Testing your blood sugar levels can be done in a few different ways. Anyone can have the testing done quickly at a doctor's office, but people with diabetes or other illnesses that can affect blood sugar may need to know what it is on a daily basis. Checking your blood sugar levels at home can typically be done with either a urine test or a blood test. Of the two types of tests, a blood test is generally considered to be the most accurate. The instructions for both urine and blood tests may vary depending on the manufacturer of the test, but most work in a similar manner.
To check your blood sugar levels using a urine test, you will need some specialized urine test strips. These may be given to you by your doctor or purchased at various pharmacies. The process of checking the blood sugar with a urine test involves urinating into a cup and dipping the urine test strip into the urine sample. The strip changes colors to show where your blood sugar is at. These tests normally come with a color-coded reference chart so that you can compare your test results to the chart to find out what your levels are.
Checking your blood sugar with a blood test tends to be a little more involved than using a urine test. You can do this at home using a special device called a glucometer that will give a digital readout of your blood sugar levels. First, you'll have to prick the tip of your finger with a lancet, which normally comes with the glucometer. After you draw some blood, you'll need to press the meter strip of the glucometer onto the blood. When it has an accurate reading of your blood glucose levels, it will be displayed onscreen.
Normal blood sugar readings are typically between 70 to 100 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) for people without diabetes. People with diabetes may have blood sugar levels of 90 to 130 mg/dL. The levels will almost always be higher than normal just after you eat a meal, but they should fall back into the normal range after a few hours have passed. If you use a urine test kit, you may want to keep in mind that the results shown do not reflect your current blood glucose levels, but instead reflect the levels as they were a few hours before you tested. Only a blood test can tell you what your levels are at the exact moment you take the test.