Tuesday, October 4, 2022
HomeSugarHow To Check My Blood Sugar

How To Check My Blood Sugar


Blood Sugar Level Chart By Age

How To Test Your Blood Sugar Level

Blood sugar levels tend to rise with age due to an increase in insulin resistance and decrease in insulin sensitivity. In one study by the National Health Institute , each extra decade of age was linked to a 2.7 mg/dl increase in fasting glucose, and a 4.5 mg/dl increase in 2-hour post-prandial glucose levels.

Times To Check More Often

There will be times when you need to check more often, however you should first discuss this with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. Example of these times include when you are:

  • Being more physically active or less physically active
  • Sick or stressed
  • Experiencing changes in routine or eating habits, e.g. travelling
  • Changing or adjusting your insulin or medication
  • Experiencing symptoms of hypoglycaemia
  • Experiencing night sweats or morning headaches
  • A female planning pregnancy or are pregnant.
  • Pre/post minor surgical day procedures
  • Post dental procedures

Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you work out self-monitoring approach especially for you.

High Blood Sugar Causes

You may be thinking that hyperglycemia can happen just from eating a super-sugary food, but its not really as simple as that. Sure, eating a lot of sugar or carbs can elevate your blood sugar level, but thats typically when your pancreas kicks into gear and creates insulin to move that glucose into cells throughout the body.


But when someone has diabetes, this finely tuned system gets thrown out of whack. In type 2 diabeteswhich accounts for 90% to 95% of diabetes in adults, according to the CDCthe body either cant make enough insulin or cant utilize insulin well, according to the NIDDK. If someone has prediabetes, their blood glucose will be higher than normal but not quite in the type 2 diabetes range yet, per the NIDDK. And in type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin or makes very little.

In any case, the result is extra sugar hanging around the bloodstream, making you feel like total crap in the short term and putting your health at risk in the long term.

Read Also: Symptoms Of Diabetes Onset In Adults

What If I Cant Get A Drop Of Blood For A Fingerstick

If you want to get blood from your fingertip, try washing your hands in hot water to get the blood flowing. Then dangle your hand below your heart for a minute. Prick your finger quickly and then put your hand back down below your heart. You might also try slowly squeezing the finger from the base to the tip.

Know Your Blood Sugar

When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels?

Blood sugar is the amount of sugar in your blood at a given time. It’s important to check your blood sugar level, because it will:


  • determine if you have a high or low blood sugar level at a given time
  • show you how your lifestyle and medication affect your blood sugar levels
  • help you and your diabetes health-care team make lifestyle and medication changes to improve your blood sugar levels

Don’t Miss: Which Pancreatic Cells Release Insulin And Glucagon

What Hba1c Do I Aim For

The goal for most people with diabetes will be in the 6.5-7 percent range however this may need to be higher for some people including children and the elderly. Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you decide on a target that is both appropriate and realistic for your individual circumstances.

How To Check Blood Sugar Without A Meter

Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body either doesnt make enough insulin or doesnt use insulin properly or both. This can lead to a higher than normal blood sugar level.

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to complications, such as:

  • heart disease
  • nerve damage

For these reasons, its important to monitor your blood sugar if you have diabetes.


Prior to using meters, people with diabetes would monitor their blood sugar by testing their urine. This method, however, wasnt as accurate, nor did it provide real-time results.

If you self-test your blood sugar several times a day using a glucometer, or meter, it requires that you prick your finger to draw blood to test. Due to the discomfort of this method, you might look for a way to monitor your level without this tool.

If finger pricks are very bothersome for you, dont worry theres hope. Advances in blood sugar monitoring technology could mean no more finger pricks in the future.

If you have diabetes, there are several portable devices you can use to check your blood sugar level and not all of them require a finger prick.

Don’t Miss: Maximum Metformin Dosage


What Is The A1c Test

The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 2 or 3 months. The test is done at a lab or your doctors office in addition tonot instead ofregular blood sugar testing you do yourself.

A1C testing is part of the ABCs of diabetesimportant steps you can take to prevent or delay health complications down the road:

The A1C goal for most adults with diabetes is between 7% and 8%, but your goal may be different depending on your age, other health conditions, medicines youre taking, and other factors. Work with your doctor to establish a personal A1C goal for you.

Blood Sugar Level Charts For People With Diabetes

How to check blood sugars with a blood glucose meter

The American Diabetes Association suggests the following targets for most non-pregnant adults with diabetes:

Type of patient
  • Fast heart rate
  • Hunger

These symptoms cause you to lose the ability to think clearly and you may appear as behaving oddly. The low blood sugar symptoms you get and how severe they are vary from person to person.


