Regular blood glucose testing is an important part of any diabetes management routine and home testing is an effective complement to on-demand lab tests and blood work. The test for HbA1c is the most popular as it gives your blood glucose reading for the two to three weeks prior to the test. It also gives an indication of the amount of glucose your red blood cells are carrying around your body.
The HbA1c target for diabetics is less than 48 mmol / mol. Research has shown that keeping your HbA1c levels below 48 can lower your chances of developing complications like eye disease, nerve damage, heart disease and kidney failure. People who are at high risk of severe hypoglycaemia (extremely low blood sugar) should try to keep their levels below 58 mmol / mol. Monitoring your HbA1c levels gives you the best chance of keeping your diabetes under control.
If you have a chronic disease that affects your red blood cells like thalassemia, sickle cell anaemia or anaemia your doctor is likely to order a fructosamine test which will give a reading of your HbA1c levels for the last 14 to 21 days.
Performing home tests or on-demand work, which we found can be ordered via HealthTestingCenters.com, can give you an idea of your blood glucose levels at any point but more specifically before they are so high that they start producing side effects, and can provide a bridging tool for you between on-demand lab tests and blood work. A home glucose test is a simple and convenient way to monitor your blood glucose levels. All you have to do is prick the side of your finger to draw blood and put the sample onto a testing strip and you will get an immediate result. Your doctor will advise you on how often you should be testing and which test you should be using. You should also record your results in a diary to keep track of patterns.
Before taking a blood sample at home always ensure that your hands are clean and that you have washed them with water and soap. Do not use wet wipes or the chemicals in them could affect your test results. You will then prepare an area of skin on the side of your finger, but not on your index finger or thumb, and try to avoid going too close to the nail as this could be painful. To avoid making the area sensitive look for a different area and finger each time you test. If blood is slow to draw hang your hands towards the ground. If you are having difficulty try and warm your hands up (try washing them in hot water) as the blood may be more difficult to draw and may hurt more if your hands are cold.