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When Should Blood Sugar Be Checked


Gaining Insights From Routine Blood Glucose Testing

When to Check Your Blood Sugar

Day-to-day blood sugar checks can give you a good idea of how you’re doing at this moment, and they can be reviewed overall to see trends. They can help answer questions such as:

  • Are your medications working as they should?
  • How does the type or amount of food you eat affect your blood sugar?
  • How does activity or stress affect your blood sugar?

What Should I Do After I Check My Blood Glucose

Write the blood glucose number in a log book or on a log sheet , and:

  • Include all of your blood glucose numbers.
  • Write a comment if there is a reason the blood glucose is above or below target.
  • Take your blood glucose meter with you when you are away from home.
  • Know your blood glucose numbers when you call the clinic or the doctor.
  • Bring your blood glucose meter and blood glucose records to all your appointments.
  • Bring a list of any questions that you may have.

What Should My Blood Sugar Goals Be

Blood sugar goals may be different for each person, and can change throughout the day. The American Diabetes Association recommends these blood sugar goals:

  • Before meals: 80 to 130 mg/dL
  • Two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL
  • Before bedtime: 100-150 mg/dL. If the level is less than 100 mg/dL, have a snack.

Recommended Reading: How Do You Know If You Have Type 1 Diabetes


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.

Before And After Meals And Snacks

Doctor Checking Blood Sugar Level With Glucometer Stock Photo

If you eat first thing in the morning, your first blood sugar check of the day can also count as your pre-meal check, but if you dont, youll need to check again before breakfast.

This can inform you as to how much insulin youll need for your meal . If youre running a little high, youll need to bolus extra, but if your blood sugar is on the lower end, you can take a little less insulin for any carbohydrates eaten.

Checking before every meal and snack can help curb postprandial glucose excursions, otherwise known as the stubborn high blood sugars you sometimes can experience after eating a meal and not adequately bolusing for said meal.


Ideally, you should also be checking 2 hours after all meals as well, to determine if your meal bolus was adequate, if you took too much insulin, or if you need to adjust and take more insulin.

Two hours is the recommended time frame, because by then most carbohydrates have been absorbed into the body and most fast-acting insulin has already peaked.

When checking before snacks , make sure youre calculating any active insulin on board so you dont overtreat a high and end up going low.

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Make A Note Of Your Readings

It may sound obvious, but you must record your readings. Note them down in a diary, a notebook or in your phone calendar. Some meters have software that lets you do this. You could try a diabetes app too.


You and your healthcare team can then look back over your results to see if you need to adjust your treatment.

How To Reduce The Pain Of Blood Sugar Checks

Nobody gets excited about pricking their fingertip. In fact, studies have shown that it’s one of the main reasons people refrain from regularly checking their blood glucose.6,7 So how can you make this less of a hurdle in your self-care?

Select a less-painful lancing device

Naturally, one factor that can contribute to the pain is your lancing device. That’s why we’ve worked hard to ensure that Accu-Chek lancing devices keep discomfort to a minimum. For example, our lancing devices feature:

  • Technology that minimizes side-to-side motion, so there’s less skin tearing
  • 11 customizable depth settings to help match your skin type
  • Precisely manufactured, beveled, thin-gauge lancets to ensure smoother entry

You can reduce pain by using a fresh lancet for every test. Today’s lancets are so tiny that just a single use can bend or dull the tips. This can make them hurt more as you reuse them.

5 tips for reducing fingertip pain

You can make testing more comfortable and help ensure that you get a good sample on the first try by following these 5 easy steps.


  • Make sure that your hands are clean and dry. Washing your hands with warm water and hanging your hand at your side for a few minutes may increase blood flow.3
  • Lance on the side of the fingertip rather than the pad. The pad of your fingertipwhere your fingerprints are most visibleare some of the most sensitive parts of your body.8
  • Keep the skin taut by pressing the lancing device firmly against the skin.
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    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.

