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Checking Blood Sugar

Why should I check my blood sugar?

Well controlled blood sugar helps to minimize diabetes complications including: kidney damage, eye damage, and nerve damage in areas such as the feet and legs.

Checking your blood sugar is the best way to know how well you are managing your diabetes.  Regular blood sugar checks are vital to making decisions on how to treat diabetes.

When should I test?

Blood sugar can be tested throughout the day.  Testing your blood sugar before a meal can help you decide how much and what type of food to choose.  If blood sugar is low, you may choose to eat more food.  Likewise, if your blood sugar is high, it may be beneficial to eat less food.

Testing blood sugar after a meal provides instant feedback regarding food choices.  High blood sugar may result from too large of a meal, excessive carbohydrate, or a meal comprised only of carbohydrate.  Low blood sugar may be due to not eating enough carbohydrate.  Learn from what you ate and plan your next meal accordingly.

How often should I test blood sugar?

Speak with your doctor or diabetes educator about how often and when to test blood sugar.  It may be necessary to test up to 4 times per day.  Upon control of blood sugar, testing may occur less often.

What is the procedure for testing blood sugar?

Ask your diabetes educator about the procedure to test correctly.  Testing blood sugar involves placing a drop of blood on a test strip of a glucometer.  Blood is usually drawn from a fingertip using a lancet.  The glucometer provides the blood sugar results.

After I test, what should I record?

Record date, time, and blood sugar levels in a log.  Discuss the log entries with your diabetes educator or doctor.

What is an acceptable blood sugar range?

Work with your doctor or diabetes educator to set blood sugar level goals.  This is the best way to know how you are doing and what your numbers mean on a daily basis.

The American Diabetes Association recommends the following blood sugar ranges for those with diabetes:

Blood Sugar Ranges to Minimize Complications

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