If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you’ve probably been told that you need to measure your insulin levels for blood sugar monitoring. And you’re probably wondering how often you should measure your insulin levels.
How Often Should You Measure Your Insulin Levels?
This question pops up very often for patients newly diagnosed with diabetes. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer. How often you should measure your insulin levels depends greatly on your treatment regimen and your unique circumstances. Therefore, the answer should come from your doctor or primary care physician.
Importance of Measuring Insulin levels
Though the frequency with which you measure your insulin levels depends on your circumstances and treatment, one thing is for sure: if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, whether Type 1 or 2, you will certainly need to monitor your blood sugar by measuring your insulin levels.
When you have diabetes, your body lacks insulin. Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas to help blood sugar be utilized by the cells of the body as fuel. When your body doesn’t produce insulin or produces inadequate insulin, the sugar in your blood does not get converted into usable energy.
When the sugar in your blood doesn’t get converted into usable energy for your cells, you’re prone to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Some symptoms of hyperglycemia include increased thirst, frequent urination, feeling tired, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, stomach pain, dry mouth, racing heart, and fruity breath odor.
Meanwhile, symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness or feeling jittery, anxiety, feeling tired or weak, sweating, hunger, nausea, dizziness, or lightheadedness, difficulty speaking, and confusion.
Leaving someone with diabetes in a state of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia for long can lead to lasting and potentially fatal consequences to their health. Therefore, it’s absolutely important that one monitors their blood sugar if they have Diabetes so they can adjust their lifestyle and treatment to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
How to Measure Insulin Levels
There are three methods you may use to measure your insulin levels. Depending on which method is readily available to you or which method is recommended by your doctor, you may choose to use any one of the following methods.
Prick From The Fingertip
The most common method of measuring insulin levels is by pricing the tip of your finger using a small and sharp needle or lancet. Then, you put a drop of blood on a test strip. Place the test in a meter which should give you a reading of your insulin level.
This is the preferred way of measuring insulin levels because blood fluctuations happen the fastest at your fingertips, therefore providing the most timely reading of your blood sugar.
Draw Blood From Other Areas Of The Body
Another way to measure insulin levels is by using meters that measure insulin levels from blood drawn from other areas of the body besides your fingertips. Blood can be drawn from your upper arm, forearm, the base of your thumb, or your thigh.
The results from blood drawn from other areas of the body may be different from that taken from your fingertip because insulin levels fluctuate all the time and blood in some areas of the body are quicker to reflect this.
If you’ve just eaten or exerted yourself doing any sort of activity, this will have an impact on your insulin levels. Blood from your fingertips changes more quickly than everywhere else so it is ideal to use fingertips when possible for a more timely and accurate reading.
Utilize Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)
Though pricking your finger to measure your insulin levels will tell you about your blood sugar at the time, it cannot give you comprehensive data on how your blood sugar level is behaving over an extended period.
In such cases, patients with Diabetes wear Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices to provide data on their insulin levels 24/7. CGM devices have a sensor which is inserted just underneath your skin, usually in your belly or arm. The sensor measures your insulin levels then wirelessly transmits data to a wearable device or your cell phone.
CGM is often used to paint a clearer picture of how diabetes is affecting you. With constant blood sugar tracking, CGM provides you a lot more information which can help you better understand how food, activities, and even stress and illness influence your blood sugar.
Using this data, your doctor can modify your diabetes treatment so that it can be more suited to your lifestyle and circumstances. Moreover, CGM gives you the advantage of knowing changes in your blood sugar before you even feel the symptoms. This gives you a heads start so you can make changes in your treatment to avoid experiencing the side effects of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
Do an A1C Test
Hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test, also known as A1C test, is a lab test where your blood is measured to get your average insulin levels in the last 3 months. This test is most commonly used to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes.
But even if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes already, you still need to get an A1C test at least twice a year or more if your doctor sees the need. An A1C test can help your doctor understand how well you are responding to your diabetes treatment. If your results are too high or too low, then your doctor may adjust your treatment.
When to Call Your Doctor
When you experience symptoms of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, you should immediately check your insulin levels and follow your treatment plan based on the results. This should help ease your symptoms within a few hours.
In the event that you don’t feel better or begin to feel worsening symptoms, get emergency medical attention. You may be entering a diabetic coma where you feel like you’re about to pass out. Call 911 or if you’re with someone, have them stay with you so they can inform the medical professionals that you have diabetes.
Refill Your Insulin Prescription With Us
One of methods used in treating diabetes is through insulin medication. If your doctor prescribed you Insulin medication, taking it regularly as your doctor instructed is vital to your health.
If you need to buy insulin, go to PharmaServe! At PharmaServe, we have insulin for sale online, alongside many other Diabetes medications. Order online, by phone, or through email and we’ll ship your Insulin medication to your doorstep.