The Importance of Checking
Your Blood Sugar
Why should I check my blood sugar?
Checking your blood sugar can be a very important part of your diabetes care
plan. Checking your blood sugar can help you better manage your diabetes in several
- Your personal blood sugar profile can help you and your diabetes care team
plan your care
- Knowing your blood sugar level can help you make good day-to-day choices about
what you eat, your level of physical activity, and your use of diabetes medicines
- Checking your blood sugar throughout the day can help you recognize and avoid
low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
and the health problems that they can cause
- Seeing the changes in your blood sugar levels throughout the day can help
you better understand the effects of your meal plan and medicine on your blood sugar
How often should you take a blood sugar reading?
When and how often you check your blood sugar each day depends on a number of factors
about your diabetes and its management.
Most experts agree that people taking multiple insulin
injections or using an insulin pump should check their
blood sugar several times a day. Your diabetes care team may recommend that you
check your blood sugar:
- When you wake up, to see if your blood sugar is staying under control while
- Before meals or large snacks, to know what your blood sugar is before you
- 1 to 2 hours after meals or large snacks, to see how the food you eat affects
your blood sugar
- Before and within minutes after physical activity, to see how being active
affects your blood sugar
If you do not take insulin and your blood sugar levels usually stay in their target
range, you may need to check your blood sugar less frequently.
You may need to check your blood sugar levels more often:
- When you and your diabetes care team are adjusting your diabetes medicines
- When you are under increased stress
- When you are making changes in your eating or physical activity plan (such as when
you are traveling)
- When your diabetes is not well controlled
- When you are starting a new diabetes medicine
- When you are ill
- Before and after exercise
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