You May Like: Prognosis Type 1 Diabetes

Choosing A Blood Glucose Monitor

A blood glucose monitor, testing strips, and a lancet to draw the blood are all necessary for testing. Some testing kits offer all three, while others require separate purchases for each piece.

People with diabetes use many testing strips, and so it may be wise to carefully consider the cost of the testing strips as well as the monitor.

Some other tips for buying a monitor include:

  • Select one with automatic coding to avoid the need to code in results with every test.
  • Check insurance plans to see if an insurer only covers certain monitors.
  • Look at whether the unit stores previous data.
  • Consider portability, since larger units can be difficult to carry around.
  • Think about blood sample size, particularly for people who do not like pricking themselves.

Monitors that require a smaller blood sample may be more comfortable as the depth of the lancet can be less.


Many people with diabetes have no signs of the disease at all. However, the lack of symptoms does not necessarily mean the absence of diabetes.

When symptoms occur, many of the effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the same since both affect blood sugar regulation in the body. Symptoms include:

  • increased hunger and thirst

Are You Leading An Active Lifestyle

Type 2 diabetes: when to check blood sugar for athletes and active people? Its said that activity helps control blood sugar levels and fight the disease. Your body becomes sensitive to insulin, and you may need more checkups when leading an active lifestyle. Its better to consult your doctor on this issue.

Read Also: How Many Points Does Metformin Lower Blood Sugar

What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar

In general, the American Diabetes Association’s recommended blood sugar levels are9:


  • Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
  • Less than 180 mg/dL after meals

Your range is yours alonebased on your health, age, level of activity and other factors. And remember that your target is a range you’d like to stay within, not a single number.

How To Use A Blood Sugar Meter

Proven Tips &  Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down ...

There are different kinds of meters, but most of them work the same way. Ask your health care team to show you the benefits of each. In addition to you, have someone else learn how to use your meter in case youre sick and cant check your blood sugar yourself.

Below are tips for how to use a blood sugar meter.

  • Make sure the meter is clean and ready to use.
  • After removing a test strip, immediately close the test strip container tightly. Test strips can be damaged if they are exposed to moisture.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dry well. Massage your hand to get blood into your finger. Dont use alcohol because it dries the skin too much.
  • Use a lancet to prick your finger. Squeezing from the base of the finger, gently place a small amount of blood onto the test strip. Place the strip in the meter.
  • After a few seconds, the reading will appear. Track and record your results. Add notes about anything that might have made the reading out of your target range, such as food, activity, etc.
  • Properly dispose the lancet and strip in a trash container.
  • Do not share blood sugar monitoring equipment, such as lancets, with anyone, even other family members. For more safety information, please see Infection Prevention during Blood Glucose Monitoring and Insulin Administration.
  • Store test strips in the container provided. Do not expose them to moisture, extreme heat, or cold temperatures.
  • Don’t Miss: Type 1 Diabetes Mayo Clinic

    Diabetes And Checking Blood Sugar

    How often do you check your blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? There are 3 common reasons for monitoring your blood sugar levels:


    • youre interested in the result but have no prescription for blood sugar monitoring.
    • you take insulin daily.
    • you arent prescribed the insulin injections.

    The last 2 points should be answered in more detail. Lets clear the issue and determine how often to check blood sugar type 2 diabetes in such cases.

    Why Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels

    Keeping an eye on blood sugar levels has many benefits. For example, testing before and after meals helps you see how eating certain foods affects those levels. Knowing this can help you adjust your food choices and medicine doses.

    Exercise also can change your blood sugar levels, so test them regularly when you’re active. This way you can tell whether your dose of diabetes medicine should be adjusted as you step up your physical activity.

    And because being sick can mess up how much diabetes medicine your body needs, know your blood sugar levels when you’re feeling ill. This can help you and your doctor to decide if you should use less or more medicine, depending on your diabetes management plan.

    If you manage your diabetes on your own most of the time, checking blood sugar levels also helps reassure your parents that you’re taking care of yourself.


    Recommended Reading: High Blood Sugar Symptoms Type 1

    Right Before Lunch Or Dinner

    Checking your blood sugar before your next meal can tell you two things:

    • How well your body and/or medication dosages handled your last meal
    • How well your body and/or medication dosages handled your blood sugar in the last few hours without food being digested.

    Keep in mind that some meals take longer to digest than others. High-fat meals that are also high in carbohydrates can take many hours to digest, affecting your blood sugar for many hours, too.

