not forcefully.
    6. Gently squeeze the finger while holding it at chest level and allow a drop of blood to flow onto the test strip.
    7. Note and record the blood glucose reading following each test.

    Some people with diabetes also use an alternative blood test to measure glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). The procedure for this test is mostly the same but will produce different readings.

    Sometimes known as A1c, the test indicates blood sugar levels over several weeks.

    When should testing occur?

    A doctor might recommend testing at three different times, and often over the course of several days:

    • Morning fasting reading: This provides information about blood glucose levels before a person eats or drinks anything. Taking blood glucose readings before eating provides a baseline number. This number offers clues about glucose processes during the day.
    • Before a meal: Blood glucose before a meal tends to be low, so a high blood glucose reading at this time suggests difficulties managing blood sugar.
    • After a meal: Post-meal testing gives a good idea about how the body reacts to food, and if sugar can reach the cells efficiently. Blood glucose readings after a meal can help diagnose gestational diabetes, which happens during pregnancy. Most doctors recommend testing about 2 hours after a meal.

    The doctor will personalize the glucose monitoring schedule for the individual.

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