Why Tracking Matters
Checking your blood sugar and tracking your numbers is an important part of your diabetes care plan.
- Helps you avoid low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
- Helps you see the changes in your blood sugar and can help you better understand how physical activity, what you eat, and stress affect your blood sugar levels
- Can help you and your diabetes care team make your care plan
How often should you check your blood sugar?
You and your health care provider will decide when and how often you should check your blood sugar.
How diabetes affects the body is different for each person and changes over time. So, depending on what medicines you’re taking and your health care provider's direction, your blood sugar testing schedule may change.
If you are taking non-insulin injections, you may not need to test your blood sugar every day.
If you are taking insulin injections or using an insulin pump, you may need to check your blood sugar more often than if you were taking pills.
Speak with your health care provider to find out when to check your blood sugar. You might be asked to check your blood sugar:
- Before and after you eat
- Before and after you are physically active
- Before bed
- If you think you have low blood sugar
- After you treat your low blood sugar
- Before you drive a car
If you take insulin, your health care provider may ask you to check your blood sugar:
- Before you go to bed, in the middle of the night (2 or 3 AM), or when you wake up
- Before or after you eat meals or large snacks to see how the food you eat changes your blood sugar
Even if you don’t take insulin, you may need to check blood sugar levels more often:
- If you start or change your diabetes medicine based on the guidance of your health care provider
- When you feel stressed
- If you make changes in your meal or activity plan (such as when you are traveling)
- If your diabetes is not well controlled
- When you get sick
- If you begin to take or are taking certain types of medicine (for example, a class of medicines called steroids)
Your Blood Sugar Tracker
Tracking your blood sugar can help you and your diabetes care team find out what makes your numbers go up and down. Here are 3 simple ways to help you keep track of your blood sugar.
- Use a simple notebook and pencil to write down your numbers and testing times
- Enter your numbers and testing times online with the Blood Sugar Tracker
- Check the instructions that come with your blood sugar meter to see if you can:
- Record your numbers on your meter
- Download your numbers to your computer later
Enter your numbers and
testing times online with the
Blood Sugar Tracker.
Find out how to stay on track with blood sugar testing. Ask your health care provider for a copy of the booklet.