Monitoring blood glucose
Testing your blood glucose levels will help you properly manage your diabetes.
Regular testing will tell you how your food, exercise and medicines are working. Regular testing will also let you and your doctor know when changes should be made.
Easy-to-use equipment is available to use for testing your own blood glucose levels. Talk with your diabetes educator about the equipment that would be best for you.
When to test
How often you check your blood glucose is affected by:
- the type of diabetes you have
- how much your blood glucose changes during the day
- your diabetes medicine: type, amount and how often you take it
- stress and illness
- physical activity.
American Diabetes Association recommended blood glucose levels
- before meals: between 80-130 mg/dL
- two hours after meals: less than 160-180 mg/dL
- at bedtime: 100-140 mg/dL.
Good blood glucose levels for you
Talk with your doctor or diabetes educator about safe levels for you:
- before meals_________________________________
- after meals (2 hours) _____________________
- before bedtime_______________________________
Check your blood glucose at the times marked below.
Ask your diabetes educator for a record book. Write in your record book the number and the time of your test. Bring your blood glucose record book to all appointments with your doctor and diabetes educators.
Check your blood glucose:
Three month average test (Hemoglobin A1c or A1c)
This drawing compares self-monitored blood glucose and A1c.
The hemoglobin A1c test (A1c measurement) measures the amount of glucose that attaches to protein in the red blood cell. Because red blood cells live for about 3 months, A1c tests show your average blood glucose during that time.
Testing your own blood glucose at home is important in helping you and your doctor or diabetes educator adjust your diabetes treatment. However, since blood glucose levels go up and down all day long, we use the A1c test to evaluate overall control.
People without diabetes have a number in the 4 to 5.6 percent range. The goal for most people with diabetes is to have an A1c of less than 7 percent.
Research has found that people with diabetes who maintain a A1c of less than 7 percent have much less risk of developing diabetes complications such as eye, kidney, nerve and circulatory problems.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that you have this test two to four times each year.
- The normal range for this test at your lab is ____________________ (usually 4 to 5.6 percent).
- The recommended range for your A1c is ____________________.
- Your most recent A1c result was ____________________.
Note: We used the word "glucose" instead of the word "sugar" so it does not get it confused with the sugar in food.