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When Should You Take Your Blood Sugar


Stay Away From Stimulants

When should you test your Blood Sugar

Stimulants can affect your sleep cycle in a few different ways. Some stimulants have light addictive properties which create a decreased quality of sleep. Also, the brain needs time to wind down and feel relaxed for quality shut-eye so these drugs will not only make you anxious but they’ll also keep you up at night with the inability to fall asleep. One of the well-known stimulants is caffeine that can be found in Cola, coffee, and some teas. Stay away from this and other stimulants before bedtime to have a more natural night’s sleep.

Before A Meal And Two Hours After Eating

Testing your glucose before a meal and two hours after eating helps you make good decisions about foods and medication, according to Kaiser Permanente. Testing before eating will tell you how much food to eat and how much medication you need. Testing several hours after you eat gives you information on whether you are taking enough medication to cover the food you eat during a meal.

High Blood Sugar In The Morning: Is It The Dawn Phenomenon

If you have high blood sugar levels in the morning, you may be experiencing the dawn phenomenon, the name given to an increase in blood sugar that usually occurs between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., according to the Mayo Clinic. One reason this occurs: During the early hours of the morning, our bodies secrete higher levels of a hormone called cortisol, says Dr. Spratt. When cortisol levels are high, it can make you more resistant to insulin, a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar levels.

“Some people have a striking dawn phenomenon,” says Dr. Spratt. “You can look at their continuous glucose tracing and see that their blood sugar level suddenly goes up at 3 a.m.” If this is the case for you, your doctor may adjust your insulin medication or suggest you use an insulin pump .


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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.

When Should I Be Measuring My Blood Sugar Levels Throughout The Day

How Often Should You Check Your Blood Sugar?

According to the Diabetes Canada clinical practice guidelines, the schedules for testing blood sugar should be as follows:

SituationHow often to check blood sugar
Type 1 diabetes using multiple daily insulin injections or using an insulin pumpCheck four or more times per day
Type 2 diabetes, taking diabetes medication known to cause hypoglycemiaCheck at times when symptoms of hypoglycemia occur, or at times when hypoglycemia has occurred previously
Type 2 diabetes, and meeting your blood sugar targetsCheck once or twice per week, to ensure that your blood sugar targets are being met between A1C tests
Type 2 diabetes and not meeting your blood sugar targets

Read Also: Hypoglycemia Prognosis

Test Before You Eat And Two Hours After

This will tell you how well your medication is controlling your blood sugar. It will also shed light on what food is boosting your sugar too highand thus should be avoided. “You should consult your health-care provider to develop a plan that works for you,” says Donna Rice, immediate past president of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, who notes that the frequency and time of day you test will depend on how controlled your blood glucose is.


When Should I Check My Blood Glucose Level

When you should check your blood glucose levels and how often you should check varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being used. Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator will help you decide how many checks are needed and the levels to aim for. Possible times to check are:

  • Before breakfast
  • Before rigorous exercise
  • When you are feeling unwell

Even though your meter may have a memory, it is important to keep a record of your readings in a diary and to take this with you to all appointments with your diabetes health team. This will provide both you and your diabetes health team with important information in deciding if and how your treatment may need to be adjusted.

Most meters on the market have software which allows you to download your records in different formats such as graphs and charts. Even if you can do this, it is still helpful to keep a diary, not only for your checks but also details of your daily activities, the food you eat and other relevant information. There are some apps that record all of this information in one place. Ask your doctor or diabetes educator how you can use a diary to help you to better manage your diabetes.

Checking four times a day is usually recommended for people with type 1 diabetes. However many people check more often, such as those using an insulin pump .

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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar

Different people may feel low blood sugar levels differently. People with low blood sugar may:

  • feel hungry or have “hunger pains” in their stomach
  • feel shaky or like they’re trembling
  • have a rapid heart rate
  • feel sweaty or have cold, clammy skin
  • have pale, gray skin color
  • have a headache
  • have seizures or convulsions
  • lose consciousness

If you have diabetes, try to remember how your body reacts when your blood sugar levels are low. It may help you figure out when you’re having a low blood sugar level more quickly the next time.

How To Reduce The Pain Of Blood Sugar Checks

When to Check Your Blood Sugar

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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    How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar

    Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:

    • Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
    • Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
    • Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
    • Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
    • Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.

