Know What Your Levels Are:
Managing diabetes is all about balance. People with diabetes have to balance food, medication and exercise to keep blood sugar levels in an acceptable range because their bodies can no longer do it for them. Regular self-monitoring of blood glucose levels (SMBG) gives them a handle on where their blood sugar levels are right at the moment that they test. Some foods and activities can influence blood glucose and it's good to know which situations will put blood sugar out of the acceptable range.
Good Control Keeps Complications at Bay:
Consistently high blood sugar causes complications in the eyes, kidneys and the extremities such as hands and feet. These areas of your body have very small blood vessels and nerves that become damaged by the excess sugar that circulates in the blood. The longer the blood sugar is high, the more severe the damage. This damage is called neuropathy. Tight control of blood glucose levels using SMBG will prevent, delay or lessen the risk of diabetes-related complications.
Assess The Effectiveness Of Your Medications:
Keeping tabs on your blood sugar also helps you see how effective your medication or insulin is in controlling your glucose levels. If your medication isn't keeping your blood sugar in the right range, it needs to be adjusted. Frequent testing can help you and your doctor make the right choices for doses and medications.
Prevent Life-threatening Glycemic Emergencies:
Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) can occur during stress or taking other medications that affect blood sugar. Testing can help you keep better watch on blood sugar so you can take the appropriate steps before it goes too high. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) happens when your blood sugar levels dip too low. You should test before, during or after exercise to avoid a dangerous drop in blood sugar. If you are drinking alcohol, you should also test frequently because alcohol can lower blood sugar.
Help Your Heart:
There is an increased risk of heart disease for people diagnosed with diabetes. Inflammation, just like the inflammation that attacks the blood vessels of the eyes, kidneys and feet also attacks the blood vessels of the heart. It occurs slowly over time when blood sugar is consistently high. To save your heart, keep your blood sugar in control to the best of your ability. Frequent SMBG is the best tool for the job.