The mere thought that either you or your dear ones may be suffering from diabetes can be frightening. However, there is no need to fear, especially due to the availability of easy to do, affordable diagnostic tests that can be put to use at home. If lately, you have been observing a few distinct changes that are indicative of either diabetes mellitus 1 or 2, you must opt for home testing kits.
These tests are extremely useful for those people who have less time to spare and even aged people. In case, these at-home tests reveal readings that exceed the normal limits, you can take medical help at the earliest. Let’s take a look at these tests and their significance.
Reliable Home Tests For Diabetes
Blood Sugar Meter
An at home blood sugar test records the level of glucose, a type of sugar in the blood stream. All this simple test requires is a small sized, portable electronic device, called blood glucose meter. There is an array of blood sugar monitors which range in price, from as low as $20 to $80. These digital gadgets are available with a pack of test strips as well as lancets. Using the lancet device, you can prick the tip of your finger (middle finger forms a suitable choice) and place the small droplet of blood prior to placing it in the blood sugar meter to receive an accurate reading.
You must pay attention to a few relevant features before purchasing an appropriate blood sugar meter to be used at home. It is better to give preference to those models which keep a record of more number of previous readings, have a compact design and are not too complicated for use. Also, do not forget to follow each instruction provided with the meter. Make sure you have clean hands before pricking as any residual sugar or lotion may result in pseudo readings.
Ideally, the fasting blood sugar level should vary between 70-130 mg/dl. And, one of the most common error people make is that they re-use lancets. You must not do so as repeated use of the same lancet can put you at a risk of germ exposure.
At Home Hemoglobin A1C Kits
Another reliable way of confirming whether or not you have diabetes without heading to the doctor’s clinic is At home Hb A1C kit; for example, the easy to carry ‘A1C Now SELFCHECK’. Using this kit, one can not only find out the level of hemoglobin A1C, but also find out the average blood sugar level for the last ninety days (3 months).
If the results are below 6% (A1C), you do not have diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), those with diabetes should not haveA1C level going beyond 7%. One of the main advantages offered by this test is that it can be done at any time of the day as A1C remains unaffected by stress or diet. Use the kit to find out A1C Hb level within a matter of five minutes.
Till date, only ‘A1C Now SELFCHECK,’ provides instant results at home. Other home kits require the blood drawn to be sent over to a laboratory for interpretation and results (in 3-6 weeks). However, this kit is not meant for frequent use. The ADA states that this particular test must be conducted once or twice in a year instead of daily.
Urine Test Strips
If you are too scared of getting your finger pricked, here is a less invasive diagnostic option. You can purchase urine test strips (also called Dipstick) from drug stores to evaluate your metabolic status.
To test your level of glucose, entirely dip one strip in the sample of urine and let it rest. It is easy to compare the colour change with a standard chart (provided with the package). It is preferable to perform this test first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.
This at home diabetes test does not take too long and is convenient to carry out within the confines of your home. As compared to the other tests, this is not considered too accurate. Therefore, if in case you notice a colour change, it is better to re-check the results using a blood glucose meter.
When To Seek Medical Consultation
If you tested your blood sugar level at home, and got a reading that exceeded 130mg/dl, it is better to visit a doctor for more accurate analysis and professional tests. Remember, high level of blood sugar is associated with multiple complications, one of them being diabetic ketoacidosis(which requires medical intervention without any delay).