How Often Should You Check Your Blood Sugar
As with most things dealing with diabetes, this all depends on your particular body and lifestyle. Work with your care team and doctor to determine the appropriate number of times per day that you should be checking your blood sugars.
Know that not only is everyone different, but peoples needs for more or less frequent checking can change over their lifetime.
For instance, when someone is pregnant, their need for checking goes up immensely, and conversely, if someone with type 2 diabetes weans their way off of insulin, they may need to check less frequently as their likelihood of hypoglycemia is lower without exogenous insulin in their system.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people with type 1 diabetes should at a minimum check between 4 and 10 times per day, and people with type 2 diabetes may only need to check a few times a day , and maybe not at all if they are not on insulin.
But lets be clear: you can check as many times as you need to, and however often youd like . There is nothing wrong with checking more often or whenever you like.
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels
You might want to measure your blood sugar before meals to get a baseline, and then two hours after your meal to measure your normal blood sugar level. Your doctor might also suggest measuring blood sugar before bed to be sure you have been eating well throughout the day and can go to sleep with peace of mind.
These are considered within the range of normal:
- Less than 140 mg/dl if you do not have diabetes.
- Less than 180 mg/dl if you have diabetes.
Blood Sugar Instability Symptoms
Insulin resistance does not happen all-of-a-sudden. Rather it builds over time and increasingly contributes to health problems. Understanding the signs of poor blood sugar control is the best way to be proactive in this regard. There are several telling signs that your body is not stabilizing blood sugar effectively.
Some of the most common include:
- Unstable Energy Levels
- Sudden Intense Hunger
Most commonly, these symptoms arise simply because someone is consuming too many carbohydrates and sugar throughout the day. This is why I always start with a Keto Metabolic Makeover to kick start a fat-burning state and help people step off the blood sugar rollercoaster. If you are commonly experiencing these symptoms, it is imperative to test blood sugar levels periodically as these symptoms can be effectively controlled by doing so.
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How To Choose A Blood Glucose Meter
There are many blood sugar meters to choose from, so start by thinking about what’s most important to you. Ask yourself a few questions.
- Are you concerned about accuracy? Make sure you’re using a meter and test strips that provide accurate results. Roche quality control processes ensure consistent accuracy. Find out more about our accuracy commitment.
- Do you use blood glucose results to dose insulin? The Accu-Chek Guide meter sends results directly to a smartphone app that includes an insulin calculator.5
- Do you feel like you’re always short on time? A system that syncs your data wirelessly, without manually entering results, can save time with every test. You may also want to consider a blood glucose meter that gives results quickly, makes it easier to handle test strips, doesn’t require coding, or simplifies lancing or dosing.
- Would you like to reduce the pain of testing? Choose a system with a lancing device specifically designed for comfort, such as the Accu-Chek FastClix lancing device. Precision-guided technology minimizes the lancet’s painful side to side motion and thin-gauge, bevel-cut lancets help ensure smoother entry. Plus, 11 customizable depth settings make it easier to get the right amount of blood the first time.
- Will you track results in the blood sugar meter, with an app or on a computer? Most blood sugar monitors have built-in memories, and many can beam or transfer data directly to your computer or an app on your smartphone, such as the mySugr app.
Monitoring Your Blood Sugar
Regular blood sugar monitoring is the most important thing you can do to manage type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Youll be able to see what makes your numbers go up or down, such as eating different foods, taking your medicine, or being physically active. With this information, you can work with your health care team to make decisions about your best diabetes care plan. These decisions can help delay or prevent diabetes complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. Your doctor will tell you when and how often to check your blood sugar levels.
Most blood sugar meters allow you to save your results and you can use an app on your cell phone to track your levels. If you dont have a smart phone, keep a written daily record like the one in the photo. You should bring your meter, phone, or paper record with you each time you visit your health care provider.
Sometimes having high blood sugar can feel like a test you didnt pass. But numbers are just numbers. Think of them instead as information. Did a certain food or activity make your levels go up or down? Armed with that knowledge, you can make adjustments and get closer to your target range more often.
