Type 1 diabetes needs to be monitored. This includes:
Blood glucose should be tested at least 4 times per day (before breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime). Some people may need to check it more often.
It can be monitored using a home kit. It includes a special device to obtain a drop of blood. The drop of blood is applied to a test strip used with a glucometer device. The device reads the test strip and displays the test result. This information can be shared with a person's doctor to help manage care.
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)
HbA1c is a blood test that shows a person's average blood glucose level over 2 to 3 months.
Test results are given in percentages:
- Less than 7%:—good diabetes control
- 7% to 8%—moderate control
- 8% to 9%—fair control
- Greater than or equal to 9%—poor control
A ketone test checks the urine or blood for ketones. The body breaks down fat when it cannot use glucose for energy. Ketones are a by-product of this process. Large amounts of ketones can lead to a deadly problem called diabetic ketoacidosis. It needs to be treated right away.
A ketone test has strips that are passed through the stream of urine or placed it in a cup of urine. The strip is compared against a color chart that shows whether ketones are in the urine. Ketones in the blood can be found using special glucose meters.
American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes-2019. Diabetes Care. 2019. Jan; 42 (Suppl 1):S1-193.
Diabetes mellitus type 1. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/diabetes-mellitus-type-1-34. Updated June 28, 2019. Accessed November 22, 2019.
Type 1 diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/type-1. Accessed November 22, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD Last Updated: 12/8/2020