Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

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    Your diabetic meter runs a performance check each time you turn it on, and displays an error code if a problem is detected. These error codes are listed in your owner’s manual. In addition, you should periodically test your meter’s performance with a liquid control solution, particularly when you start a new package of test strips or when you get an unusual result. It’s also a good idea to take your meter with you when you see the doctor and compare it against the one in the laboratory. If the results match, your diabetic meter is working properly.
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    Glucose test strips should be used for checking your blood glucose level if you have diabetes. With this information, you will be able to proactively maintain your blood sugar in the target range suggested by your medical professional. You can use glucose test strips with your monitoring device at home, at work, and when you travel.
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    Diabetic lancets are used to puncture the skin to get a blood sample that you test to determine how much glucose is in your blood. They are usually made of sharp steel encased in hard plastic and come in various gauges. A higher gauge produces a smaller puncture and may be less painful. With some lancets you prick yourself, but others are spring-loaded and pierce your skin without any help from you. Once your skin is punctured, you gently kneed the area to coax a drop of blood to the surface.
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    Follow your glucose meter manufacturer’s instructions for calibrating, setting date and time, and using control solutions. Check to make sure your strips are not outdated, and store them within the proper temperature limits. Strips can be ruined if they are kept outside the range of acceptable temperatures. If you have problems, there is a toll-free number on the back of the meter that you can call for help. Read the instructions for possible test sites.

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    Diabetic lancets are an important part of diabetic testing to help your doctor monitor how well you are managing the condition. If you are too squeamish to prick yourself or have a very low tolerance to pain, your doctor will suggest an alternative.
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    If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely recommend the type of meter best for you. Ask your doctor to show you how to use the meter, as well as to advise you how to interpret and respond to the results.
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    Most people only use glucose test strips under a doctor's orders and advice, and your doctor should generally be informed about all conditions, medications, and self-monitoring devices you use to control your diabetes. Your doctor can tell you if any of the medications that you are using can interfere with the glucose test strips you use. Also, if and when you are hospitalized for your diabetes or any other reason, tell the medical professional which glucose test strips you are using so that any potential interference with new medications can be prevented.
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    Meters run on batteries, but each model handles batteries differently. Find out what kind of battery your meter takes before purchasing it. Consider the cost and ease of replacing the batteries.

    Some models allow you to buy the battery and insert it into the meter yourself. These batteries might be specific to the meter and therefore could be more expensive and difficult to find. Or these batteries might be standard batteries (such as AA or AAA) that run in devices like flashlights or remote controls and therefore be cheaper and easier to find. Still other meters have no replacement batteries.

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    You should check your insurance plan before buying a blood glucose meter to make sure it's covered. Some insurance companies only cover certain meters, so you may not get reimbursed if you buy a different one. Call your insurance company first and ask about the types of meters that they will cover. Once you know what's covered, shop around for the best meter that's covered, at the best price.
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    Glucose monitor kits are electronic devices used to check the amount of glucose in your blood. They are designed so that you can easily check your own glucose level without professional assistance. Glucose is blood sugar that your body uses to produce energy. Your body usually regulates the amount of glucose in your blood. However, diabetic people have trouble regulating their blood sugar and have either too much or too little in their bodies. Using a glucose monitor kit allows you to see exactly how much blood sugar is currently in your body. Therefore, you will be able to track how different foods, exercise, and your treatment affect your glucose level. You can quickly find out if your blood sugar is dangerously low or high.