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How To Use A Blood Glucose Meter:
- After washing your hands, insert a test strip into your meter.
- Use your lancing device on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood.
- Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood and wait for the result.
- Your blood glucose level will appear on the meter’s display.
Note: All meters are slightly different, so always refer to your user’s manual for specific instructions.
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Stomach pain.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.
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How To Test Your Blood Sugar Levels
After you wake up in the morning, check your fasting blood sugar levels using a blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitor . Before you use a blood glucose meter, the ADA recommends washing your hands and using the lancing device to get a drop of blood. After you hold the test strip against the drop of blood, your blood sugar levels should appear on the meter.
How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry or have other symptoms, check your blood sugar. Even if you dont have symptoms but think you may have low blood sugar, check it. If your blood sugar is lower than 70 mg/dL, do one of the following immediately:
- Take four glucose tablets.
- Drink four ounces of fruit juice.
- Drink four ounces of regular soda, not diet soda.
- Eat four pieces of hard candy.
Wait for 15 minutes and then check your blood sugar again. Do one of the above treatments again until your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above and eat a snack if your next meal is an hour or more away. If you have problems with low blood sugar, ask your doctor if your treatment plan needs to be changed.
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/8the Right Time To Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
The perfect time to check the fasting glucose levels is right after your wakeup. And the right time to check postprandial glucose levels is two hours after you have your meals.
A gap of two hours after a meal must be maintained to get the correct reading.
This helps you choose the right foods and medication. When you test before your meal, it tells you how much medication you need and when you test two hours after eating, you know if your medicines are working fine for you.
When To Test Your Blood Sugar
Depending on your unique needs, they may suggest testing blood sugar at any of the following times:
1. Before breakfast
Testing before youve had anything to eat or drink in the morning, also known as a fasting blood sugar, can let you know how well your body manages blood sugar while you sleep. It also gives you a baseline to see changes in your blood sugar throughout the day.
2. Before each meal
Checking blood sugar before meals tells people who inject insulin if they need to take a correction dose of insulin in addition to taking their bolus insulin to cover the meal. When testing in pairs , a pre-meal reading can act as a reference for how the food you eat and any pre-meal medications affect your glucose levels.
3. After each meal
The food you consume has a large effect on your blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association recommends testing 1 to 2 hours after the start of a meal. To determine if your blood sugar level is where it should be, work with your healthcare professional to establish your target after-meal glucose range.
4. Before bedtime
A blood sugar reading taken before bedtime can tell you if your blood sugar is in a safe range, or if you need to have a snack before going to bed. It is also a point of reference for your morning blood sugar test, to compare and get a picture of how your blood sugar levels changed overnight.
5. In the middle of the night
6. Before, during, and after physical activity
8. When youre sick or stressed
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Our Choice For The Best Glucose Meter: Contour Next Ez Diabetes Testing Kit
High blood sugar is an ever-increasing global health problem caused due to unhealthy lifestyle. To keep it in check, glucose meters are something that we usually use. Blood glucose or blood sugar is typically measured in milligrams per deciliter, or you can say mg/dL. Doctors usually use the best glucose meter for diabetes and perform two blood sugar tests basically on two separate occasions.
And two readings of the 126 mg/dL or greater confirm the presence of the chronic, incurable disease in your body. Also, a fasting blood sugar level between 100 to 125 mg/dL is a clear sign of prediabetes. And in healthy individuals, sugar is something that offers vital energy to the cells.
But if you have diabetes, then elevated blood sugar can act as slow poison. And high blood sugar makes it difficult for your body to function properly.
However, in short, if you have diabetes and you are concerned about your blood sugar levels, then a blood glucose meter will allow you to check blood sugar levels easily. But when it comes to purchasing one, there are quite a lot of options that are available out there.
And to help you out, I am going to share a list of some of the best blood glucose meters for you. So lets just go ahead and have a look at them:
If You Start Stop Or Change Any Medications
Different medications can have an effect on your blood sugar, for example, steroids and anti-psychotic medications increase your blood sugar levels according to the American Diabetes Association. Several medications, such as beta-blockers, bactrim, MAO inhibitors, and metformin can cause low blood sugar according to MedLinePlus. Whenever you start, stop or change medication, it is a good idea to frequently test your blood sugar until you understand how the medication affects your glucose levels.
