Gestational Diabetes: The Purpose of Blood Glucose Monitors

My pregnancy was smooth sailing until the time I found out that I have gestational diabetes. I had never heard of this condition before and I was really trying to eat healthy during my pregnancy, so the news came as an unpleasant surprise. But apparently, gestational diabetes is common among women during pregnancy, and you can get it even if you have never had diabetes before. In fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing types of diabetes in Australia that affects many pregnant women. This is the time when I was first introduced to a glucometer and measuring my blood glucose level became a part of my daily routine.

This simple device is used to instantly measure your blood glucose levels at home or whenever you happen to be. They are usually small and lightweight and provide accurate results in just a few seconds. You don’t need a prescription in order to purchase one, and you can buy it from a physical shop or as I did, conveniently buy glucometer from an online pharmacy.

Why Monitor Your Glucose Level

checking the amount of sugar in blood with glucometer

Keeping an eye on the blood sugar level is necessary when pregnant. This can help you avoid complications and long-term health problems both for you and your baby. Depending on your blood glucose level, proper treatment can be administered by your doctor and changed as necessary. Your doctor should advise you on the recommended blood glucose target levels and also on testing times. Depending on your test results, you might be prescribed medication such as insulin injections, moderate physical activity, special meal plans or need to make changes in your diet. This is all to give you a healthy pregnancy and help your baby avoid poor health in the future.

During the first weeks of recording my blood sugar levels, my doctor said that once we have the results, we can go through what was I doing right and wrong. As it turned out, I was eating too much yogurt and dried fruits that I had no idea they were full of sugar and had led to spikes in my blood sugar level. Obviously this was something that I had to cut down.

How Do You Use a Glucometer Step by Step

measuring sugar level with glucometer

There are many brands of glucometers on the market but they all usually work the same way. To measure your blood sugar levels, first and foremost you need to wash your hands with soap and water. That’s because you want to remove potential bits of fruit sugar that may be on the surface of your skin like if you handled fruit just before the test. If not washed away, this residue can make your blood sugar levels higher than they actually are.

Next, you need to provide the blood sample by using a finger pricker. There is less sensation in the sides of the finger that the tips, and therefore you can prick the sides of your fingers, near the tip. When a spot of blood appears where you pricked your finger, place it onto the end of the testing strip which is a long, thin paper-type strip that’s sticking out of the glucose meter. Lastly, wait for the testing results that will appear only after a few seconds on the device display screen.

Which Glucometer Is Best

checking blood sugar level with glucometer

Today’s glucometers for sale are even smaller, faster, more accurate and more features-packed than older models. The best options include ones that can display the results in just a few seconds, preferably not more than five seconds. Although the difference in seconds among different brands may not seem like much, but when you have to use glucometer sometimes even 3 to 5 times a day it sure makes sense to buy a model with a shorter test time.

If you are terrified of needles, look for a model that requires a minimal amount of blood, or less than 1 microliter of blood. Brands such as Accu-Chek require only 0.6 microliters of a blood sample, while FreeStyle needs only 0,3 microliters of blood to showcase your sugar levels.

Also, as already mentioned, while pregnant with diabetes, you need to track your blood glucose level numbers and keep a record so that the doctor can construct a plan that is tailored to your own needs. Therefore, you should invest in glucose meter that has great data storage capacity and more memory.

On a final note, to be quite honest, being diagnosed with gestational diabetes isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s manageable. Just make sure that you regularly check your blood sugar levels and stick to the treatment prescribed to you by your doctor.