Accu-Chek Diabetes CareDiabetes currently affects 246 million people worldwide and is expected to affect 380 million by 2025. There are currently over 2.5 million people with diabetes in the UK and there are more than half a million people with diabetes who have the condition and don't know it. Even though diabetes affects nearly 4% of the world’s population, many people know very little about the disease.
Blood Glucose Monitoring
Controlling your blood glucose is very important part of managing diabetes. Regularly testing your blood glucose helps measure the effectiveness of your dietary planning, exercise and medication.
To self-test your blood glucose, you need a blood glucose meter, a test strip and a finger pricker. Then, follow these steps:
• Wash your hands in warm water and dry thoroughly. (this will remove and substances which may interfere with the test results).
• Prick the side of your finger with the lancing device to obtain a drop of blood.
• Apply the drop to the test strip as directed.
• Wait a few seconds to view your results.
• Discard the lancet and test strip properly.
If you are going out for the day and think hand-washing facilities won’t be available, pack a wet flannel in a plastic bag to wipe your fingers with before you test your blood sugar. It is best not to use 'wipes' as these can alter your blood glucose reading.
Accu-Chek is the brand of blood sugar-testing devices (glucose meters) and Insulin Pumps (including the Accu-Chek Combo System) manufactured by Roche Diagnostics, largely for the diabetic market. Accu-Chek is largely regarded as a top blood glucose monitor globally.
Accu-Chek Blood Glucose Monitor Kits contain: - a blood glucose meter which measures blood sugar via an inserted one-time-use strip (Accu-chek Aviva, Accu-chek Aviva Nano), which deploys a lancet marginally through the epidermis of the finger in order to allow a small amount of blood to be squeezed onto the strip in the monitor - a user manual - registration cards for the lifetime warranty.
Accu-Chek Diabetes Care: Accu-Chek products are designed to help you manage diabetes on your terms, whether you need a meter that fits your busy lifestyle, an insulin pump for 24/7 blood glucose management or software to help you track your results from day to day.
Accu-Chek Lancets: A pen-like device that pricks the skin with fine needle, or lancet, to obtain a blood sample for testing. A pricking needle used to obtain drops of blood for testing. Lancets are designed to only be used once, and then disposed of in a safe way. Using a lancet just once will make it more blunt, and therefore more painful to use. There are a variety of ways of getting rid of used lancets safely as they can carry infection. Some companies sell sharps boxes, and GPs can even prescribe sharps bins to dispose of lancets safely.
Accu-Chek Test Strips: Blood glucose test strips (diabetes test strips) are one of the components of a diabetes monitoring system. Diabetic test strips are an essential part of monitoring blood glucose. Diabetes test strips do not work on their own, they are used in conjunction with a blood glucose monitor. A diabetic pricks themselves in order to draw blood, which is then applied to the test strip. The blood glucose monitor is then able to detect how much blood glucose is present.
Choosing the right blood sugar meter
There are many blood sugar meters to choose from, so start by thinking about what's most important to you.
• Do you use blood glucose results to dose insulin? Make sure you're using a meter and test strips that provide accurate results. Roche quality control processes ensure consistent accuracy. Find out more about our accuracy commitment.
• Do you feel like you're always short on time? A blood sugar meter that gives results quickly or a system that doesn't require you to load test strips, code the meter or handle lancets each time may be right for you.
• Would you like to reduce the pain of testing? Choose a system with a lancing device specifically designed to minimize pain.
• Will you track results in the blood sugar meter or on a computer? Most blood sugar monitors have built-in memories, and many can beam data directly to your computer.
• Is it important to have your supplies covered by insurance? ACCU-CHEK products are covered on most healthcare plans and Medicare1 to help you save money on test strips.
Think about what will make testing easier for you, then look for a system that fits your needs.
How to test blood sugar?
To test your blood sugar level, collect your blood glucose meter, a test strip and lancing device.
Follow these steps:
• Wash and dry your hands using warm water may help the blood flow.
• Turn on the meter and prepare a test strip as outlined in your owner's booklet.
• Choose your spot don't check from the same finger all the time.
• Follow the manufacturer's instructions to prepare the lancing device and get a drop of blood from the side of your fingertip or other approved site.
• Check your blood sugar by touching and holding the test strip opening to the drop until it has absorbed enough blood to begin the test.
• View your test result and take the proper steps if your blood sugar is too high or low, based on your healthcare professionals' recommendations.
• Discard the used lancet properly.