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Measuring Blood Sugar Levels Throughout The Day
Should you be measuring blood sugar levels throughout the day? While its true that people with diabetes should measure their blood sugar at regular intervals, there are some distinctions regarding how often to test. This is dependent on whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, and what medications you are taking.
The tables below summarize target blood sugar levels at different times of day, and how often you should be measuring your blood sugar dependent on factors such as what type of diabetes you have, how recently you were diagnosed, and what medications you take.
Urine Checks For Glucose
Urine checks for glucose are not as precise as blood glucose checks and should possibly be utilized when blood testing is outlandish. Urine checks for ketones, in any case, is significant when your diabetes is wild or when you are wiped out. Everybody with diabetes should realize how to check urine for ketones.
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If Your Diabetes Medication Changes
When your medication for diabetes changes or is adjusted, its important to know how that change is working. The best way is to check your blood sugar levels more often, according to FamilyDoctor.org. Check your blood sugar levels before and after taking medication and keep track of the results to show your doctor.
Structured Blood Glucose Testing
Structured testing supports your routine or daily testing by giving you deeper, more targeted data to work from. It can help you determine if you’re in a safe range and problem-solve around how the things you do are connected to your blood sugar. You simply perform additional tests over a short period at specific times of day.
Structured blood glucose testing can help you:
- Discover how to best use your numbers
- See how certain activities can affect on your blood sugar levels
- Problem-solve around highs and lows
- Identify blood sugar patterns
- Work with your healthcare team decide if any adjustments are needed in your insulin therapy or other areas of your diabetes management
Pattern management: If you find that your A1C result is rising in spite of your best efforts, or if you don’t feel as well as you’d like, talk with your healthcare professional about the Accu-Chek 360° View tool. This simple paper tool helps you track your blood sugar over 3 days, so you and your doctor can quickly identify patterns that can guide adjustments to your treatment plan. As a result, you may be able to feel better and lower your A1C.2
Before-and-after testing: You may also decide to try the Accu-Chek Testing in Pairs tool. This easy-to-use, printable tool helps you see changes in your blood glucose with before-and-after testing. In just 7 days, you can see the effect a specific meal, exercise or other event has on your blood sugar.
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Oral Glucose Tolerance Test :
This test measures an individuals response to a glucose load. They are instructed fast similar to the FPG and then they are given a measured dose of glucose to consume within 5 minutes and the blood is measured both immediately after the drink is finished and 2 hours afterwards. The 2 hour measurement is major recording.
Normal OGTT levels should be under 140 mg/dl although most functional medicine doctors want to see them under 120 mg/dl. The pre-diabetic range is from 140-200 mg/dl and over 200 mg/dl is considered diabetic.
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Buying Guide For The Best Blood Glucose Meter
So those were some of the suggestions for the best accurate glucose meters. Now the question is how to pick the right one for yourself? Well, to make it easy for you, here are some of the things that you need to take in consideration:
One of the most important parts is the result delivery time. There are quite a lot of meters that offer you results in just a few seconds. But some of the best glucometer too take some time. However, waiting for a few minutes to get your test done does not seem like a big deal, though. But a meter with a short delivery time will surely make your job easy.
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How Often Should I Test My Blood Sugar Level
Your family doctor will recommend how often you should test. Testing times are based on the kind of medicine you take and on how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Youll probably need to check your blood sugar more often at first. Youll also check it more often when you feel sick or stressed, when you change your medicine, or if youre pregnant.
What Are Target Blood Sugar Levels For People With Diabetes
A target is something that you aim for or try to reach. Your health care team may also use the term goal. People with diabetes have blood sugar targets that they try to reach at different times of the day. These targets are:
- Right before your meal: 80 to 130
- Two hours after the start of the meal: Below 180
Talk with your health care team about what blood sugar numbers are right for you.
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