    A high blood sugar level before lunch or dinner could suggest:

    • What you ate or drank at your last meal was more than your body could handle on your current diabetes management regimen.
    • Your body may need some extra help from a diabetes medication.
    • Your current diabetes medications may need a change in dosage.
    • Your current diabetes medication may not be the right fit for you.
    • Its time to try a different type of diabetes medication.
    • Your overall insulin production or insulin resistance level has changed and your body needs more support from a new or current medication.

    A low blood sugar level before your next meal could suggest:


    • Youre getting too much of a certain diabetes medication .
    • Your insulin sensitivity or insulin production has improved, which means your medication dosages need to be adjusted by your healthcare team.

    Talk to your healthcare team about making any adjustments to your diabetes regimen to help you achieve your blood sugar goals.

    How To Reduce Blood Sugar

    Checking Blood Sugar (Glucose) Level | How to Use a Glucometer (Glucose Meter)

    You can take steps to reach your blood sugar goals as soon as you find out that it is high. This is how to reduce blood sugar if you have a single high reading that may be dangerous:

    • Ask your doctor what to do if you missed a dose of insulin or another diabetes medication
    • Ask your doctor if your medication types and doses are still appropriate for you
    • Drink water to dilute the sugar
    • Exercise for 15 minutes
    • Eat a small protein snack, such as a hard-boiled egg, ½ ounce of peanuts or pistachios or other nuts, ½ cup of beans, or ½ cup of plain yogurt or cottage cheese

    If you have chronically high blood sugar in prediabetes or diabetes, you can follow this treatment plan:

    • Exercise regularly, assuming your doctor approves it
    • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
    • Eat a higher proportion of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fruit
    • Limit sugary foods and beverages, fried foods, refined starches, and processed and fatty red meats
    • Beware of starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, which can spike your blood sugar. Check out our guide of which veggies to avoid!

    Recommended Reading: Insulin Alpha Cells

    How Do I Pick A Glucose Meter

    Your doctor will make a recommendation. Check with your health insurance plan to see if it will pay for your BGM, its supplies, or a CGM. If so, your plan may only pay for a certain meter.


    Shop around and compare costs. Consider what features are important to you. For example, some meters are made for people who have poor eyesight. If you want to pay a little more money, you can get a BGM that stores the results in its memory. This allows you to compare results from several days at one time.

    What Causes Blood Sugar To Be High

    Many things can cause high blood sugar , including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to long-term, serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar include:

    • Feeling very tired.
    • Having blurry vision.
    • Needing to urinate more often.

    If you get sick, your blood sugar can be hard to manage. You may not be able to eat or drink as much as usual, which can affect blood sugar levels. If youre ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.

    Also Check: What Happens In Type 1 Diabetes

    When Should I Check My Blood Sugar

    How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.


    Typical times to check your blood sugar include:

    • When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
    • Before a meal.
    • Two hours after a meal.
    • At bedtime.

    If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.

    What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels

    REVERSE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL TO NORMAL

    Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular physical activity can all help. Other tips include:

    • Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
    • Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
    • Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
    • Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
    • Drink water instead of juice or soda.
    • Limit alcoholic drinks.
    • For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
    • Control your food portions .

    Read Also: Adverse Reactions To Metformin

    Type 2 Diabetes: When To Check Blood Sugar

    You cant find the exact answer to the question because there are different cases in the medical practice:

    • Glucose monitoring is different if youre a newly diagnosed patient.
    • The number of fingertip practices varies if you lead an active lifestyle.
    • If there are any safety issues, you need to develop a personalized number of records.
    • If you cant use a lancet and test often due to health issues, it also must be mentioned.

    Lets take a look at each of the cases separately.

    Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Level

    Last Updated February 2021 | This article was created by familydoctor.org editorial staff and reviewed by Robert “Chuck” Rich, Jr., MD, FAAFP

    If you have diabetes, its important to monitor your blood sugar at different times of the day and throughout the year. There are 3 tools that can help you do this and, therefore, manage your diabetes: A blood test done every three months, blood tests taken every day, and a system that constantly monitors your blood glucose.

    The 3-month blood test is called an A1C test. This test reflects your blood sugar control over the past 2-3 months. Testing your A1C level every 3 months is the best way for you and your doctor to understand how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Your doctor will likely be the one who orders an A1C test. However, you can also purchase over-the-counter A1C testing kits that you can use at home. Your A1C goal will be determined by your doctor. However, the goal is generally less than 7% or 8%, depending on your age.

    The daily blood test is done with a blood glucose monitor . This is also called a home blood sugar meter, a glucometer, or a glucose meter. This type of testing is often referred to as self-monitoring of blood glucose. Your doctor may prescribe a BGM, especially if your blood sugar fluctuates. They will show you how to use it.

    Read Also: How Many Points Does Metformin Lower Blood Sugar

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Popular Articles