    Check Your Blood Glucose Levels

    How often should i get my blood sugar checked if diabetic or not – diabetes type 1

    For many people with diabetes, checking their blood glucose level each day is an important way to manage their diabetes. Monitoring your blood glucose level is most important if you take insulin. The results of blood glucose monitoring can help you make decisions about food, physical activity, and medicines.

    The most common way to check your blood glucose level at home is with a blood glucose meter. You get a drop of blood by pricking the side of your fingertip with a lancet. Then you apply the blood to a test strip. The meter will show you how much glucose is in your blood at the moment.

    Ask your health care team how often you should check your blood glucose levels. Make sure to keep a record of your blood glucose self-checks. You can print copies of this glucose self-check chart . Take these records with you when you visit your health care team.


    Read Also: How Does It Feel When Your Blood Sugar Is High

    When Should You Check Your Blood Sugar Levels

    Its important that people who suspect they have diabetes or pre-diabetes monitor their glucose levels regularly, checking at least once daily and charting the results in order to know what is normal for themselves. If it seems like something isnt quite right with ones blood glucose. It may be time to talk to a doctor about getting a diabetes diagnosis. Its also important that parents make sure their children are well aware of any symptoms of high or low blood sugar. So they know when they need to alert an adult about what might be going on if their parents are not around.

    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.


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    When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About My Blood Sugar Level

    Proper blood sugar ranges are different for each person and can change throughout the day. Your healthcare provider will tell you what your range should be. Call your healthcare provider if one of the following occurs:

    • Your blood sugar test results are higher than usual for more than 2 days for an unknown reason.
    • Your blood sugar level is low more than 2 times a week.

    Make Physical Activity Part Of Your Daily Routine

    Should You Get Your Blood Sugar Checked?

    Set a goal to be more physically active. Try to work up to 30 minutes or more of physical activity on most days of the week.

    Brisk walking and swimming are good ways to move more. If you are not active now, ask your health care team about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you. Learn more about being physically active with diabetes.

    Following your meal plan and being more active can help you stay at or get to a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, work with your health care team to create a weight-loss plan that is right for you.


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    Factors That Affect How Often You Need To Test Your Blood Sugar

    How often do you check your blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? There are clear rules to check blood sugar levels.

    • You should know about the severity of your case.
    • Age also influences the frequency of checkups.
    • The time you suffered from the disease determines the number of checking procedures.
    • Being pregnant is another factor that affects the testing procedures.
    • Different complications should also be mentioned when it comes to testing procedures.

    The number of blood sugar tests per day should be discussed with the doctor. These are the factors that may influence their choice.

    How Do I Measure My Blood Sugar Level

    Follow your doctors advice and the instructions that come with the BGM or CGM. Different meters work differently, so be sure to check with your doctor for advice specifically for you. With a BGM, youll usually follow the steps below:

    • Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test.
    • Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that youre going to prick. For most glucose meters, you will prick your fingertip. However, with some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or the fleshy part of your hand. Ask your doctor what area you should use with your meter.
    • Prick yourself with a sterile lancet to get a drop of blood.
    • Place the drop of blood on the test strip.
    • Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into your glucose meter.
    • The meter will give you a number for your blood sugar level.

    If you have a CGM, youll follow the insertion directions that come with the monitor. Once its warmed up, the transmitter wirelessly sends the data to your computer or smartphone.


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    Avoid Excessive Exercise Late At Night

    Try to avoid any exercise late at night before going to bed. If your blood sugar is less than 5.6 mmol/L or 100 mg/DL before sleeping and you do want to exercise make sure you double your food portion. If you do excessive exercise late at night this can lead to increased blood sugar during the next day.

    Are There Factors In Your Life That Limit Your Ability To Test Often

    How to check your blood sugar

    How often do you check your blood sugar with type 2 diabetes if there are any limitation factors? There may be different cases when you cant test often. In such situations, doctors advise their patients to try at least once a day. However, the final decision on the testing procedures should be discussed with your doctor.

