What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of diseases where the body isn’t able to properly use sugar (commonly referred to as glucose in the medical community). The body uses sugar for energy. It is found in foods such as bread, pasta, fruit, cakes, and candy. The body needs something called insulin to use sugar. Some people with diabetes don’t make insulin. Other people with diabetes make insulin, but their body won’t use it. This causes sugar to buildup in the blood. High levels of sugar in the blood can cause symptoms such as:
- Excessive urination
- Increased thirst
- Weight loss
Testing for Diabetes
There are a few ways to test for diabetes. Most of the tests check how much sugar you have in your blood:
- Fasting blood glucose: testing the blood at least 8 hours after your last food intake
- Random blood glucose: testing the blood at any time, no matter what or when you’ve eaten
- Hemoglobin A1c: This is a substance in your blood that indicates the average amount of glucose in your blood over the last 8-12 weeks.
If these tests are high, but you do not have symptoms of high blood sugar (see above), the test should be redone on a different day before a diagnosis of diabetes is made.
Using a family member’s Accuchek
When using a family member’s blood glucose meter, you are probably doing the random blood glucose test. However, it is important to remember that there are things besides diabetes that can cause a high blood sugar. Some of those things include eating more than normal, stress, being sick, or even having improperly cleaned skin when testing. If you do not have symptoms of high blood sugar, then the high Accuchek reading does not necessarily mean you have diabetes.
If you have a high blood sugar measurement, you should talk to your healthcare provider about it. However, we do not recommend performing an Accuchek on children without talking to your healthcare provider first.