    Consider Talking To Your Doctor

    If you think you’ve been doing all you can to keep blood sugar in control, but still have high blood sugar readings, it might be time to switch medication. Diabetes is a progressive disease, and over time, the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin can stop making the hormone. “So, even if your numbers have held steady for years, that could change if the beta cells change, which is usually a gradual change but can be sudden,” says Rice. “That change doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong, it’s just the nature of the disease. The beta cells can only put out so much insulin, and over time they start to put out less.” Your doctor will look at the big picture and do additional testing to find out if there is a bigger problem.

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    Check Your Blood Sugar Often

    Talk with your provider about when you should check your blood sugar every day. People who have low blood sugar need to check their blood sugar more often.

    The most common causes of low blood sugar are:

    • Taking your insulin or diabetes medicine at the wrong time
    • Taking too much insulin or diabetes medicine
    • Taking insulin to correct high blood sugar without eating any food
    • Not eating enough during meals or snacks after you have taken insulin or diabetes medicine
    • Skipping meals
    • Waiting too long after taking your medicine to eat your meals
    • Exercising a lot or at a time that is unusual for you
    • Not checking your blood sugar or not adjusting your insulin dose before exercising
    • Drinking alcohol

    When Should You Check Your Blood Sugar

    When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels?

    Many people check their glucose levels when they first wake up, before a meal, and two hours after eating. This helps them make decisions about food and diet that can help to keep blood sugar levels stable. There are other situations you encounter every day that may also affect your blood glucose. Keep reading to find out when you should check your blood sugar.

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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 before, during, or after exercising can happen, too, although its less common. 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.


    Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy

    The NIDDK states that gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that occurs during pregnancy if you were not diabetic before getting pregnant. Healthy blood sugar during pregnancy can help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later. It can also lower the risk of your baby being born prematurely, at a high birth weight, and having respiratory problems.

    Blood sugar and insulin levels during the first trimester of pregnancy tend to be lower than usual, but they rise during the late second and early third trimesters. You can be diagnosed with an oral glucose tolerance test .

    These are the steps for the 2-step strategy.

    • Drink a solution with 50 grams of glucose about the amount in 1 16-oz. bottle of a soft drink
    • Get your blood drawn after 1 hour. IF the value is high, retest
    • Fast overnight
    • Drink a solution with 100 grams of glucose about the amount in 12 peanut butter cups
    • Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1, 2, and 3 hours

    Or, your doctor might use the 1-step strategy with a 2-hour OGTT:

    • Fast overnight
    • Drink a solution with 75 grams of glucose
    • Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1 and 2 hours

    These are some values to know from NIDKK related to gestational diabetes and healthy blood sugar in pregnancy.


    Time or Situation
    Baseline: at least 105 mg/dl1 hour: at least 190 mg/dl2 hours: at least 165 mg/dl3 hours: at least 145 mg/dl

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    What Happens When You Are Sick

    When you are sick, your body reacts by releasing hormones to fight infection. But these hormones raise blood sugar levels and at the same time make it more difficult for insulin to lower blood sugar. When you have diabetes, even a minor illness can lead to dangerously high blood sugar. This may cause life-threatening complications, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or a hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state .

    Establish A Routine For How Often And When You Should Test Your Blood Sugar

    How to Test Your Blood Sugar

    Work with your doctor to plan your routine. They may suggest checking it while youre fasting, before and after meals, or before bedtime. Each persons situation is different, so its important to decide on an arrangement that will work for you.

    When youve set that schedule, make checking your blood part of your daily routine. Build it into your day. Many meters have alarms you can set to help you to remember to test. When testing becomes a part of your day, youll be less likely to forget.

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    How To Use A Blood Sugar Meter

    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.
  • What Should My Blood Sugar Be When I Wake Up

    Checking your blood sugar first thing in the morning is important. In fact, fasting blood sugar readings really help you determine how to approach the rest of your day. You have to take steps considering how low or high your fasting blood sugar is, and understand how to set your morning target and what to do to achieve it. Let’s find out more about it.

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    Managing Blood Sugar When Youre Ill

    When you get sick, your blood sugar levels may fluctuate and become unpredictable.


    If you’re sick, it’s very important that you:

    • drink plenty of water or sugar-free fluids
    • check your blood sugar levels more often than usual
    • take 15 grams of carbohydrate every hour if you are not able to follow your usual meal plan
    • replace food with fluids that contain sugar if you can’t eat solid food
    • continue to take your insulin or other diabetes medication

    If you have a cold or flu and want to use a cold remedy or cough syrup, ask your pharmacist to help you make a good choice. Many cold remedies and cough syrups contain sugar, so try to pick sugar-free products.

    As an extra precaution, you should always check with your health-care team about guidelines for insulin adjustment or medication changes during an illness.

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