David Mendosa, Diabetes Test Expert

David MendosaDavid Mendosa is the creator of Mendosa.com, a website dedicated to providing advice and information to people living with diabetes. Mr. Mendosa holds an M.A. degree, but his background relating to diabetes came about when he was diagnosed with the Type 2 form of the disease in 1994 while he was working as a professional journalist. Ever since, Mr. Mendosa has been working as a freelance writer who specializes in writing about diabetes.

What initially made you interested in becoming an avid diabetes researcher and writer?
When I learned that I have diabetes, I was a journalist who specialized in writing about small business. But I soon learned that diabetes interested me much more and that I had much more to contribute.

How does a typical at-home diabetes test work?
The most common diabetes test that people with diabetes use is self-monitoring of blood glucose with a blood glucose meter. These meters test what our blood glucose levels at that instant. High blood glucose levels are what cause the complications of diabetes. Testing involves four things: the meter itself, a small test strip that we insert into the meter, a lancing device, and a lancet. With the lancet we get a tiny drop of blood that we place on the test strip that the meter reads in a few seconds. The reading is our blood glucose level at that time.

How often do people with diabetes have to test their blood glucose levels?
People with diabetes who use insulin need to test their level much more often, usually at least before every insulin injection. People who don\t use insulin generally need to test their level once or twice a day.

What is the best time of day for people living with diabetes to test themselves?
This depends on how well controlled their blood glucose level is as measured by a test of their A1C, which tells their average level for the previous two or three months. If their control is good, meaning an A1C level of 7.3 or less, the best time to test is after meals, particularly after a big meal. Otherwise, the best time is before breakfast.

What is the most significant piece of advice you can offer to consumers regarding diabetes tests?
The reason why we test our blood glucose is to see the effects of what we eat, our exercise, our stress and infection on our level. We use that information to see what works to bring our levels down.

Do you have any further advice or suggestions regarding diabetes testing?
In addition to spot testing of our blood glucose levels with a meter, we must get a test of our average level for the previous two or three months. That is the A1C test. We can go to a lab with a doctor\s prescription or we can buy an inexpensive test to test our A1C level at home.

For more information on diabetes tests, please read our Diabetes Test Guide. To find a diabetes test, consult our Diabetes Test Directory.

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