• Record the results in a logbook, hold them in the meter's memory or download to a computer so you can review and analyze them later.
When to test blood sugar?
1. Routine or daily testing
Timing your routine or daily testing as recommended can help you see how your meals, medications and activities affect your blood sugar. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that you routinely test blood sugar levels as an effective part of any self-care program. For people using insulin, the ADA recommends testing 3 or more times a day.1 If you take another kind of medication, test your blood sugar level as often as your healthcare team recommends. Your logbook is a good way to keep track of routine testing results.
You and your healthcare team will determine when you should test your blood sugar based on your current health, age and level of activity, as well as the time of day and other factors. They may suggest that you test your blood sugar at any of the following times:
• Before each meal
• 1 or 2 hours after a meal
• Before a bedtime snack
• In the middle of the night
• Before physical activity, to see if you need a snack
• During and after physical activity
• If you think your blood sugar might be too high or too low, or falling
• When you're sick or under stress
2. Structured testing
In addition to your routine or daily testing schedule, you may want to consider testing your blood sugar levels in a structured way if you:
• Adjust your insulin or oral medication
• Begin a new medication unrelated to diabetes
• Change your activity program, meal plan, work or school schedule
Short-term structured testing supports your routine or daily testing by having you check your blood sugar before and after the things you do. It can help you determine if you're in a safe range and to problem-solve around how the things you do are connected to your blood sugar. Use these tools to make changes one step at a time, instead of trying to change everything at once.
If you find you're doing everything your healthcare team recommends but your A1C test result is rising, or if you don't feel well, be sure to talk with your healthcare professional. He or she can give you an ACCU-CHEK 360° View tool to complete to help you see your blood sugar patterns over 3 days. At a glance, you two will be able to quickly see patterns that can be used to make adjustments to your treatment plan that can help you feel better and lower your A1C.4
Once you know what to work on, you may decide to go a step further and try a 7-day challenge with the ACCU-CHEK Testing in Pairs tool. The easy-to-use ACCU-CHEK Testing in Pairs tool helps look at one thing and see the change with before-and-after testing. You can see changes in your blood sugar before and after a specific meal, exercise or other event. Use it for 7 days to see how one thing in your daily routine affects your blood sugar.
Take your completed tool to your next appointment so your healthcare professional can help you fine-tune your diabetes management.
Combining routine blood sugar testing and structured testing gives you a better view and a clearer picture of how your self-care program is working. You can then take one step at a time toward your goals to enjoy a longer, healthier life.
Using your blood glucose test results
Routine blood glucose testing is an essential practice in your daily self-care. It also helps you see how your body handles your blood sugar. When you look at the patterns in your numbers, you can see how different kinds of food, activity and stress affect your blood sugar. This can help you:
• Provide helpful information to your healthcare team
• Fine-tune your meals, medication or activities
• Improve your blood sugar and keep it within a healthy range
• Feel better and have more energy
• Reduce your risk of long-term complications
Most people with blood sugar levels in target range actually feel better. You can check the notes in your logbook to see how you felt when you were in your target range, and when you were out of range. These blood glucose testing numbers are clues to connect how the things you do affect your blood sugar.
Do highs or lows affect how I feel?
It’s not unusual for your blood glucose test results to be out of range now and then.
But if you see a pattern of highs or lows outside your target range, you may want to ask yourself:
• Did I change my meal plan or eat any unusual food?
• Did I change my physical activity?
• Did I forget to take my medication, take it at the wrong time, take too little or too much?
• Am I taking a new medication?
• Am I stressed about something?
• Do I have an infection or an illness?
• Did I drink alcohol?
It’s important to talk with your healthcare team when your blood sugar is:
• Extremely high or low
• High more than once in 24 hours
• Low more than once in 24 hours
• High or low at the same time on several consecutive days
Knowing your numbers puts you in control of your diabetes care.
Structured testing and pattern management
Structured testing supports your routine or daily testing by having you check your blood sugar before and after the things you do. It can help you determine if you're in a safe range and problem-solve around how the things you do are connected to your blood sugar. You simply do it over a short period at specific times to help you see how those things may affect your blood sugar levels. Seeing is believing.
Structured testing tools are:
• Designed to help you discover how to best use your numbers by showing you how your daily activities can have an effect on your blood sugar levels.
• Used to help you problem-solve to see why you're having highs and lows, to identify blood sugar patterns and to help you and your healthcare team decide if any adjustments are needed in your insulin therapy or other areas of your diabetes management.
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