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    Exercise And Blood Sugar Testing

    When we exercise, our muscles use glucose as a source of energy and this increased energy use persists after exercise, says Celeste Thomas, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the department of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the University of Chicago. This puts some people with diabetes at risk for low blood sugar during and after exercise. For anyone taking insulin, checking your blood sugar both before and after exercising can help you keep tabs on any sudden drop. Adjusting your blood sugar-lowering medication prior to exercise and eating carbohydrates prior to or during a workout can help stabilize those readings, says Wolf.


    How To Test Your Blood Sugar

    What should my blood sugar be when I wake up? You already know the answer, but you should also know the correct way to test your blood sugar. To get an accurate reading, check your blood sugar level in 10-15 minutes of waking up in the morning. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before you test any contaminant can cause inaccuracies. Avoid any caffeinated beverages before you test because it can lead to a spike in blood sugar.

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    Can I Do A Fasting Blood Sugar Test At Home Instead

    There are kits that allow you to test your blood sugar at home. But they should not be used to diagnose diabetes.

    The results are often not as accurate as tests by a healthcare provider. Several factors can affect accuracy, such as:

    • Environmental conditions.
    • Unclean skin on the finger being pricked.
    • Expired or damaged test strips.
    • Not enough blood in the testing sample.

    At-home blood testing kits are intended to help people who have already been diagnosed. They help people with diabetes manage the condition and understand what factors affect their blood sugar.


    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Fasting blood sugar is a simple, common blood test to diagnose prediabetes, diabetes or gestational diabetes. Before the test, you shouldnt have anything to eat or drink for 8 to 12 hours. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need a fasting blood glucose test.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/17/2021.

    References

    Hours After Eating A Meal

    When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels?

    Checking your blood sugar approximately 1 to 2 hours after eating is hugely important, because it tells you if your body has the tools it needs in order to handle your meals. Being consistently higher or lower than your goal range after eating can tell you some very important and clear things about your current diabetes management regimen.

    A high blood sugar level 1 to 2 hours after eating 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.

    A low blood sugar level in the hours after eating 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.

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    Before During & After Exercise

    Checking your blood sugar around exercise is especially important for people who take insulin or other diabetes medications that can cause low blood sugar. Remember to always carry fast-acting carbohydrates with you while exercising.

    Especially if youre new to exercise and fitting it into your diabetes management routine, its extremely important to check your blood sugar before, during, and after exercise to identify and prevent low blood sugars.


    A low blood sugar level before, during, or after exercising:

    • 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.

    A high blood sugar level during, or after exercising can happen, too, although its less common in Type 2 diabetes. Certain types of exercise like weightlifting, spinning, sprinting can trigger your liver to release stored sugar for extra fuel.

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

    Check Your Blood Sugar If:

    • You have symptoms of low blood sugar . This includes dizziness, shaking, sweating, chills, and confusion.
    • You have symptoms of high blood sugar , which include sleepiness, blurry vision, frequent urination, and excessive thirst.
    • You have a job in which poor blood sugar control could cause safety problems.
    • You need help deciding if its safe to drive or perform other tasks that require concentration if you are taking insulin or have had hypoglycemia in the past.

    You need to learn how meals, physical activity, and medicine affect your blood sugar level.

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    How Do I Take Care Of My Blood Glucose Meter

    • Set the date and time when you get a new meter.
    • Make sure the date and time are right each time you use your meter.
    • Use the control solution as needed. This will let you know the meter and test strips are working right. Use it:
    • When you get a new meter.
    • When you get new test strips.
    • When you think that the meter is not giving you the right blood glucose number.
  • Keep the meter and test strips out of very hot or very cold temperatures. This can cause blood glucose numbers to be wrong.
  • Keep meter and test strips in a case, away from sunlight.
  • Keep test strips in the container they come in. Keep the lid closed.
  • Keep extra batteries with your meter.
  • There is a phone number on the back of each blood glucose meter. Call that number if your meter is not working or you have questions about how to use your meter.
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