Care Plan: 4 Check Your Blood Sugar

How frequent blood sugar checks can help you

Checking your blood sugar yourself is an important part of managing diabetes. Checking often will tell you:

  • If your insulin or other diabetes medicine is working
  • How physical activity and the foods you eat affect your blood sugar

You’ll usually feel better and have more energy when your blood sugar stays at or near normal. Managing your blood sugar can also reduce your risk of developing problems from diabetes.

How to check your blood sugar

You can check your own blood sugar using a meter. Many different kinds of blood sugar meters are available today. Your diabetes care team can help you choose one and show you how to use it.

Click for Larger ImageWhen to check your blood sugar

You and your diabetes care team will decide when and how often you will check your blood sugar. The table shows some times when you might want to check and why.  Click the image for a large view.

Keeping a blood sugar log

It’s important to write down your blood sugar levels so that you can keep track of what makes them go up or down.

Click here for a log that you can use to track your blood sugar.

Setting your blood sugar goals

The table above lists blood sugar goals for many nonpregnant adults with diabetes. You and your diabetes care team will set the goals that are right for you.

Knowing your A1C

The A1C test measures your estimated average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. It’s like a “memory” of your blood sugar levels. It shows how well you’re controlling your blood sugar levels over time. Your A1C and your blood sugar levels go up and down together. The table to the right shows how they go together.

Lowering your A1C to below 7% reduces your risk of problems from diabetes. Therefore, the A1C goal for most people is less than 7%.

It is recommended that you get an A1C test: (Click the Image for a larger view)

  • At least 2 times a year if your blood sugar is under good control
  • 4 times a year if you are not meeting your goals or if your treatment has changed

If you have any questions, be sure to talk with your diabetes care team. They are there to help!